Life in a medieval castle teaching pack

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Contributor: Teachit team
Life in a medieval castle teaching pack front cover
Main Subject
Key stage
Middle Ages c.410-1450: Castles
Includes answers
Resource type
Teaching pack

Delve into the world of medieval castles with this project-based teaching pack, filled with fun, hands-on activities for exploring what life in a medieval castle in England was like. Students will investigate key features of castles in medieval times, how and why castle design changed over time, as well as developing knowledge and understanding of castle life and the people who lived in castles in the Middle Ages.

Who is this teaching pack for?

This teaching pack is designed for teaching and reinforcing concepts in a lower key stage 3 unit on medieval castles or the Middle Ages. It would be a great unit to use for transition or for introducing year 7 students to history at key stage 3 level. The unit is flexible and can be used in conjunction with existing curriculum materials or on its own.

Students will get to explore castle life in the Middle Ages, develop their knowledge and understanding of people living in medieval castles, how and why castle-building changed over time and the ways castles were designed to protect the people who lived there. The resource pack includes a variety of creative activities where students can apply what they’ve learned to design a great hall or coat of arms. Students will also develop their writing skills with news articles, descriptive writing and writing a script to explore castle life in medieval times. 

What’s included in this medieval castles teaching pack?

This comprehensive teaching pack includes detailed lesson plans with clear step-by-step instructions, learning objectives, suggestions for formative and summative assessment, inquiry questions and ideas for extension and enhancements. The lesson plans also include page references to printable worksheets and other learning resources in the teacher pack and student pack. 

For teachers

  • Detailed lesson plans with step-by-step instructions, ideas for assessment throughout and a clear assessment rubric for the final assessment task.
  • A teacher pack with printable worksheets, answers keys and all other necessary teaching resources for this unit.

For students

  • A student pack with full colour printable learning resources, worksheets, instructional guidance and plenty of fun creative and writing activities.

How is the pack structured?

This medieval history teaching pack is divided into five milestones which, if completed in sequence, will connect to allow students to complete a final assessment activity. The unit in this teaching pack should be completed in around five lessons, however it’s designed to be flexible so it can be shortened or lengthened as needed. 

Students will complete plenty of fun, hands-on activities to explore the key features of an English medieval castle and the importance of the great hall in a medieval castle, learn about the significance of coats of arms for knights in the Middle Ages and discover what life in medieval castles in England was like for all the different people who lived there. 

Activities for each milestone are organised as follows:

  • Prepare (Bell-ringer/opener activity)
  • Present (Lecture/model)
  • Produce (Pupil project work)
  • Participate (Pupil/group share)
  • Practice (Homework/assessment/independent)

Take a closer look

Milestone 1: Parts of a medieval castle

  • Investigate the different parts of a medieval castle and explain why they are important.
  • Explain what the great hall is used for and what you can find there.
  • Design a model of a great hall in a medieval castle.

Milestone 2: Great hall model

  • Examine castle-building and designs to find out how they protected the people living in them.
  • Create a model of the great hall of a castle.
  • Describe the key features of the great hall and explain their importance.

Milestone 3: Designing a coat of arms

  • Explain why knights in medieval England decorated their shields with special colours and symbols.
  • Design a coat of arms that represents their interests.
  • Explain the meaning of certain colours, symbols, and patterns that were used on shields.

Milestone 4: People in a castle

  • Identify the people who lived in a castle, explain their jobs and explore castle life.
  • Write a script showing a typical example of castle life set in the great hall.
  • Work in groups to practice acting out role plays about medieval life.

Milestone 5: Performing the plays

  • Perform their castle life role plays.
  • Explain whether or not they would want to live in a medieval castle using what they’ve learned about castle life.

How to use this teaching pack on medieval castles

This teaching pack can be used to teach and reinforce concepts in a lower key stage 3 history unit on medieval castles either in conjunction with existing curriculum materials on the Middle Ages or as a stand alone unit. The suggested minimum duration for this teaching pack is five lessons. However, it is completely flexible and the teaching resources can be used to lengthen or shorten the unit as necessary. 

Explore more key stage 3 resources on the Middle Ages, covering key areas of the curriculum such as the Anglo-Saxons, the Peasants' Revolt, the Norman Conquest and the Black Death, or browse Teachit History’s full range of teaching packs

We’d like to thank colleagues at for allowing us to re-use their original content.

An example activity from the teaching pack: 

Castle chatter

Directions: Pretend there were newspapers in medieval times. You are a reporter assigned to cover a banquet at the castle of Lord Snootville. Use what you know about medieval times to write a newspaper article about it. Remember to answer the questions who, what, where, when, why, and how.

Exploring life in a medieval castle
Free for Premium Subscribers.

All reviews

There are no reviews yet. Have you used this resource?