Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself

Overview


History comes to life in this interactive guide to the Middle Ages, which explores the fascinating period leading up to the Renaissance—including siege warfare, markets and fairs, medieval medicine, and the feudal system—through numerous hands-on activities. From monastic life and castle living to the Crusades and the Plague, each section provides a vivid glimpse into the daily life of medieval Europeans and ends with one or more fun activities. With little adult supervision and common household ...
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Overview


History comes to life in this interactive guide to the Middle Ages, which explores the fascinating period leading up to the Renaissance—including siege warfare, markets and fairs, medieval medicine, and the feudal system—through numerous hands-on activities. From monastic life and castle living to the Crusades and the Plague, each section provides a vivid glimpse into the daily life of medieval Europeans and ends with one or more fun activities. With little adult supervision and common household objects, children can experience the Middle Ages firsthand by participating in more than 30 projects—such as building a marshmallow cannon, a reliquary, or juggling sticks. Recipes and instructions for creating a medieval feast fit for a king are included, providing kids with an opportunity to step into character and sample traditional fare such as pokerounce, potage, and (nonalcoholic) mead.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Projects include making a trebuchet, marshmallow cannon, some period recipes, and a thatched roof. The material is well written and interesting . . . The directions for the projects are easy to follow . . . a useful text."  —School Library Journal

"Much more than just an activity guide; we were fascinated by the amount of information presented in its pages. . . . Older children will be able to complete these [projects] with minimal oversight from parents."  —Homeschooling Today

"This well written guide to medieval life not only teaches about the Middle Ages, but includes easy to do, interesting, and educational projects that illuminate each subject. . . . There is plenty of good history, easy to read, and sneakily educational."  —Sacramento Book Review

Sacramento Book Review
This well written guide to medieval life . . . includes easy to do, interesting, and educational projects that illuminate each subject . . . There is plenty of good history, easy to read, and sneakily educational.
Homeschooling Today

Much more than just an activity guide; we were fascinated by the amount of information presented in its pages . . . . Older children will be able to complete these [projects] with minimal oversight from parents.

Children's Literature - Leah Hanson
Knights and ladies, castles and moats—our modern-day fascination with medieval times can be seen in everything from video games to movies and Halloween costumes to weekend fairs. Yet as familiar as children might be with legends of King Arthur and tales of Robin Hood, the Middle Ages of history still remain a mystery. Kris Bordessa's thoughtful, engaging medieval how-to book is a fantastic bridge to take knight-loving youngsters on an educational journey through this time period. Chapter by chapter, readers are presented with informational text explaining medieval life, accompanied by black and white illustrations and fun do-it-yourself extension activities. Bordessa sets the stage by explaining the transitional nature of this era, mapping out the geography involved, and helping young readers imagine living in a time so unlike their own. Sections about Kings and Queens, Medieval Warfare, Castles, Villages and the Home, Monasteries, and more give a well-balanced view of the multi-tiered feudal system and break down common misconceptions. Readers are given instructions for a variety of projects ranging from building a mini-trebuchet and making a tapestry to cooking potage soup and creating an illustrated manuscript. Great Medieval Projects can easily be used as a handy reference for a classroom teacher or an in-depth study for the budding knight-in-training! Reviewer: Leah Hanson
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7

This book looks at medieval society, folklore, and culture between the years 350 to 1450 and provides some hands-on activities along the way. Divided into 12 chapters, the text relates information on kings and queens, knights and armor, warfare, everyday life, and religious life. Projects include making a trebuchet, a marshmallow cannon, some period recipes, and a thatched roof. The material is well written and interesting. The "Words to Know" sections are not consistent in their placement in each chapter; some words appear before the list and, in other cases, in the next section. However, all of the words appear in the glossary so readers can skip directly to it to find words they may not understand. The directions for the projects are easy to follow for the most part, but the location of the supply list is inconsistent from one project to the next. All of the drawings, including those for the finished products, are in the same blue color as the text. Aside from some organizational problems, this is a useful text.-G. Alyssa Parkinson, Highland Township Library, MI

From the Publisher

School Library Journal
"This book looks at medieval society, folklore, and culture between the years 350 to 1450 and provides some hands-on activities along the way. Divided into 12 chapters, the text relates information on kings and queens, knights and armor, warfare, everyday life, and religious life. Projects include making a trebuchet, marshmallow cannon, some period recipes, and a thatched roof. The material is well written and interesting. . . The directions for the projects are easy to follow. . . this is a useful text"

Sacramento Book Review
"In this handy and well written guide to medieval life, Bordessa not only teaches about the Middle Ages, but includes in each chapter easy to do, interesting, and educational projects that illuminate each subject. . . The many illustrations provide a good feel to the book and the included vocabulary sidebars will help children reading the book on their own (and this is one history book that many children will find inviting.) There is plenty of good history, easy to read, and sneakily educational."

Frisco Kids
"I've never been to the Renaissance Faire, but castles, knights and all things medieval are a part of our daily life. So I'll start first with a review of Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself, written by the incredibly creative and talented Kris Bordessa (a Northern California resident). When I first hear the title, I thought "hmmm'. . . we're going to learn how to build a guillotine and pour boiling oil on the mailman from the top floor of our house?" Uh, no. Instead, we learned about medieval beliefs, life in monasteries, the makings of a medieval feast and lots on warfare (a favorite topic among 5 year old boys). This book is aimed at kids 9-12, much older than my kids. But that just means we read 2 pages at a time, instead of reading it cover to cover."

Homeschooling Today
"A brand-new title, Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself by Kris Bordessa targets an older audience. It is much more than just an activity guide; we were all fascinated by the amount of information presented in its pages. Throughout, the "Words to Know" text boxes define new terms, a great opportunity for vocabulary learning. Frequent "Did You Know?" sidebars encourage a better understanding of the times. Of course, the heart of the book is the "Make Your Own" instructions for projects. Older children will be able to complete these with minimal oversight from parents."

Sarah Blick, Associate Professor of Art History, Kenyon College
"Wonderfully fun, clearly written, and historically accurate. The illustrations, text, and suggested projects really bring the period to life. Highly recommended!"

Steven Ozment, author of A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People
"Kris Bordessa's minds-on, hands-on guide through the Middle Ages is a bracing immersion in a faraway world for adolescents trying to find their place in the present-day world. "

Jennifer Lawler, author of Encyclopedia of Women in the Middle Ages and Encyclopedia of the Byzantine Empire
"This book is a great way to encourage your child’s interest in the Middle Ages through clever and creative hands-on projects. Engaging and informative descriptions of the time period also provide thought-provoking content to enrich the experience and spark conversation."

Stanley Lombardo, Ph.D.
"Great Medieval Projects, from Nomad Press, offers young readers a delightful introduction to the Middle Ages, via a series of hands-on crafts projects ranging in complexity from a jester's cap and bells to a functional scale-model trebuchet; Not only will children enjoy these projects, but the adults who supervise the more demanding undertakings will find themselves swept back to the days of Viking raiders and stalwart knights battling in defense of their castles; Great Medieval Projects includes fascinating historical material on medieval customs, language, and crafts and is sure to charm a new generation of boys and girls into a love of the Middle Ages."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780979226809
  • Publisher: Nomad Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Series: Build It Yourself Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 808,756
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Kris Bordessa is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in more than 50 publications, including Family Fun, Nick Jr. Family Magazine, and Parenting. She is the author of Great Colonial American Projects You Can Build Yourself; Team Challenges: Group Activities to Build Cooperation; Communication, and Creativity; and Tools of the Ancient Greeks. She lives in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
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