Great Medieval Projects  You Can Build Yourself

Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself

Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself brings the Middle Ages in Europe alive through hands-on activities for kids ages 9-12. Addressing various aspects of medieval life, this book provides historically accurate details of the period leading up to the Renaissance. From monastic life to castle living, villages to towns, each section offers a glimpse into the daily existence of the people who lived in medieval Europe. Sidebars and fun trivia break up the text. Readers will expand their knowledge of this era beyond knights, fair maidens, and castles as they learn about siege warfare, life in a medieval village, medieval clothing, markets and fairs, the Plague, medieval medicine, and the Crusades.

Price (suggested retail)

  • Softcover, $15.95
  • Hardcover, $21.95
  • eBook, $12.95

Grade Level 4–6

Ages 9–12

GRL W

Subjects

  • World History

More Details
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Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself brings the Middle Ages in Europe alive through hands-on activities for kids ages 9-12. Addressing various aspects of medieval life, this book provides historically accurate details of the period leading up to the Renaissance. From monastic life to castle living, villages to towns, each section offers a glimpse into the daily existence of the people who lived in medieval Europe. Sidebars and fun trivia break up the text. Readers will expand their knowledge of this era beyond knights, fair maidens, and castles as they learn about siege warfare, life in a medieval village, medieval clothing, markets and fairs, the Plague, medieval medicine, and the Crusades.


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.”

book accent

look inside book
look inside book spread

project image

Juggling Sticks

Juggling sticks have been around for thousands of years, but no one is quite sure how they made their way to Europe. Some people believe that they may have come to Europe from China (where they were called Devil sticks) along the Silk Road with Marco Polo. The Silk Road was an ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean Sea. Marco Polo was a merchant and adventurer from Venice, Italy, who traveled the Silk Road in the thirteenth century. He wrote a famous book about his travels.

Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

project accent

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa’s work has appeared in more than 50 national and regional publications, including FamilyFun, Nick Jr. Family Magazine and Parenting. She is the author of Tools of the Ancient Greeks: a Kid’s Guide to the History and Science of Life in Ancient Greece and Great Colonial Projects You Can Build Yourself.



More Details

Grade Level: 4–6
Ages: 9–12
GRL: W
Subjects: World History,
Specs: 8 x 10 , black and white interior , 128 pages,
Includes: Table of Contents, Glossary, Resources, Index,

Reviews

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.”


Projects

project image

Juggling Sticks

Juggling sticks have been around for thousands of years, but no one is quite sure how they made their way to Europe. Some people believe that they may have come to Europe from China (where they were called Devil sticks) along the Silk Road with Marco Polo. The Silk Road was an ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean Sea. Marco Polo was a merchant and adventurer from Venice, Italy, who traveled the Silk Road in the thirteenth century. He wrote a famous book about his travels.


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

Author-Illustrator

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa’s work has appeared in more than 50 national and regional publications, including FamilyFun, Nick Jr. Family Magazine and Parenting. She is the author of Tools of the Ancient Greeks: a Kid’s Guide to the History and Science of Life in Ancient Greece and Great Colonial Projects You Can Build Yourself.