Juggling Sticks

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....
Download a Printer-Friendly PDF
A Different Kind of BattleField

A Different Kind of BattleField

From World War I

In the early years of WWI, army recruiters mined soccer games and rugby matches for recruits. According to historian Adam Hochschild, soccer games “proved the single best venue for recruiters.” Arriving spectators would see recruiters wearing sandwich boards bearing the message, “Your Country Needs You.” The game would start with a patriotic speech. Players often stepped forward to enlist, and fans quickly followed their lead.

My World

My World

From Global Citizenship

Through the “My World” Survey, people can identify which of the 17 SDGs matter most to them. At www.myworld2030.org, you can take the survey and select six SDG priority areas. You can also view results by country to see what people care about across the globe.

Make Your Own Gordian Knot

Make Your Own Gordian Knot

From The Silk Road

One legend says Alexander conquered Asia by solving the puzzle of the Gordian Knot. According to a prophecy, whoever untied this endless knot would rule the continent. Alexander took the direct approach—he cut the knot open with his sword. Today, a “Gordian knot” means an unsolvable problem. No one knows exactly what the Gordian Knot looked like. But you can make a knot called a Turk’s Head appear “endless” by joining the ends after it’s...

Make a Culture Collage

Make a Culture Collage

From The Renaissance Thinkers

We use the term Renaissance to define the years in Europe from the 1300s through the 1600s. Is there one word or phrase that defines the era we live in right now? Let’s make a Culture Collage and see if we can find one.



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.  There is plenty of good history, easy to read, and sneakily educational.”

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.”

Detailed Book Description

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.

Available In:
Hardcover, $21.95
Paperback, $15.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Glossary | Resources | Index
Specs: 8 x 10 size | black and white interior | 128 pages
Subject: Social Studies
Content Focus: World History



The Making of Medieval Europe
Kings and Queens
Knights and Armor
Medieval Warfare
A Medieval Feast
Villages and the Home
Medieval Cities and Towns
Medieval Beliefs
Monasteries and Monastic Life
End of an Era