The Middle Ages

Based on this picture, and knowing that we are studying the Middle Ages, can you guess what our latest classroom endeavor is??


If you guessed building cardboard castles, you were RIGHT!!

About the middle of March, I began collecting cardboard boxes of all sizes, as well as egg cartons, pop bottles, applesauce cups, and other good “building” supplies. The above picture is the pile as of the middle of April! Good thing I can handle clutter – if I was a neat freak, this would be a major problem 🙂 The closet to the right of this picture was completely full of boxes too! Needless to say, we have more than enough boxes.

Last week I split the kids into 4 groups. Each group was given 2 rolls of duck tape, a large cardboard box flattened out to use as the base, and a few guidelines of parts of a castle that must be included (ex: wall, drawbridge, keep, towers). We went around group by group picking boxes from the pile until they had a good amount to start with. Once they began working, they were allowed to send one person from their group at a time back to the pile of boxes to get any more that they needed. Our pile has been about cut in half, but we still have quite a few left!

Here are a few castles at the beginning stages:

Once they are completely done, I will spray paint them gray/silver to look more polished and more castle-like, and then they will be permitted to bring in “medieval-type” characters, such as Lego people or Playmobile figures, to finish it off.

They always turn out great and I am excited to see this year’s finished products!

Just so you have an idea, here are a few castles from previous years:

Don’t they look awesome?!

Do you study the Middle Ages? I’d love to hear about some of the fun things you do with your class!!

I have a few more posts about our medieval unit planned, so check back soon 🙂


Because there are less than 10 weeks of school left, I am throwing a SALE in my TpT store just for YOU!

Everything is 10% off until Friday! Now is the time to buy! I have a few other things I’m working on to put up; if you have anything specific you’ve read about that you’d like to see, let me know and I can make it a priority 🙂


PS: My students are OBSESSED with this game called “The Game of Knowledge” – it’s kind of like Trivial Pursuit, but this is from the mid-90’s. The other day I heard a student ask this question: “Where does the Nickelodeon show ‘Hey Dude’ take place?” ohmyword. Obviously none of them knew the answer, but I shouted it out like nobody’s business! It cracks me up when they get to these dated questions, yet they still love the game. I have three who sit and play every day at snack time 🙂

Currently April…

Is it really that time again?? March seriously flew by…

Today I was busy setting up my classroom for our medieval unit. Thankfully I saved my moat/drawbridge/castle wall from last year, which made it much easier! I’ll definitely post pictures soon 🙂

For now I’m linking up with Farley over at – be sure to check out everyone’s blogs. There are SO many to go through – I wish I had a free day to do so! Oh wait…I won’t until Thursday because our break doesn’t start until then. Boo.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just push a button and have all of your papers graded? And I mean, all papers – not just math worksheets or English pages, but writing assignments and journaling work! This consumes so much time, I can only imagine how wonderful an instant paper grader button would be!

I can’t wait to show off everything we are doing this month for our study of the Middle Ages! Be sure to check back soon for updates 🙂

Update: Facebook Fun

I realized that I never gave an update to our Number the Stars Facebook character analysis!

The students LOVED this project and I can’t wait to implement it for other novels we read 🙂

To finish up the Facebook page, each group decided on something their character would write on each of the other characters’ “wall”. They typed this up and we attached them to the page, so each character has a wall post from the other three. They were so creative!

They also typed up their list of character traits and support (a quote/phrase from the book) and we included this under “Analysis” on the back of the page, under the wall posts.

After the Facebook pages were done, each group created a life size cut-out of their character, adding physical features as described in the book. We hung these up in the hallway, along with the Facebook pages. The students also wrote poems about characters from the book, so we hung these up as well. The display looks awesome!  Unfortunately, our classroom is on the top floor – it is only 4th and 5th up that high, so not too many people ever venture up to see it. But we have gotten many compliments from parents and others who have passed by.

Check out the finished products!

In case you are interested, here is the link to my TpT store where I have my Facebook Profile Page for sale:

Can you think of other fun ways to incorporate this into your classroom? I was thinking that it would be fun to do when learning about famous people from history, such as presidents or inventors. Any other ideas??