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Knights, Castles, and Kings

Grade Level: 
2-5
Student Level: 
Elementary

Knights in shining armor, legendary queens, towering castles, and fantastic beasts populate the pages of fairy tales and capture our imagination. But where does the fantasy merge with fact? In this program, students are introduced to noble life in the Middle Ages through arms, armor, and courtly and religious objects in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. They observe, comment on what they see, question, and draw conclusions about the role of castles, knights, and kings in medieval society.

Program Format: 
  • General definition on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
  • Introduce art and artifacts owned by aristocrats, such as an illuminated manuscript, a table fountain, and a tapestry.
  • Discuss knights, types of armor, and weapons for sport and battle.
  • Answer remaining questions and review vocabulary.
Objectives: 
  • Students will understand the role of a knight in the social structure of Medieval and Renaissance Europe.
  • Students will understand the distinction between the historical role of a knight and the mythical role.
  • Students will understand that a noble's arms, armor and castle served more than a military function.
  • Students will understand how art objects can define individuals or social groups.