medieval first castles

STUDY UNIT : A study of a historical issue or topic in a local context
FOCUS STATEMENT: Pupils should be taught to investigate in depth
one or two historical issues in a local context. Pupils should be taught about
the development of castles or religious buildings in the period 1050 – 1540.
The focus should be on the building and the lifestyle of the people who used
CONTENT The history of castles and medieval daily life
1.Who built the first castles?
The First Castles
2..Why were they built?
Motte and Bailey
3.Where were they built?
4.What were they made from?
5.How were they built
6. How do we know?
Wooden Keeps
7.Who used the first castles?
8.What did castle builders need to
change and why?
The Stone Keep
9.What was life like in the stone keep?
10.Rooms of the keep.
11.Defence of the keep.
12Who lived in the keep
13What did they eat?
14.What weapons and tools were used?
15.What clothes did they wear?
16.Why did this type of castle need to
change and in what ways?
BIG QUESTION: What was it like to live in medieval times?
1.Establish a class timeline before the Norman invasion to see when
castles begin.1a, 1b,2a
2.Story of the Norman conquest. Descriptive writing Newspaper reports
of Battle of Hastings. Eyewitness accounts. Read primary source
material and accounts of the battle to find out what happened. Fact
opinion who was right – debate Use of Bayeux Tapestry2a 2c 3 4a 4b 5
3.Use of maps. Plot where main castles are today. Can the children see
any pattern or reason for the siting of the castles at those places? Where
would they put a castle. Problem solving and investigation. 3 4a 5
4.Research motte and bailey castles. 4a 4b
5.Why wood was used- easily available quick to use. 4a 4b
6. Make collage or model of motte and bailey. Look at artist impressions
and reconstructions. 5
7.Research society at the time of the first castles. Creative writing and
research . Order of society. Who lived in the keep? Why? 2a 2b 3
8.Problem solving and discussion causes and consequences. 2c
9.Group research. Groups to pick an aspect of society to investigate and
then report back to the class.2a 4a
10. Make a large cross section collage showing the rooms of the keep
and what they were for. Art work 2a 3 4a 5
11. Research. How would they attack this type of castle. Children work
in groups to discover how best to attack the keep by looking for weak
areas. 2a,2b 2c
12.Group research different levels of society in the keep and the roles
they all played. Servants, lords, soldiers etc. report findings and make a
wall display. 2a 4b
13.Look at typical medieval food from banquet menus.2a 4b
14. Look at some of the most common weapons of the day. Look at
replica artefacts and discuss how they were used. Art work 2a 4b 5
15.Make collage of figures they have researched. Dress in replica
clothes and role play. 2a 4b 5
16. Can the children see the problem with this type of castle. Where
were the weak areas? What did they learn from their mistakes? 2c 3 5
Out and About Activity
book Castles
Castles, Pyramids and
See inside a Castle –
Living I n Castle Times –
Knights and Castles
Castles of Wales BBC
Gerald of Wales pack – A
window on the past
Photographs of different
Welsh Castles.
Cardiff Castle Pack
I Wonder Why – Castles
had moats Kingfisher.
Learning About HeraldryLadybird
The Story of the Castle
Caerphilly Castle
photographs and
information pack
Cadw booklet
Teachers Pack
Video cameras
Staff of Cosmeston
Medieval Village
In what ways did it change?
4.Who was Gilbert De Clare?
5.How did he build the castle?
6.What was significant about the design
of the castle?
7..How was the castle so strong?
8..What effect did the castle defences
have on the history of the castle?
9.What was it like to live in the castle?
Heating / lighting, Food,
Clothing, Weapons, Entertainment
10.How did the building of the castle
alter Caerphilly?
11.What was the castle’s role in the
history of Wales?
12..What myths and legends are
associated with the castle?
13.How would the children advertise
Caerphilly Castle today?
14.What would they change if they
were Cadw?
15. How does the castle today tell us so
much about medieval times? Looking
at the building for clues
15. Look at the castle and decide what it tells us What have we learnt?