Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Medieval Castles

Nanette Merrell


The students design a scale model of a medieval castle and its surroundings including the following items: castle, moat, bailey, drawbridge, turrets, dungeon, grounds, and outer walls.


The student uses concrete and graphic models to develop procedures for solving problems related to measurement including length, weight, time, temperature, perimeter, area, volume, and angles.

The student solves real-world problems involving length, weight, perimeter, area, capacity, volume, time, temperature, and angles.


-Art paper
-Colored pencils


1. Learn the meaning of the vocabulary.
2. Find some models or pictures of castles.
3. Find maps that show scale measurements in the legend or key.
4. Obtain needed materials.


1. Discuss the vocabulary words from the objective of helping students visualize the parts of a castle.
2. Show pictures of castles or diagram a few of them on the board.
3. Discuss what a scale model is.
4. Show examples of scale modeling. Explain how a bailey might be 25 feet tall, but it could be drawn with 1/2 inch equaling a foot. Show how a scale model can be made and converted to on their drawings.
5. Help students come up with a legend and key that includes a measuring scale for their individual castles.
6. Brainstorm ideas of how a castle might look - modeling an example on the board. Students will form initial ideas for their own designs by watching how this is done on the board.
7. After modeling, allow class time for students to begin drawing their own models. Browse the classroom to check students' progress and offer assistance as needed. (A second 45-minute session may be used if additional time is needed for students to complete their drawings.)
8. Collect and assess students' work.
9. Extension: Students can make an actual three dimensional model based on the designs they have created.


Assess students' completed drawings. The students should have included in their drawings all the vocabulary words learned (labeling). They should also have a scale measurement key in their legend. The grades may be obtained from the following rubric:

A = All vocabulary is used and scale measurement is accurate.
B = Most of the vocabulary is used. Scale is accurate.
C = Part of the vocabulary is used. Scale is in place, but not necessarily accurate.
D = Very few if no vocabulary are used. There is no scale.
F = Project is incomplete and student didn't show that any vocabulary or scale modeling concepts were learned.


This was one of several lessons used with the reading of the WHIPPING BOY, ADAM OF THE ROAD AND THE DOOR IN THE WALL.
The students could write a diary pretending they are someone who is living in a castle either as nobility or as a serf.

Web Links

Web supplement for Medieval Castles
Medieval Castles

Web supplement for Medieval Castles

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