Step-by-Step: Making Knights’ Shields
This week we made knights’ shields as part of our study of the Middle Ages. This was a simple, yet fun and educational craft. We learned that, by the late Middle Ages, knights’ armor was so effective that their shields were more for identifying each particular knight than for protection.
Both the colors and the symbols on the shields represented a certain characteristic of the knights and became known as his coat of arms. The coat of arms was passed down to the knight’s eldest son when the knight died.
We found a couple of good resources for making the shields. One was Medieval Projects You Can Do! by Marsha Groves. This book provided instructions on making a coat of arms, as well as information about what the colors and symbols meant.
The other was Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures: Medieval Castle by Joanna Cole. This one didn’t really tell much about knights, but the inside cover was decorated with tons of different shield designs and gave the kids ideas for fun things they could do.
We got our shield template from Story of the World Volume 2: Activity Guide, but it would be simple to draw your own.
Supplies for making knight’s shields
- Shield Template
- Cardboard, cardstock or empty cereal box
- X-acto knife
- Markers, crayons or colored Pencils
How to make knight’s shields
Step 1: Trace shield template on cardboard, card stock or even an empty cereal box. We used an old corrugated cardboard box.
Step 2: Using an X-acto knife, carefully cut out the shield shape.
Step 3: Decide what design and colors you want to use to represent you. Draw the design onto the shield and color it in.
Simple, but, lots of fun!
I think we’ll be doing this this week. I love Ms. Frizzle and my boys love swords, so you’ve just added a way for me to expand those interests into some fun and learning!
Thanks for sharing.
I touched on heraldry when we talked about the Palio during our study of Italy. I found these two sources great reference for what the symbols mean on a coat-of-arms:
Fleur-de-lis Designs and this Coat of Arms pdf.
Great project! Thanks for submitting it to the Hands On Homeschool blog carnival.
We just finished a unit on Knights and my son made a shield as well. I will have to get it posted on my blog. It was great to see yours as well. Marie
Thank you for your submission to the Homeschool History Buffs blog carnival!!!!! It looks like you guys had fun making these!