Legends of King Arthur
Lesson plans and other teaching resources
Activities here include creating a personal coat of arms and an action figure based on their reading. Adobe Reader required for access to the activities.
Grade-level-specific resources for teaching about the Arthurian Legend are available by clicking on the "Teaching" link.
Castles & Cornerstones
This lesson will explore the historic importance and function of castles in King Arthur's time and introduce students to a general history of castles and architectural terms.
Chivalry and Courtly Love
Students will explore the Arthurian codes of chivalry and courtly love as portrayed in art, modern films, books, and poetry. They will examine the way in which these ideals have influenced our modern concepts of love, friendship, and honorable behavior. The lesson will culminate in a group-based theatrical project, in which students synthesize their knowledge and understanding of these ideals of chivalry, honor, and courtly love, to write a script, create scenery, and act out a short thematic play.
Exploring Arthurian Legend
Students use Web resources to explore historical and literary aspects of the King Arthur legends.
A Host of Heroes
This TED-ED video (4:54) uses examples from Beowulf , Oedipus , Romeo and Juliet , Star Wars , Zorro , and King Arthur to explore the differences between the epic, tragic, and romantic hero. Captioned, includes follow-up questions.
Is Romance Dead?
As an introduction to the medieval romances, students compare and contrast the medieval rules of courtly love to the modern "rules" of courtship and romance. Students write a compare/contrast essay after group work and class discussion.
This music video includes clips from the movie Excalibur and a haunting tune to give an overview of the story. The video runs 3:26 and is a great introduction to a unit on King Arthur.
King Arthur and His Knights
After reading an excerpt from a selected tale of King Arthur, students conduct research on selected topics regarding the Arthurian legend or life in the Middle Ages. Students present their findings in both a documented 300-500 word report and a slideshow presentation. This lesson plan includes handouts and a rubric; it is designed for grade 7.
King Arthur's Round Table 'found' - except it's not a table, but a Roman amphitheatre in Chester
A good nonfiction piece to use before/during/after reading.
I Got Friends in the Middle Ages, where Arthur rules and Guinevere chases ... Lancelot
"Through the study of the Arthurian legend [high school] students will gain insight into the foundations of many literary plots and cultural practices easily recognized in their time and apply that knowledge to become more culturally aware." This 39-page interdisciplinary unit plan requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.
Several links to historical information.
King Arthur -- Romancing Politics
Historical and literary background and criticism. Follow links on the left for a variety of other resources.
King Arthur: Man or Legend
Students will learn about the legend of King Arthur as depicted in stories, poems, and artwork. Students will explore the similarities and differences between King Arthurs persona as depicted in legend and in history, and learn how historic events gradually merged with fantasy to create the story of King Arthur that we know today. Students will examine the symbolism of the Round Table, The Holy Grail, and Excalibur, and learn about medieval clothing and regalia. Based on their knowledge and discussion of context, symbolism, and costuming, students will then craft an outline for a theatrical performance, which will be performed by for the class. Designed for grades 5-8.
The Legend of King Arthur
Vocabulary, focus questions, additional links, classroom activities. Can be used with the Assignment Discovery video. This lesson emphasizes the dramatic monologue.
Legends -- King Arthur
This site provides links to "the cream of the many existing Arthurian sites."
List of films based on Arthurian legend
An extensive list. Follow link at the bottom to a second list.