Primary School ARMA Educational Resources

Calligraphy Programme

Calligraphy is the art of creating decorative symbols by hand. The written word was a major art form during the medieval period, and calligraphers filled the pages of illuminated manuscripts with styled lettering,decorative flourishes, and illustrations. These decorations indicated the spiritual and monetary value of books. During this lesson, primary school pupils will learn about the process and history of calligraphy by comparing and contrasting examples of manuscripts from Europeana’s collections, historical objects associated with the practice of calligraphy, and by creating their own piece of calligraphy using a hand-made calligraphy pen.


Making Ink

Medieval Manuscripts provide scholars and historians with insights into society and culture during the Middle Ages. They are also of interest to scientists, as they provide evidence of how different coloured inks and dyes were created using materials found in nature. Under this theme, primary school pupils will have the opportunity to experiment with pigments from natural materials inspired by those used in Medieval Manuscripts. The first video will introduce pupils to ink making in the Medieval period, recipes to achieve different colours, and the level of creativity and ingenuity required to make such inks. The second video provides tutorials on how to make ink from foraged and natural materials found in your nearby area.

Reading Aloud

This programme will introduce primary school pupils to the practice of reading in the Middle Ages and how it was different from reading today. Pupils will begin by playing the interactive Reading Aloud Game, which will encourage them to think about what reading is and how it changed over time. The lesson plan that follows outlines a series of performance-based activities inspired by the research of Eleanor Giraud on Melodic Lection Marks, and how they aided with reading aloud. Following this programme, pupils will have a greater understanding of the practice of reading aloud in Medieval times, the shift towards silent reading, and how this changed our relationship with the written word.

Reading Medieval Coins

This lesson plan introduces primary school students to medieval coins. It focuses on how important these small objects were, not only for trade but in forging the identity of medieval rulers and their territories. Students will discover the different ways in which coins were used in the Middle Ages: From buying, selling and accumulating wealth, to political, religious and historical propaganda, to being used as spiritual tokens and amulets in pilgrimages. The aim of this learning scenario is to come into contact with medieval coins, not only as objects of economy but as objects that connect word and image in order to create a sense of identity and belonging. During this lesson, students will learn about medieval coins through an interactive online activity. They will then create their own coin, imagine and map their own land, and use their coins to trade resources with their classmates.


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