Knights in Armor


Fascinated with medieval knights? Put on imaginary armor to recreate epic art depicting the English Middle Ages. A gilded frame makes this project worthy of display in a museum.


1. Much has been romanticized about the gruesome battles of European medieval times. Photography had not been invented yet, so our view of warfare and battles are based on its idealized portrayal in paintings. When England was being built into a feudal state, any man, landowner, or mercenary who fought on horseback was called a knight. After his warhorse, a knight’s armor was his most prized possession.

2. Armor included a coat of mail, made with linked iron rings (sometimes as many as 40,000 hand-riveted links), and tailored to fit like a suit. The mail was flexible and allowed a knight to move easily. It weighed about 15 kg (33 lb). A padded garment of leather or cloth was often worn underneath the mail for comfort and additional protection.

3. Later, coverings of solid steel plates were added. Sometimes this armor had as many as 200 sliding segments so the knight had a full range of movement. All in all, a suit of armor weighed less than a soldier’s backpack weighs today. Find out more about the ways armor was worn.

4. Also, explore how weapons were used to pierce or crush the armor. What methods did horsemen use to fight? How did they use their swords and lances? When cannons and then later handguns were invented, knights and their style of fighting were no longer used on the battlefield. Are you ready to create your own medieval scene? Here’s one way to show your knowledge about knights in armor.

5. Cover your art area with recycled newspaper. Choose a recycled wooden picture frame. To decorate the frame, attach string to it with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the frame.

6. Sketch your medieval scene (smaller than the frame) with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils. Cut cardboard in the outline shape of the scene with Crayola Scissors.

7. Layer Crayola Model Magic on the cardboard to give your scene depth and dimension. Use colored pencil points to incise details such as banners and steel plates into the modeling material. Shape two pieces of Model Magic as feet for the frame so it can stand up. Air-dry the modeling material at least 24 hours.

8. Paint the frame and its supports with gold or silver Crayola Premier™ Tempera and Paint Brushes. Air-dry completely.

9. Paint your dried Model Magic scene with Crayola Artista II Tempera. Air-dry.

10. Glue feet to the frame. Air-dry the feet.

11. To suspend your medieval scene inside the frame, glue heavy string or a thin dowel stick to the cardboard back. Stretch and glue string to the back of the frame. Paint the string or stick to match the frame if you wish. Air-dry flat before displaying.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

Mirrors, Picture Frames, and Plant Pots—Close adult supervision is required when children use craft materials that could shatter or break. Handheld mirrors, picture frames with glass, ceramic pots, and similar breakable items may be used only by children 8 years and older. For children 7 years and younger, use unbreakable materials such as wood or sturdy plastic picture frames, unbreakable mirrors, and plant pots that will not shatter into sharp edges.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

String-Like Materials—Includes string, raffia, lacing, yarn, ribbon, and other similar material. Children 3 years and younger should not be given any string-like material that is longer than 12 inches. Close adult supervision is essential whenever children use string-like material. When crafts are to be worn around the necks of children 8 years and younger, attach the ends of the “string-like material” with clear adhesive tape, which allows easy release of the bond if the craft becomes entangled or caught on equipment. For children older than 8 years, the ends of the “string-like material” may be tied and knotted.

Wood—By its nature, wood is rough and may contain splinters or sharp points


  • Explore what people who fought the English knights wore. Study the armor of other areas around the world, such as that worn by a samurai warrior.
  • Contrast the life of the knight’s wife with that of her husband. What did she do? What was childhood like in the Middle Ages? Portray those findings in a similar fashion.
  • Plan a class trip to a Renaissance Faire. Look for historical inaccuracies as well as correct depictions.
  • Present a play---complete with original costumes, sets, and your own script---to show what life was like during this historic period.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Paint Brushes
  • Erasable Colored Pencils
  • Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint
  • Premier™ Tempera Paint
  • Model Magic®
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • string
  • paper towels
  • cardboard
  • container(s) of water
  • dowel stick (optional)
  • wooden picture frame



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students research the training and lifestyle of horsemen of Medieval England.

  • Students study the fabrication and development of a medieval knight’s armor.

  • Students sculpt a bas-relief depicting a scene based on the data they collect.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards