How was life different in the Middle Ages compared to now?
The period in European history between ancient and modern times (500 to 1500 AD) is known as the Middle Ages or Medieval times.
When thinking about how life was different in the Middle Ages, you might like to compare everyday things like clothes, work, food, houses, towns, machines and technology. You could also consider Religion or the Church, crime and punishment and education.
For history topics like this, we like to start with the BBC Schools website. They have a great section on the Middle Ages with lots of diagrams and illustrations:
Scroll down to find the orange box that says 'Bitesize'
Click on the link
Go to 'KS3' (this is for 11-14 years)
Click on 'The Middle Ages (12th-15th century)' to find Everyday life in the Middle Ages
The British Library Learning site has more info - go to 'History' and then 'Medieval Realms' to find out about Medieval towns, rural life, the Church, food and more. This site also has primary sources - have a look at a recipe from the oldest cookery book. We like this website because you can click on 'About the author' at the bottom of the article to find out who has written the information.
We also recommend the EPIC databases. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this. Go to Britannica School, then open the search bar under 'Middle' (Intermediate level). Enter your keywords 'Middle Ages'. The first article Middle Ages (European history) includes a sections on 'Children's lives', the 'Church' (including monks and nuns) and 'Crime and punishment', but if you scroll down the page from your original search you will also find information about technology, hairdressing, shelter, education and more.
HOT TIP: To get to the EPIC databases you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or, you can log on to AnyQuestions.co.nz between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online.
Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
The website lordsandladies.org covers many aspects of the Middle Ages including the daily life of a Nun, food, clothing, weapons and torture. You can select these topics from the menu on the front page.
HOT TIP: We like sites that are from reputable organisations, because we can trust the information. You can tell these sites by their web address – they have.org in their address.
For related information, use your keywords 'Middle Ages' and 'Medieval' to search our ManyAnswers website for entries like Knights, Castles, The Crusades and more.