Art History: The Middle Ages

Art History: The Middle Ages


About this course

This class is part of the full-year art history series. Other classes in this series include:

Art History: Ancient Civilizations

Art History: Indigenous Americas

Art History: Renaissance Masters

Recommended Ages: This class is ideal for students ages 10-17. Younger academically gifted students will be accepted.

Levels: There is only one level for this class.

Start Date: January 4. Class runs for 4 weeks.  Students have two weeks after the last class is posted to complete the course. No live classes- do the lesson plans on YOUR schedule.

Price:  $60

Space Available: FULL. Class is not currently open for enrollment. Please join our mailing list to find out when it will be open for enrollment again.

This Medieval Art History class is a focused course in the Next Level Homeschool Art History Series. This course will act as an introductory course into the art and architecture of Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages. This course will teach students how to identify the trademarks of the art of the Medieval period, interpret those works of art using art historical methods of observation, comparison, and inductive reasoning, and then relate those aspects to their distinct cultural, economic, and political contexts.

Studying the works of art and architecture of the Medieval period helps us to understand the lives and culture of the peoples that lived during this transitional period of human history. This class is intended to connect the timeline from the Ancient Period, through the Middle Ages, and into the Renaissance.

This class will serve as a base for students to build future explorations into the artistic practices and famous works of this time period of human history. Students will gain a better understanding for how to discuss art through the perspective of an art historian. It is also recommended (but not required) for any art history courses that students first take Introduction to Art.

LESSON PLANS: This is an 4 week class. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete all work. Weekly lesson plans are posted on Tuesdays by 5pm Pacific Time. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy students who need to work on their own schedule, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones.

Lesson plans are a combination of power point, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them. There is no textbook for this course.

DISCUSSION:There are weekly discussions about the lesson plan with the instructor. We also offer an “open talk” forum where students can have fun getting to know their classmates!

ASSIGNMENTS: Students will have a choice of small projects each week (which will take about 10-15 minutes each to complete), and will also be assigned one larger weekly project. Students will be able to complete the assignments in the medium of their choice. Check out our facebook page for examples of student projects. All students receive instructor feedback on submitted work.

QUIZZES: Online quizzes are available each week as a tool for students to see how well they understand the material. Format is generally multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank.

GRADES: All students will have access to our online learning system where they can view their lesson plan and assignments, take optional quizzes, access our discussion boards, submit assignments, and view instructor feedback on those assignments. You have the option of having your student’s assignments graded or not. In a given semester, you choose whether you want all or none of that student’s classes to receive grades (for example, if they are taking 3 classes, all 3 classes must be either graded or not graded). You can change the option the following semester. Graded students will be required to take the weekly quiz and will receive a number grade for their assignments in addition to feedback. They will also receive a final report card that you can print and keep for your records. Please note: All quizzes and some homework assignments that require an online “quiz” like entry will receive a grade.

TIME: In general, expect 1-1.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-3 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time).

Week 1: Medieval Art

The first lesson of the course will explore early Medieval art in Europe. Students will learn about artistic styles of such civilizations as the Norse, Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and we will even explore the Viking era. We will take a look at early Christian, Jewish, and Muslim art, including religious texts and images. Students will get to take a closer look at some of the first known illustrated manuscripts from the Western world.

Week 2: Islamic Art

The second week of the class will explore Islamic art and architecture of the Islamic Golden Age during the Middle Ages. Students will learn about such iconic works of architecture as The Kaaba in Mecca, The Dome of the Rock, and The Great Mosque of Cordoba, including distinct elements of Islamic architectural style. We will also explore Islamic mosaic, ceramic, metal, and glass art, as well as book and manuscript art, including calligraphy and decorated Qur’an manuscripts.

Week 3: Romanesque Art

This week will explore the Romanesque period in Europe. Students will learn about Romanesque era architecture, which set the foundation for the future of Gothic architecture. We will also take a look into the unique features of Romanesque sculptural, architectural, and mosaic styles. This lesson will also explore those most famous examples of textile and manuscript art that hallmarked this period of European art history.

Week 4: Gothic Architecture

The third week of the class will focus on the origins of the Gothic Age in France and England. The lesson will explore the Age of Cathedrals, including iconic elements of Gothic architecture and stain-glass windows. Students will learn about such historical Gothic icons such as the Chartres Cathedral and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Remis in France, and the Salisbury Cathedral in England. We will explore other works of art from the Gothic period in Europe, focusing on sculptures, paintings, and manuscript art.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to recognize the difference in artistic styles from the Early Medieval period to the late Gothic period—from architecture and sculpture, to manuscripts and religious texts and images, to painting techniques—students will learn the development of art history which brought the Western world out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, which would follow the Gothic period.


Our course begins with the first step for generating great user experiences: understanding what people do, think, say, and feel. In this module, you’ll learn how to keep an open mind while learning.

Total numbers of students in course