Early Medieval Art PDF

(2 customer reviews)


Early Medieval Art is a month-long unit in the Layers of Learning Middle Ages Arts course about Byzantine, Barbarian, and Viking Art. Use it with ages 6 to 18.


Early Medieval Art is the first unit in the Middle Ages Arts course. In this course the student will learn about the art of the Byzantines, Barbarians, and Vikings of Europe during the early middle ages. Students do hands on projects paired with books and videos.

You will learn that early art from medieval Europe was often solemn and religious including gold leafing, halos, and other imagery to inspire awe and reverence in the viewer. Then you are introduced to the Carolingian Renaissance and Charlemagne’s push for art and culture in his court. Finally, you get to explore Viking runes, symbolism, and religious and mythological themes. This unit contains sections on:

  • Byzantium
  • Barbarians
  • Carolingian Art
  • Celtic & Viking Art

Layers of Learning is an activity-based program. The mentor chooses from among the activities in the unit to create mental hooks for learning. Some of the activities in this unit include:

  • Painting your own icon on a wood panel
  • Gold leafing a picture
  • Chalk drawing with halos
  • Closely examining the Justinian Mosaic
  • Notebooking about metalworking among the Barbarians
  • Making a paper mosaic of a scene from the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
  • Crafting your own medieval book
  • And much more!

Each Layers of Learning Arts unit includes library lists of books, a family read-aloud suggestion, hands-on activities, printables and paper crafts, sidebars for extra learning, and tools to help you assess student’s progress and mastery. You can learn more about how Layers of Learning works in the Curriculum Guide or learn to teach art with the Arts Guidebook for mentors.

See Inside

Here is an inside view of a double page spread from Early Medieval Art:

An inside view of the Early Medieval Art unit

The center is where you will find the lessons plans to choose from. The sidebars are for extra information, discussion questions, Writer’s Workshop ideas, memory work, famous people, and so on. The mentor chooses activities and information to create a custom curriculum for your family or class.


This unit was written to be used for a month but contains plenty of content for many more weeks of learning if you choose. This is a pick-and-choose curriculum, meant to be cycled back to in the future when your child is older. As such, it intentionally includes far more material than you can possibly cover in a month.

Early Medieval Art is also part of the overall Middle Ages Arts course, the second Year of the four year Layers of Learning Arts cycle. If you use the program in order, it will take you though the art in chronological order, tracking with the Layers of Learning History units. However, each unit stands alone and can be used independently of any other unit.

Printable Pack

This unit comes with a downloadable Printable Pack that includes all the student worksheets. The printables can be copied as many times as needed for your family or class.

You can download the Printable Pack from your receipt or from your account at Layers of Learning.

This is a view of the cover of the Early Medieval Art Printable Pack and two of the pages. Here you can see an exploration into the Hagia Sophia, built by the Byzantines and one page of art cards for this unit, showing some early medieval architecture.

Extra Resources

This unit comes with extra weblinks and a YouTube video playlist on the Middle Ages Arts Resources page.


PDF Download





Cycle Year

Year Two

Product Type

Single Units



2 reviews for Early Medieval Art PDF

  1. leeloo66

    Art is always a favorite subject in our home, and Early Medieval Art is no exception! Our favorite was making a mosaic from plaster!

  2. Kaya Seaton

    Wonderful activities to engage all kinds of learners! We gold leafed our own photos, dove deep into the discovery of the Sutton Hoo mask, and made our very own Medieval books! SOOO much fun!

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