Meet The Medieval Peasant

by  The Sheffield Museum of Rural Life (Canada)

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Visit with an in-character peasant in his home in medieval England, and teach your students about how 90% of the medieval population lived.

The peasant is prepared to discuss all facets of medieval life, such as the manor system, agriculture, religion, daily life, gender roles, crime & punishment, warfare, health, family life, social hierarchy, and entertainment.

This is an opportunity to interview a person from the past (or the next best thing). The students and teacher direct the discussion through their questions. The peasant will have on hand farm tools, weapons, sporting equipment, musical instruments, and coins, and will teach students a medieval dance with live music on the bagpipes.

The Peasant is usually a farmer from the 1430s who fought against Joan of Arc as a foot-soldier, but a peasant can be brought from other medieval eras to better suit your course of study, for example the Viking era, or the First Crusade. Also, the peasant could be based on one of the characters from Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", such as The Reeve, The Ploughman, or The Franklin.

The peasant's home is an accurate reproduction of a medieval interior wall inside a home in the English village of Tintinhull.

Comments from teachers:
"The presentation gave the students a chance to ask their questions of a "real" peasant. The presenter was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and stayed in character at all times; even when our savvier students tried to trip him up, he never missed a beat with his answers."

"All staff involved commented that they were impressed by the presenter's level of knowledge on the subject and had their own questions answered."

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About This Program


By Request: $150.00
By Request Premium: $125.00

Since we are in Canada, the price may need to be modified, depending on the current exchange rate.


60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) Pre-K Students, Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult LearnersPublic Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:

no minimum

Maximum participants:

There is no maximum, but for optimum interactivity, we suggest no more than 40 students.

Primary Disciplines

Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)

Booking Information

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We are willing to make every effort possible to re-schedule when necessary, but sessions canceled with less than 24 hours notice will be billed in full, unless there are severe circumstances, such as illness, weather, and school closure.

About This Provider

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The Sheffield Museum of Rural Life (Canada)

Sheffield, Ontario

The Sheffield Museum of Rural Life preserves, studies, and teaches broad elements of rural heritage, with a specific focus on the history of the village of Sheffield, Ontario, and a wider focus on the medieval European background of North American rural culture.

Marty Pullin

Program Details


1. The presentation begins with the peasant welcoming the group to his home and telling them about himself.
2. Students are invited to ask any questions they would like to ask, and the peasant shapes his answers to ensure that the major facets of life in medieval times get covered, and the large supply of medieval artifacts are used to help explain.
3. If desired by the teacher, the peasant will teach the students a traditional dance, and will then play live music for them while they dance.
4. The remaining time is for final questions.


The participant will:
-interview a character from the past
-investigate daily life in the middle ages
-participate in a traditional dance
-observe the technology used in medieval times

Standards Alignment

National Standards


* Understands selected attributes and historical developments of societies in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe

The student in grades 5-12 should understand
* the redefining of European society and culture, 1000-1300 CE.
* patterns of crisis and recovery in Afro-Eurasia, 1300-1450.
* major global trends from 1000-1500 CE.

Canada - Ontario
Medieval Times - Overview
Students discover the major features of daily life in medieval European societies. Students
investigate the major events and influences of the era and determine how they shaped medieval
society. Students apply their understandings to compare communities in medieval times with their own communities today.
Overall Expectations
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
• identify and describe major features of daily life and social organization in medieval
European societies from about 500 to 1500 C.E. (Common Era);
• relate significant elements of medieval societies to comparable aspects of contemporary
Canadian communities.
Specific Expectations
Knowledge and Understanding
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
– describe the hierarchical structure of
medieval society and the types of people in it (e.g., peasants, officials, scholars, clergy,
merchants, artisans, royalty, nobles), and explain how and why different groups cooperated or came into conflict at different times (e.g., to promote trade, to wage war, to introduce the Magna Carta);
– describe aspects of daily life for men, women, and children in medieval societies (e.g., food, housing, clothing, health, religion, recreation, festivals, crafts, justice, roles);
– describe some of the ways in which religions shaped medieval society (e.g., Catholicism, Judaism, Islam; events and practices: pilgrimages, tithing, confession, festivals; occupations: clergy, caliph, nuns, monks; buildings: cathedrals, mosques, monasteries, temples, synagogues; influences on the arts; the building of libraries);
– describe medieval agricultural methods
and innovations (e.g., common pasture,
three-field rotation, fertilizers, the padded
horse collar, the wheeled plough, mills), and explain why the innovations were important;
– outline important ways in which medieval
society changed over time (e.g., growth of
towns, specialization of labour, changes in
transportation methods, changes to law and justice), and give reasons for the changes.
– compare aspects of life in a medieval
community and their own community (e.g., with respect to housing, social structure, recreation, land use, geography, climate, food, dress, government