Medieval Icon Project for kids - draw your own icon about something that is important to you.

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Icon Project

Byzantine icon
Byzantine icon of St. Catherine
(1300s AD)

In the Middle Ages, people believed that a painting or statue of the Christian God, or Jesus, or Mary, or one of the saints, could really serve as a sort of mailbox so God or a saint would hear your prayer and help you get better from being sick, or make you lucky before an exam, or protect you on a trip you were making.

So people (especially monks) made a lot of these elaborate holy pictures, which we call icons.

Maybe you'd like to paint your own icons. Study what icons look like on the Internet, or in an art history book of medieval painting. Then try to paint a sacred or lucky image of your own - it doesn't have to be Jesus or Mary, it might be of your lucky planet, or anything that has special meaning for you. It might be your own mother or father or teacher. Think about how the medieval artists made the saint seem special, with the gold background, and the halo. What will you do to make your picture special?

To find out more about icons, check out these books from Amazon or from your local library:

Other activities:

Making icons
Building a castle
Making chain mail bracelets
Growing herbs

Main Middle Ages project page

Copyright 2012-2014 Karen Carr, Portland State University. This page last updated 2014. Powered by Dewahost.

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