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Joan of Arc Mini Unit Study

Joan of Arc was born to a French peasant family during the Hundred Years' War between England and France. When she was a young teen, Joan said she heard the voices of saints who told her that she must personally fight to help free France from England and help place Charles VII (the Dauphin) on the throne. So, when she was just sixteen years old, she begged to join the French forces loyal to Charles – but was rejected. One year later, dressed in men’s clothes, she was able to meet with Charles and tell him about the saintly voices she heard and the daring plans they whispered to her to free the city of Orleans, which was held by the English. Amazingly, Charles agreed to Joan's plan. Joan then rode with the troops into battle and defeated the English at Orleans.

She would then go on to capture more cities, but in the spring of 1840, she herself was captured and sold to the Bishop of Beauvais. At the behest of England, an Inquisition was held, trying Joan for heresy - for the voices she heard and later, for dressing as a man. Joan confessed, then recanted, and was ultimately burned at the stake one year after her capture at the age of nineteen. Today, Joan is celebrated in France as a national hero and is admired by international students of history for her bravery and courage.

In this mini unit study, you can: read about Joan’s life and death, learn about the Hundred Years' War, read a complete biography of Joan written by Mark Twain, see an actual letter Joan wrote to the King of England, take a pictorial tour of Joan’s world, review a timeline of her life, and fill in a research worksheet with what you have learned.


Read this 17-part hyperlinked story on Joan's childhood, military victories , trial and death:

Joan's Story


Need some background on the Hundred Years' War? This article provides a short overview:

Hundred Years' War


Read the Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, written by Mark Twain (older students) :

Part 1

Part 2


Primary Sources

A letter to the King of England from Joan:

Joan's letter



Take a pictorial tour through Joan's world:

Pictorial tour


Review a timeline of the key events in Joan of Arc's life:

Timeline of key events


Fill in this research worksheet with everything you have learned about Joan of Arc: 

Research worksheet

Recommended Resource

Joan of Arc

Of all the books written on Joan of Arc for the younger crowd, this one is by far the best. Not only does the narrative cover Joan's life, but also places all of her actions in the historical context of the ongoing war between France and England.

Although the book is targeted at readers ages 9-12, because of the lavish illustrations throughout, it could also be used a read-aloud for younger children interested in medieval history.

Book (Paperback)
Authors: Diane Stanley

Amazon Price: $6.99

Read more about the book on Amazon

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