Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Whole Body History Lessons

Wow, two busy days in a row!  I still can't work out a reliable pattern to our days, energy levels etc.  Generally things are better on Mondays, but not so much on Tuesdays - usually that is... still, it's lovely when all the boys (and I) are full of enthusiasm for learning at the same time, and that was our lovely day today.

We started with handwriting this morning, and then Eldest got back to the art activity that he had found yesterday - a sheep picture using wool wrapped round card to print the grass with!  Of course all of his brothers also wanted a turn, and it wasn't difficult (Youngest just needed a little help cutting out the 'cloud' shapes for the sheep) so they made their pictures almost entirely without my input.  While they waited for the green paint to dry, Eldest and Youngest helped me to make some orange chocolate and pecan cookies... yum!

Then while the cookies baked they removed the cloud/ sheep templates and then added black faces and legs... finally adding googly eyes when everything was dry...

Eldest's "Sheep Family"

Middle's "Strange Sheep"

Youngest's "Sheep Kissing Butts"

Next it was time for some more history.  Today we were due to be looking at the Magna Carta, but I didn't want to just jump from (last week's) William the Conqueror to John I, so we did a whistle-stop tour of the monarchs who reigned in between first.  I had a book on King John to read to them, so we did a more active way of looking at the kings first: I typed out a couple of short sentences for each king and printed them onto paper - each child was given two or three pieces of paper to read out in total, and for each sentence we also came up with actions to go alongside the words.  For example, Youngest read out "I am William the Conqueror", and we all punched our fists in the air for victory.  When he mentioned the Domesday Book we pretended to be writing information down and all cried out "we're DOOMED!".  For William Rufus someone else had to shoot him in the back with an arrow (our arrow had a sucker end instead of a sharp tip!)  We had so much fun acting out the various stabbings and tempers etc that I thought I'd write it down and add it to the PDF (here), in case anyone else fancies a go.  I will have to update when we get through the rest of the Plantagenets though - we stopped at King John today.

Following the mad activity, the boys settled down nicely for the story of King John and the Magna Carta. The book I read was a bit long, so I did skip some of the details in case they might have lost interest.  I was impressed though that they stuck with the story right to the end, without me skipping too much at all. Then the boys drew their own illustration from the story and watched the Horrible Histories special episode on the Magna Carta.  I'm hoping we might fit in a trip to Runnymede this weekend - we'll have to see how good the weather is.  It would be nice, but I don't mind too much if not - we had so much fun today as it was!

by Eldest

by Middle

by Youngest

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