Friday, November 29, 2013

Finishing up the first semester of Medieval History

My student is beginning to write more, so I am trying to encourage that a little in our history class.  I pulled some assorted mini-books related to medieval knights and castles (most from Homeschool Share's level 3 lapbooks on that subject) and we worked several periods on creating a small lapbook he could take home.  As part of that, I asked him to choose one real life knight from the time period we've been studying or are studying now and write a short report on him including these facts, if possible:

When and where did he live
What were some of his notable achievements
Why was he successful militarily and what were some of his famous battles
 (Using the computer or dictating this is fine!)

I asked him to choose from these:

Charlemagne (742 - 814)
William the Conqueror (1028 - 1087)
Richard the Lionheart (1157 - 1195)
William Wallace (died 1305)
El Cid (1043 - 1099)
Alexander Nevsky (1230 - 1263)
Edward the Black Prince (1330 - 1376)

This creates a good opportunity to show students how to use encyclopedia articles to compose reports (if your library has become as devoid of biographies as mine)....

Here are some books to read to go along with these personalities, but the student will have to separate fact from fiction.  King Richard is in the background of the Robin Hood stories and his absence is the supposed reason for the gathering of the outlaw band in the first place.  In some stories he makes an appearance, but we are looking for the facts known about Richard, separate from the legends, in creating a report about his life....  Many of these books that I suggest have introductory notes or end notes that tell about the history related to the books.  By all means make certain to always read these!

There are no books regarding William Wallace at my library, but there is a short mystery of history video (50 minutes).

Of course, there are no books on any of them or even pertaining to their country at that time period.  I am at a loss as to why our library carries no books any more, but I guess you can't learn history if you can't find any books to read about history, so perhaps we'll all be good little revisionists of one form or another someday soon....  There are encyclopedias still on the shelves, so far as I know, and you can certainly use various online encyclopedias, too.... 
There is some info on El Cid in chapter 18 of SOTW and some info on Richard the Lionhearted in chapter 19....
What I found:

History's mysteries. [DVD] / The true story of Braveheart. Visual Materials. A&E Home Video :, [2005].
Miles, Bernard. Robin Hood, his life and legend. Chicago : Rand McNally, 1979.
Pyle, Howard. The merry adventures of Robin Hood. New York : Baronet Books, c1990.  
And here is a chapter from an online book regarding Edward the Black Prince: - perhaps there will be some useful info there....
At this time I gave my student some info on creating his own shield with coat-of-arms.  Students might choose to do both a larger shield, as well as a couple of small ones - one could be put into a lapbook and one on any time line they might be creating.  I wanted my student to think about why it was important to carry shields and wear other battle gear that exhibited their coats-of-arms.
At this time I also assigned chapter 17 in SOTW, which is about the Samurai warriors of Japan. 
Additional reading for that, as well as more on knights:
Gravett, Christopher. Knight. London ;: DK Pub., 2004.
Kimmel, Eric A. Sword of the samurai : adventure stories from Japan. San Diego : Harcourt Brace, c1999.
Kimmel, Eric A. Three samurai cats : a story from Japan. New York : Holiday House, 2003.
Macdonald, Fiona. Monarchs in the Middle Ages. Milwaukee, WI : World Almanac Library, 2006. (Not to read, but just to see if there is any info on any of the above listed knights that he might use for his report....)
Macdonald, Fiona. How to be a Samurai warrior. Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, 2005.
Macdonald, Fiona. How to be a medieval knight. Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, c2005.
Macdonald, Fiona. You wouldn't want to be a Samurai! : a deadly career you'd rather not pursue. New York : Franklin Watts, 2010, c2009.
Macdonald, Fiona. You wouldn't want to be a medieval knight! : armor you'd rather not wear. New York : Franklin Watts, 2004.
McCarthy, Ralph F. The inch-high samurai. Tokyo ;: Kodansha International, 1993.
Neuschwander, Cindy. Sir Cumference and the first round table : a math adventure. Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, c1997.
O'Brien, Patrick. The making of a knight : how Sir James earned his armor. Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, 1998.
Scieszka, Jon. Sam Samurai. New York : Viking, 2001.
Tanaka, Shelley. In the time of knights : the real-life story of history's greatest knight. New York : Hyperion, c2000.

Hopefully those on knights are not repeats of suggestions already made!
Here's an online heraldry game students might enjoy:
Create a coat-of-arms online:
A site that tells what the different symbols of heraldry mean:
I have been trying to get my student to talk to me more about the books he's reading outside of our class time since we have so little time together each week.  Toward that end, his mother was able to get him to start dictating some "reports" to her - really just a sentence at first, but they are growing longer....  I took the first few and cut and pasted them, along with pictures of the books, onto a castle template I found online.  I then gave him a similar blank template and asked him to pick his favorite book from the next week and fill in plot, setting, and character info, as well as his favorite part of the book.  I will next be making a sword template to display some of his other reports, then giving him a similar blank to provide another report for me....
I also found some other forms for various types of reports online that I can use to give him more guidance in doing reports for me.  He currently is completing one of those.
For history reading, I asked him to cover chs. 18 and 19 in SOTW regarding the period of the Crusades and Richard the Lion-hearted (Robin Hood)....
Books he might like to look at:
Cohen, Barbara. The Canterbury tales. New York, NY : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, c1988.   
Cooney, Barbara. Chanticleer and the fox. New York : Crowell, c1958. 
Daugherty, James Henry. The Magna charta. Sandwich, MA : Beautiful Feet Books, [1998?]. (Good info on King John and how monarchies began to change at this time - will be important later in the founding of America) 
Grant, K. M. Blood red horse. New York : Walker & Co., 2005. (I don't know this one, but it sounds like it might be interesting....) 
Gravett, Christopher. Knight. New York : Dorling Kindersley, 2000.
Hanel, Rachael. Life as a knight : an interactive history adventure. Mankato, Minn. : Capstone Press, 2010.
Jinks, Catherine. Pagan's crusade. Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2003. (I don't know this one, either....) 
Konigsburg, E. L. A proud taste for scarlet and miniver. New York : Atheneum, c1973. (Quirkly little book but gives a good synopsis of the lives of Eleanor, her husband and children, without getting into details not appropriate for younger children....)
Macdonald, Fiona. You wouldn't want to be a crusader! : a war you'd rather not fight. New York : Franklin Watts, 2005. 
Magna Carta. Peterborough, NH : Cobblestone Pub., 2000. 
McCaughrean, Geraldine. The Canterbury tales. London, England ;: Puffin Books, 1996, c1984. 
Stanley, Diane. Saladin : Nobel Prince of Islam. [New York] : HarperCollins Publishers, c2002. 
Weil, Sylvie. My guardian angel. New York : Scholastic Press, 2005. (This is another book set during the time of the Crusades that I don't know....) 
Wildsmith, Brian. Saint Francis. Grand Rapids, Mich. ;: Oxford University Press, 1996

I have continued providing him with some info sheets the past couple of weeks regarding various aspects of this time period.  Some come from a Milliken "workbook" (although it's mostly just reading material) on the Middle Ages; some from Dover or Bellepheron coloring books, which provide a lot of good info and black line drawings (even for those who don't like to color).
His lapbook including a pocket for vocab cards and I got him started on some, then asked him to look for more words in the books he is reading each week.  A lot of French and Germanic words are coming into the language used at this time period so it's a good time to study some of those.
For the next week, I asked that he read SOTW ch. 20 on the Jewish diaspora and these library books:

Dance, Sing, Remember: A Celebration of Jewish Holidays, Leslie Kimmelman

Israel, Adele Richardson

The Rabbi Who Flew, Renate Dollinger

Hanukkah Hop!  Erica Silverman

The Travels of Benjamin Tudela, Uri Shulevitz

Next Year in Jerusalem, Howard Schwartz

We have already really talked some about this subject last year, so I think it's a good time to also go ahead and listen to SOTW ch. 21, about the Mongols.  Extra reading for that:

Genghis Khan, Demi (also spelled Chingis)

Genghis Khan, Mongul Conqueror of the World - Cobblestone

Kubla (also spelled Kublai) Khan: The Emperor of Everything, Kathleen Krull

The Legend of Mulan, Wei Jiang

The Song of Mu Lan, Jeanne Lee

The Hunter, Mary Casanova

Liang and the Magic Paintbrush, Demi

The Paper Dragon, Marguerite Davol (if not already read)

Mongolia: Vanishing Cultures, Jan Reynolds

Mongols, Nicole Helget
These topics are probably all we will cover prior to our Christmas break,



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