with Kim Rodgers
What a great time we had today! We started off sharing what we wrote on our notebooking pages about our last class, and going over the maps. Then we headed into our topic for today, The Early Days of Britain, which detailed the history of the Celts at the end of the Roman Empire. Bards passed stories down of warring tribes of Celts vying for ownership of land. The leader of one tribe, named King Vortigern, was so concerned about enemy tribes taking over his land that he sent a message across the North Sea to the Angles and the Saxons inviting them to come over and help them battle in exchange for land in Britain. After they helped the tribe successfully defeat their enemies, the Angles and the Saxons sent word to their people that Britain was a wonderful place to live, inviting them to come over and settle there as well! So many came over that it was eerily reminiscent of the Romans invading their land. Some Celts gave in and lived among the Anglo-Saxons, while others retreated to the north and the west forming what we now call Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Because a lot of the history was passed down by bards (people who told stories using poetry or song) and not through the written word, we refer to this time as the Dark Ages. One story that has been passed down is Beowulf. We read a simplified, poetic version of this story in class.
After discussing what we read, the class transformed from a group of young children to a Celtic warrior tribe in battle. We made battle axes, used blue paint to decorate our faces and bodies, and tried to make our hair stand on end. The Celts did this to intimidate their enemies...and it seemed to work a lot of the time! The kids had a blast deciding how to decorate themselves and lashing their ax heads to their posts. At the end of class we waited until the other classes came outside. The warriors stormed them, yelling and running full force!
For homework they have the notebooking page and another map. I reminded the students today that the notebooking page is for writing down what we learned in class. It’s as if someone is asking them what we read about today and they are telling them in as much detail as possible their answers. Again, please feel free to write for your child if they are overwhelmed by the amount of information they want to share. Oftentimes they just need someone with them while they’re writing or re-telling the story to ask, “What happened next?” I included details of what we studied in order to give you some information if you need to help them with the notebooking.
Next week have your child bring in the notebooking page and the map to share. No need to bring anything else. I’ll provide everything for the activity. Again, if you have any questions, please e-mail me anytime.
See you next week!