April 6, 2011

Renaissance Resources!

We're on to the Renaissance period in history, and just in time for the Renaissance Festival!  I'm told the one here is actually appropriate for kids, unlike the one in TN where every word you heard was a Shakespearean come-on and the woods were filled with scantily clad fairies/ladies of the night.  What?  You knew me in college and know that I dressed as a scantily clad fairy for the festival?  Yes, well, I'm doing my best not to send the same message to my kids about what the renaissance was really like!  LOL!  It in fact had nothing to do with fairies and people did speak about things other than sex (I think). 

Hannah Jane got burnt out on lapbooking when we were in the ancient times and using the lapbook-maniacal Tapestry of Grace curriculum (oh how I love that curriculum), but after taking a year off with K-12's equally fantastic history program for the Middle Ages, she's actually asking for lapbooking again!  Joy! 

But rather than actually lapbooking, the format for which I felt was a little constraining, we're notebooking and gluing lapbook mini books into her notebook.  I find that the lapbook elements start the ball rolling on a subject and then the freedom to journal whatever she likes on the notebook pages allows her more leeway.  There's somthing about just lapbooking that made her feel like, "Hey, I filled out all the little books, so I've learned all I need to learn," versus with notebooking, where she seems to think, "I just leaned about Shakespeare in that mini book, but now I have all these blank pages to fill with more cool Shakespeare things!"  Obviously, the second thought seems more conducive to real learning.  I like!

By far, the funniest moment of our studies this week happened when we learned about sonnets and the rules for making a poem that qualifies as a sonnet.  Hannah Jane said she simply couldn't think of what to write about so I said, "Sonnets are like these epic poems, loved by Shakespeare and the masses.  Just think of the thing you love most in this world and then be overly dramatic about it!  What do you love most?"  You want to know what she loves most?  Not a person, or an animal, or some sacred possession.  Nope.  Ice Cream!  And she wrote a long, over the top sonnet about the love and loss of ice cream!  Crack me up!

Along the way, I've found some pretty great free and/or cheap resources on the topic that I thought I'd throw your way in case you ever find yourself in the mood.

We've LOVED the free lap-booking printable by Dynamic 2 Moms!  Fun, pretty (and let's not pretend that pretty isn't important in lap-booking), and easy to follow.  The only draw back is that a lot of the information is handed to the kiddos in the lap-book pages.  I prefer for her to have to look up of find information on her own, so I simply pre cut the elements and opted not to glue all the answers under the flaps, but instead plop her down in front of Wikipedia to find them for herself!

Before I found the Dynamic 2 Moms, I ordered the $11 kit from Currclick by Hands of a Child.  This is a super complete deal with content, followed by lap-book elements to create based on the content.  It lays it out in a 7 day plan, but because we want to spend a full 6 months or so on the time period, I used it as a jumping off point for deeper investigation (enter those blank notebooking pages).

At the bottom of Dynamic 2 Moms' page, I found the link to the free DaVinci lap-book from Handle on the Arts, which I haven't browsed yet, but already ordered to my in-box!  Hannah Jane loved reading about Da Vinciand his crazy ideas.  Well, they weren't so crazy because we have most of them now, but they sure must have seemed crazy back in the day.  We love to study people like that!

For Shakespeare, we have watched the BBC animated Shakespeare on YouTube.  Each play is in 3 video segments, and although the accents on some can make them difficult to follow, they all have the script printed on the bottom of the screen, so you can read along if the accent is too much.  Very fun!  We've been watching one per day and then putting a poem about the play in our notebook.

And we're just getting started (yes all of this was just week 1!) so there will be more resources to come. 

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