March 13, 2008

If You Lived in the Time of the Knights Lesson Plan

This semester at our homeschool coop I am helping teach an "If You Lived in the Time of..." series based roughly on the book series. We have 16 kids, 5 girls and 11 boys all between 2nd and 5th grade. For the first week we looked at If You Lived during the time of the knights. We began the class with a talk time, then split them into various stations to rotate through in smaller groups. Then brought them back together for another short talk time while they eat and then finish with playing some big group games all together.

During the talk time we did some general Q and A about the time of the knights. Asking questions like why are the lights off in the room? What does all the stuff around us look like? And then gave a simple overview of the time period and what we were going to do in the stations. This was pretty brief because we spent a lot of time at our stations. The class period is just under an hour.

We had four stations

Physical Training to become a knight

bow and arrow practice
wooden sword/shield battle
code of honor discussion
look at and handle a real sword (one person at a time in the middle of the room not near anyone else).

Castle Life
Castle figures and actual plastic or wooden castle as model
Castles - parts of - how they lived discussion with a great popup book on castles.

Writing and Scribes
Book of kells sample to look at
sample coloring book of kells page for each
coat of armor - family shield using a quill pen and ink


jester hat
castle dress up
musical instruments

Group Games

hunt the slipper
blind mans bluff

rose petal bread
hard cheese

The kids rotated through all stations ending with the food. This class moved very quickly and the kids seemed to enjoy themselves. Two things to note. The sword fighting, bow and arrow station was VERY hectic especially with our older boys. The ink was VERY messy and challenging for them to work with. I have three other teachers with me. Each station requires an adult to lead the activity and share interesting facts/discussion from the time period.

We ended the class with our teenage boy helper knighting all the boys in the class. They kneeled before him and with the sword on their shoulders he dubbed them "Sir x.." - it was kind of a fun way to end the class.

You could easily take out a few stations - the first to go I think would be the ink because it is messy. Though the kids did enjoy getting to try it and realize how much work writing the book of kells really was.

We saved their work for a class book we were making in the next class. At the end of the semester they will have a book with work from all the time periods we study.

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