When I was planning our castle study, I knew this was an opportunity to a practical, more field trip based learning. So I asked Gary if he would mind taking some time off for us to go and visit a couple of castles and spend enough time in them and exploring them that the children would have a real feel for them. That said, you know I’d never be able to turn down a good book, so here are the two I had on hand. I read aloud Macaulay’s Castle book and had the children read through the Eye-witness one:
I have a love/hate relationship with Macaulay’s books, in that I either love the one I’m reading or I hate it. I loved Pyramids and The Way We Work but I really disliked City (about a Roman city). This one would have to go the love pile. It was so very interesting and we all learnt so much. I read almost all of it aloud in one session lasting over an hour – it was THAT interesting!
T11 then decided to try, as much as he could, to replicate the fortress in the book with his Play Mobil:
We had really wanted to visit the Tower of London, but B2 is too young and way too unpredictable in her moods (smile) for us to spend a whole day in London with her. If she was having a bad day we would ALL have a bad day! So we decided on two castles we could drive to rather than catch a couple of trains to: Bodiam Castle, fairly close to the site of the Battle of Hastings and a beautiful castle with a moat, and Windsor Castle, the largest castle in Europe and still used as the queen’s residence at times.
First was Bodiam castle:
I would really recommend a visit here. This is probably one of the most beautiful castles in the world. There was something about its atmosphere – just stunning!
Next up was Windsor Castle:
Whilst we were there we took photos, bought information guides and anything else we thought might be useful for the children. The next day I had them read through the Windsor Castle Guide book and asked them to make a quick note page as a memento of their time there:
One of the few writing assignments this week was to write about a fortress’ defence features:
Build your own castle
Play a design your own trebuchet game
Click on the castle for more information
Next week we begin our Easter holidays with a fun week all about Robin Hood. I will be completely hands off and y’know I really need a break, so I’m looking forward to it! The little ones will be rowing The little Rabbit, which they have been nagging to do since we were given rabbits a couple of weeks ago. Apart from that I intend to potter around the house! After that the children will be spending the next few weeks exploring their Easter Adventure Box (little ones are doing Mr Men and the older ones are learning about Marco Polo and a revisit to Ancient China).