Renaissance: Tudor Social Classes

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This week we spent some time looking at the social classes of the Tudor times.  First we read about it using the write up from Homeschooling in the Woods and then read the appropriate chapters from the following book:

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I asked the girls to dress up as a member of each of the six most well known classes: King, Church, Gentleman, Yeoman, Labourer and Beggar.  We put together a sort of who’s who using ribbett photo shop:

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I wanted to introduce the idea of social mobility: the idea that a person from one class is able to move into another (hopefully higher up) class.  In the past, this was really unheard of but during the renaissance labourers could work their way up the ladder by working hard, saving hard and eventually buying their own piece of land to become landowners (yeomen).  I asked the children to come up with a few ideas for a poster advertising or promoting social mobility.  We will be transferring all our work at the end of the term into a newspaper.  I wanted them to design a poster or advert to go in our newspaper advertising social mobility.  I was very impressed by their ideas and in the end they were amalgamated to create a simple poster with only a few words (more effective):

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Obviously we wouldn’t be able to stick this poster into the newspaper so a photo would have to do, but I really liked it nonetheless.  They posed the question of whether an individual was heading up (the social ladder) or down (the same social ladder).

We had some card dolls which I use for the little ones to dress or colour.  The girls stole borrowed six of them and using my material stash cut from their old clothes they cut, fashioned and stuck.  I helped out as needed and we ended up with these representations of each class in the social strata of Tudor times:

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I helped them stick the dolls onto a thick card in a ladder type formation to show what a person would have in store if they wished to climb the social ladder from beggar to king (which would have actually been impossible).  It was a cool poster though and they used it to give a quick impromtu presentation to Gary and T:

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I’m not entirely sure why the twins look so serious throughout this study.  They had fun, honestly 🙂

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

15 comments

    1. That’s a good idea, I hadn’t thought to take it any further. It’s such a shame about the all too serious faces. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them look so serious!

  1. This is a great way to represent each class. They are sure to remember what they learned. Love the costumes.
    Have a lovely day, Claire and family.

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