Nineteenth Century History: 1870-1880 {David Livingstone: Medicine Man, Explorer and Missionary}

The children learnt all about David Livingstone, a Victorian doctor who traveled to Africa as a missionary.  We read the following book on his life and watched the Victorian Pharmacy, an excellent dvd on medicines available during the Victorian times:

capture capture

But most of our work was based on an extensive David Livingstone learning pack which I downloaded and we completed some of each day during our morning meeting.  This took more than the allotted week, but was so interesting and thorough I felt it was worth it.  It is full of information and has so many hands on activities, we could not possibly do all of them.  But we worked on every one which looked interesting and fun.

Here are a few of the activities we chose (I haven’t included all of them because the post would be intolerably long!)

  • A Reenactment of the time Livingstone was attacked by a Lion

Thomas read out the narration from the pack above whilst the twins acted out the scene with a very convincing A8 as the lion:

Charlotte acted as Mebalwe, a native school master:

with a nerf gun as her gun 🙂

Livingstone, Mebalwe and the rest of the Bakatla tribe saw the lion and circled it:

Livingstone took a shot:

Thinking the lion dead Livingstone reloads his gun.  The lion, not dead, takes his chance and attacks Livingstone:

Mauling him, Livingstone is in danger of his life:

He writes:

Growling horribly close to my ear, he shook me as a terrier dog does a rat.  The shock produced a stupor ….It caused a sort of dreaminess, in which there was no sense of pain nor feeling of terror, though quite conscious of all that was happening {David Livingstone}

Mebalwe tried to take a shot:

His gun missed, but attracted the attention of the lion who then went to pounce on his second attacker.  He was shot dead by another member of the tribe:

He continues:

In order to take out the charm from him, the Bakatla on the following day made a huge bonfire over the carcass, which was declared to be that of the largest lion they had ever seen.

As well as crunching his bone into splinters, the lion left eleven teeth wounds on Livingstone’s upper arm.

  • Soothing Hand Scrub

We made some soothing hand scrub out of honey, lemon, granulated sugar and mashed avocado:

The recipe called for the sugar to be mixed with the lemon to create the abrasive part.  This is rubbed into your hands and left for ten minutes:

Thomas got stuck in, literally….eating it!

This was meant to make the skin very soft.

After washing the scrub off, the children mashed up the avocado and honey.  These are both moisturising and nourishing for the skin:

A8 was less than impressed:

After leaving it on for a few minutes, they washed it off and enjoyed the feeling of baby soft skin:

Thomas commented that it was wasted as a hand scrub and did better as a snack 🙂

  • Reader’s Theater of the Meeting Between Livingstone and a Rain Doctor

The older ones also acted out a reader’s theater based on an encounter with a rain doctor which Livingstone had written about in his diary.  It was a confrontation about who makes the rain, Livingstone’s Christian God or the magical powers of the rain doctor.  It was absolutely hilarious!

Lillie acted as Livingstone, with his medical supplies kit:

Charlotte as the rain doctor, with her rain making sticks:

Thomas ‘directed’ from the sofa:

and the little ones and I were the audience:

Here are a few of the photos from the reader’s theater.  So, so funny, what with Lillie’s Scottish accent which slipped into an Irish accent every now and again, and Charlotte’s African accent which frankly sounded more Russian than it did African….

Oh my!  My children are so funny 🙂

One comment

  1. He was a fascinating man, who I’ve got mixed feelings on. He did amazing things, but he also left his family to starve while traveling, and that part I can’t abide.

    I love how you acted it out, and the Nerf gun was an awesome addition!

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