Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Halloween and the rise of the 1600's

We had a fabulous Halloween and did some great things to discover more about Halloween which laid the blocks for learning more about the 1600's.

We ended up visiting the Pendle Witch Trial Trail, which starts in Pendle and ends in Lancaster at Lancaster Castle.

The kids learned about Witches and we had a great visit to Pendle Visitors Centre to learn about the way houses where, the kids learned how the broomstick is not actually ridden but was used to sweep the floors.. This was a revelation to the kids and I think one of their favourite new fact.

They discovered all about the Pendle Witch Trials and how witches where identified and the cruelty of the Witch Finder General.

The Castle was an interesting visit being in the court rooms where witches where tried and convicted.

The twins learned that the way we celebrate Halloween today is a mish mash of lots of different traditions and celebrations throughout the ages, pumpkins being a seasonal fruit full of nutritional goodness which replaced potatoes and turnips, witches who where real people accused and tortured in history of being witches, trick or treating/souling from the Celts celebrating the end of the year and revived again in 1920's from North America, Fire to ward away evil spirits was a Celt tradition so on and so forth.

They learned that Christians do not celebrate Halloween due to the origins of evil within the Celebrations, despite the fact we are Christians and we do celebrate because we do not associate it with evil, just a night of lots of fun for the kids and good old tradition without any heavy stuff, (life is complicated enough to get hung up about should we or should we not celebrate Halloween)

As our focus was on 1600's we decided to cover The great Fire of London which I found a great little video on Youtube which the kids loved. 


We also covered The Gunpowder Plot and the Great Plague. I am always fascinated by the way the twins lap up documentaries, I find some of them dull and I can never stay focused but they ask questions and ask to rewind so they can watch a bit again and their imagination is really brought to life with visual documentaries and they spend days acting out what they have seen. Randomly over a few days relaying what they have learned showing they are really taking things in.

They learned about Queen Elizabeth and King James and have now started to learn about the kinds of foods that where eaten in the 1600's, which we where given a great website link for 1600's Cookery
Food appears to be their favourt thing at the moment, they are fascinated with how food was imported by the marriages of British Monarchy to French and Spanish monarchy etc and how food became fashionable.

We are going to have  a week of cooking all things 1600's based.

Nothing much happened in the 1600's where we live so we could not really cover any local History but Geographically we have started to look at Trade in the colonies that where emerging and the concepts of trade.

We started to write out a synopsis of what they had learned, we sat and thought about all the things we had discovered in the 1600's and wrote a line of each new discovery using what we had learned about the rules of sentences with capital letters, full stops and spaces.

We have covered so much this month and even started to use the dictionary more due to them discovering the first English dictionary was published in 1604, which we found out by referencing the learning Timelines. which is great as it is very interactive and one we can use over and over for different periods.

I was concerned about jumping from the Iron Age to the 1600's and missing huge gaps of time out, but as it happens it has worked out well.

We have drawn pictures, visited amazing places, written stories, read stories, watched documentaries, had parties and learned so much more than I could have ever imagined this month, and to think I was stuck for ideas - see earlier post on my Halloween Dialema

It has been a fantastic October.

We cannot leave our theme friend out of 1600s, I found some great things to do BBC Schools Website using Dr Who, and adding more of our favourite Dr Who into our 1600's theme by re-watching the Woman Who Lived, first aired in September 2015 where Dr Who Travels back to the 1600's.

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