Regular readers (all 2.5 of you!) know that I am very slowly putting together a unit study on the history of the English language. I promise to keep great records and make everything available as we complete it.
I can tell you that I am using the History of English book that accompanied the PBS series as the backbone of our study. I enjoyed Bill Bryson’s Mother Tongue, but there was a lot of swearing (for an 8yo), and it did not have as much of a historical focus as I would have liked. It was organized along themes like spelling, pronunciation, and swear words rather than organized by the cultures that contributed to English, e.g., Celts, Normans, Africans, etc. Our interest is in highlighting the cultural and historical factors of language development, so the PBS guide is a good fit. We will probably use about the first 1/2 of it.
We plan to spend one week on Shakespeare’s contributions to English. As I’ve mapped this out, that week coincides with Shakespeare’s birthday — very serendipitous!
As it happens, Shakespeare’s birthday falls on a rather significant date in our family. With the stars thus aligned, we are going to have a Shakespeare’s Birthday party with some of our homeschool friends. The primary age range is 9-10, though we’ll have a few younger and possibly older.
I have planned (for the kids) to do a scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is why I’m starting to plan now. I want the other kids to have a chance to get familiar with the play, so we can base our games mostly around that.
Anyone have any other great activities, games, crafts, or food ideas to share? Tankards of ale for the adults, obviously . . .