Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Renaissance and Reformation - Unit Celebration

We had a very special unit celebration a couple weeks ago.... special because my parents and both my sisters were able to attend, as well as dear friends who are like family! As our unit celebrations go, it was a bit lame in the costume department (it really was), but again, we DID it (isn't that the main point?), and it was a great excuse to have some wonderful fellowship! ;-)

This was for Tapestry Year 2, Unit 2, the renaissance, reformation, and Elizabethan England. First up we were visited by Christopher Columbus, who told us about being the first explorer to sail across the Atlantic and return to tell about it! After he forged the way many others followed and even surpassed him, but he has the distinction of being the one to prove it could be done, as well as the distinction of "discovering" America!

Then we had the privilege of hearing from Leonardo da Vinci himself! He told us about some of his inventions, and a couple of his paintings which later became famous. He remained curious about the world and how things worked up until his death, and tinkered with so many different ideas. He is perhaps the true archetype of a "renaissance man."

Next it was William Tyndale's turn. Tyndale is responsible for translating the Bible into English so the common people of England could read God's Word for themselves. For this he was mercilessly hunted down and eventually executed, but as he began to burn at the stake he cried out, "Open the King of England's eyes! Open the King of England's eyes!" And God answered his plea ~ shortly after his death King Henry VIII (of six wives' fame) placed a Bible in every English speaking church! What an incredible testimony of faithfulness and courage this man had.

We then heard from a young William Shakespeare, who told us about his life in Stratford-upon-Avon and his move to London when he was in his early 20's. We learned about his playwriting, his involvement with The Globe theatre, and the fact that he also acted in many of his plays! (unusual for the time) He was perhaps Queen Elizabeth's favorite playwright, and she often attended his plays.

Last but not least we once again heard from the reporter for the Christian Historical News, as she reported on the life and times of Queen Elizabeth. She gave a thorough and excellent report on this long reigning and beloved queen!

As per usual, we displayed some of the many books we used during this past unit:

We read some really fun books for literature during this unit, and added to them with other books from the library. Such a rich period of world history!

We also displayed the model of da Vinci's flying machine, which we had made earlier.

Then we snacked on foods that would have been common in Queen Elizabeth's day: freshly baked bread with honey butter, oranges, and dates. Many vegetables were considered poisonous in those days, but they did eat a variety of fruit.

Later we sang around the piano, accompanied by the guitar. Did you know that Queen Elizabeth herself was quite musical?

Feasting and merriment was had by all, the old, the medium, and the young!

Such a blessing to share the richness of our history studies with our beloved family and friends!


Diane said...

Hi Pam,
Just new here from the TOG yahoo group. Looks like a lot of fun! We aren't using TOG but am seriously considering it for my two boys.
Any thoughts for someone sitting on the fence that might convince her to just go out and buy it?

Pam said...


I can't speak for your family, of course, and you know them best, but for our family it has been a perfect fit!! I love that all of us can be studying the same time period of history at our age appropriate levels, and that so many fun hands on things are included in the curriculum (I don't have to think them up!). I love that Tapestry goes to such lengths to choose excellent books. I love that I can have read aloud time with my younger ones, with picture books, and my older kids come running to participate too! I love that there are SO MANY choices ~ some people complain about that creating the dreaded "TOG fog", but if you remember that it is intended to be a smorgasbord, and that NO-ONE does it "all", it makes it very flexible to the needs of lots of different styles and lots of different families. We tend to focus on the history and lit, with a bit of church history and a bit of fine arts/hands on thrown in, but others skip the lit, or put more emphasis on the timeline and "people to know" pages. Some people do the student activity pages every week, and others don't. It's meant to be fitted to YOUR needs. So, sorry this got so long, but those are just a few of the reasons why I love Tapestry so much! (not to mention the wonderful Biblical worldview it is written from!)

Many blessings as you decide,