Tuesday, September 23, 2014


As I have mentioned before, we are studying Scotland for our history this year.  

I found a couple books that we are using as well as a website.  The internet does make creating your own curriculum much easier than when we began our homeschooling journey twenty-three years ago.

We definitely have seen a pattern in Scottish history up to this point:

Fights between clans
Fights with England
Fights to determine who will reign
Marriages arranged to create alliances, even as young as 4 years old
Crown the baby king, but a regent is really in charge

And it seems to repeat.  It gets a little exhausting to read.  

And so, I decided we needed to branch out and see what the common people were up to during this time.  Surely everyone was not thinking about going to war and maintaining power!

As expected, some Scots were busy with other endeavors.  Monks were writing and doing illuminations as part of their work.  

Last week, I had my students learn about illuminations and create their own illumination.  We used the information found here

My students used acrylic paints to color their illuminations.  Other paints, markers, or colored pencils would also work nicely.  

They drew the illuminations with pencil.  Looking at the finished product, I can see that going over the original drawing with a black fine point pen or marker would have greatly enhanced their work.

Even in high school, I like when a lesson can include a hands on activity to reinforce the lesson and break the monotony of reading and discussion.

What about you?  What hands on activities do you incorporate into your high school lesson?


Starla J. said...

Sounds fun!! Great job.

Angel said...

The illuminations look great! And the link about the art of illuminated letters is a great read! I enjoyed reading the history. But this is what really struck me in your post: "Even in high school, I like when a lesson can include a hands on activity to reinforce the lesson and break the monotony of reading and discussion." This is a topic I think you, as an experienced high school teacher, can expound on (maybe in a future post :) ). When I was in high school, there were many lessons that could've been reinforced with a nice hands-on activity. Unfortunately, at many schools and with many curriculums, not enough hands-on activities are included or expected for upper grade levels. I am an adult and I enjoy hands-on activities. I think there are so many high school lessons I could've retained and understood better if we had taken a break from reading books to do something more interactive.

karentrina said...

Thank you for your comments, Angel. I am always looking for post ideas and now you have my wheels turning for future posts!

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