For week 3, our focus is on King Arthur and the Round Table. I adapted the story from a library book appropriately called Tales of King Arthur: King Arthur and the Round Table by Hudson Talbott. I made some changes to the story, namely how Queen Guinevere is introduced to King Arthur, since it conflicts with a story I already told from King Arthur and His Knights by Maude Radford Warren.
I also wrote a short story for reading practice with 6 new words to learn this week: King Arthur and the Round Table.doc. The blank lines are for the child to add his own descriptive word. The day after drawing the picture he wrote in his book: ‘The knights of the Round Table helped people.’ This lead to a short discussion… why is the Round Table capitalized? Plus we spent some time talking about what a beautiful place Camelot was, with everyone helping others and being kind, fair, and honest. Very heroic qualities, indeed.
Since this week’s words included the sound ‘IGHT’, we made a word family house for the new sound.
I also told a short story from the book Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out about a naughty little boy named Noisy Nimmy who was louder than the king. Therefore, in words like KNIGHT, KNOW, and KNIFE, we cannot hear the king, only Noisy Nimmy! These little stories work wonders. It is so much easier to provide a small mental picture than to say “The K is silent before an N” a million times until he remembers. Plus, it is a lot more fun! Just as a side note: the book Understanding Waldorf Education is not filled with stories like this! It is an overview of Waldorf Education, with some examples to illustrate his ideas. A wonderful read, though.
On Friday we painted crowns. We started with lemon yellow and added a touch of red to get a nice gold.
Fourth grader’s crown of Queen Guinevere, also with beautiful jewels added after the painting dried.
During the 4th week we focused on Sir Lancelot. I stayed completely clear of the love triangle between Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere. We instead focused on the fascinating story of Young Lancelot. We had read a few stories about Sir Lancelot’s adventures from the book King Arthur and His Knights by Maude Radford Warren, so my son was thrilled to hear of how Lancelot came to be a knight.
I told the story of Lancelot that I learned in the book: Young Lancelot by Robert D. San Souci. I did not read to him from this book however… I do not care for the drawings.
I wrote a short summary that we used for reading practice with 8 new spelling words: Young Lancelot – Short Version.
This is a shield that we made just for fun. I drew a pattern on paper after we agreed on a shape, then my son cut it out and traced the shape on the 1/4″ birch plywood. I used a jigsaw to cut it out. I traced the dragon shape from a knight costume I made for Halloween, and he painted it using acrylic craft paint.
We added straps to the back, made from old vinyl scraps I had on hand. We tried using the staple gun to secure them, but the staples do not hold up to play! When Daddy gets home from work he is going to help us bolt the straps in place.
This is a sword that we actually made for Peter Pan a few months ago. It has come in handy during this block about Arthur and his knights. I think it is 3/4″ solid pine. My 4th grader decided on the shape, I drew it, and my husband cut it out with a jigsaw. My daughter then painted the handle a woodland green that was ‘perfect’ and glued acorn hats with tacky glue to make it a more authentic Neverland sword. it has held up to play quite well. We will be working on my 2nd grader’s knight sword soon!
And finally, our family Coat of Arms:
We painted it blue and yellow (with acrylic paints) to represent our Swedish ancestors. The symbols represent our families’ passions… fishing, baking, peace (between siblings… my son’s idea), and the hearts represent the 4 of us and our love for each other. The dragon is mostly just cool to have on a shield, but it also represents bravery!
The whole family has been involved with this one. Like the play shield, I made the pattern and my son cut it out and traced it onto the 1/4″ birch plywood. The symbols were drawn with pencil and crayon on paper, cut out, and decoupaged onto the painted shield. To decoupage, simply brush the back of each symbol with watered-down white glue, press into place, and brush the top with the glue mixture. Once dry, brush the entire shield with the glue mixture. We will probably mount our coat of arms on another piece of plywood, painted white, with our last name written in Runes.
Instead of decoupaging, this project could also be done by tracing the symbols and painting them directly on the shield.