This was from the theme we did on the Middle Ages and the Knights of the Round Table and King Arthur and all that. It lasted a pretty long time, the girls were very excited by it. I have a strong love of this time and of the legends that go with it, so it was pretty awesome. Sadie's dress was made several months later, but learning about all this was definitely why she asked for it specifically and knew about Guinevere.
The cardboard castle was so fun to make and was made very similar to the toy theater we made a bit back. No measuring or anything, just cardboard, masking tape, and paint. It was very fun. Like other units we have done, we checked out a ton of books, starting with the Magic Tree House book The Knight At Dawn, and the research guide, Knights and Castles. I really like the Magic Tree House research guides. The Compass Rose comes up in the book, hence that project.
It's exciting for me to show these projects we do, but it's hard to describe them fully. The resources, activities, links, craft projects, field trips, and what we cover, talk about—it would take forever to describe it all, but it feels strange to not write about what is so central in our lives and what we are learning. Even if this was from about 5 months ago. I try to give as much info as I can without it becoming a herculean task for me to blog about. You know what I mean. Our process is very organic and hard to pin down, but really magical and always changing.
One of the best activities we did for this theme is have a special guest come as a historical character, in costume, and get interviewed by the girls. This time it was my brother, who came as Sir Frank (his choice of name). He wore a makeshift tunic made of towels, a crown, and a sword—all from our costume chest. It is way more fun when it's easy and improvised. He was briefed right before on the answers with a script—all he had to do was read the answers I had given him (this was to take research pressure off of him, but of course he already knew all about squires and knights in training) and it was so fun for the girls! It was like Santa Claus coming. They were so excited and almost scared. They knew it was him, but he wouldn't break out of character. They asked him questions (I gave them a list if they ran out of ideas) and it was really awesome.
Since then Randy the Pilgrim and the Native American Sqaunto have come as well. Getting family and friends involved has been pricless and there have been some hystercially funny moments that the girls still talk about.