Many are working from home right now while also trying to keep children occupied. People are generating and sharing activities, ideas, and more (ex. Facebook group Kid Quarantine Resources). Here’s what one English Professor at UWaterloo (me) is doing. It combines English and History, while also including interactions with grandparents and others who are self-isolating.
The plan is this: search your house for age-appropriate novels set in historical periods. I was lucky to have a box of suitable books in the attic. Well, mostly suitable–I weeded out the ones about plagues, and the remaining books weren’t as ethnically diverse as I would have liked, but we’ll make up for it later. Then I generated a work sheet that brings in Freytag’s Pyramid (see below). The idea is that the children read the book, fill the sheet out, and do some independent research. Then they send a copy to a grandparent, and a day later have a phone call or Skype to discuss it together. We’ll do related activities as well–at least one trebuchet is getting built this week!
READING RESPONSE SHEET
Novel title: ________________________________________________________________________
Time period and location: ____________________________________________________________
Date of publication of the book: _______________________________________________________
Plot the novel on Freytag’s Pyramid
What makes this conflict compelling?
Who is the protagonist? ______________________________________________________________
Who is the antagonist? _______________________________________________________________
What form is the narration? First person. Second person. Third person.
What are three things about this historical period you are going to look up?
What have you learned looking those things up?