I used Charles Kovacs’ book The Age of Discovery as the main text for our Age of Exploration and Discovery block. I also liberally used the internet to find background information, maps, etc. The Kovacs books are excellent for short biographies. They really seem to capture the spirit of the historical figures, which is important because in the Waldorf pedagogy during grades 1-8 the teacher brings history to the child using biographies. In reality, for children aged 7-14 there is far too much to cover if you look at history as events only, but if you can capture the “feeling of the age” by studying a few notable people who lived during that time, you help your child develop a sense for how the human race is unfolding.
Here is a list of what we studied and did during this block;
- Henry the Navigator with summary
- Because Henry’s sailors were mapping the coast of Africa, we had a nice segue into a short study of Africa. Teal painted a watercolor of Africa as suggested in Creative Pathways by Auer and wrote a summary of some things we studied about Africa, including the geography of the land: deserts, jungle, mountains, etc. We also located places we had already studied in earlier history blocks.
- This led to a discussion about why it was so darn difficult to sail down the west coast of Africa and northeast to India: ocean currents! This was a very fascinating part of our block and it was easy to see why it was so hard to sail from Portugal to India.
- Vasco da Gama with summary
- Amerigo Vespucci with summary
- Christopher Columbus with summary
- Pizarro with summary
- Magellan with summary
- Teal made another map of the world and mapped the routes of each of the explorers we talked about. We compared their travels to the ocean currents map, which was cool.
- A title page drawing of a ship which was inspired by a main lesson book I saw at a workshop several years ago.
- We made a little backtrack to talk about Marco Polo who was an explorer on land. Teal read a story about him from a book I found on mainlesson.com and wrote another summary.
Teal did a lot of summaries during this block! They were each fairly short, but our goal was to have beautiful main lesson book pages. We picked her favorite work to showcase in this post, and after all of her effort she was very pleased with how her main lesson book turned out saying she thinks it’s her best one yet. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!