Today, I have some notebook pages to share with you about the English Reformation. (They are currently free; be sure to get them now!) In the 1500s, the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope. It was during the reign of Henry VIII that Protestantism took hold in England. Henry’s marital problems and desire for a male heir led to a turbulent (often bloody) time in England.
This is a continuation of our long unit on the Renaissance and Reformation (long because we have done other history units in between!).
We spent quite a bit of time learning about the history of England in the 1500s and early 1600s.
As we started off this portion of our unit, we went talked about some of the earlier history of England: the Houses of Lancaster and York, especially about Richard III and his role in the death of the two Princes. (That way, the kids had some background about the historical plays written by Shakespeare who we talked about later in this unit.)
What history books did we use for this unit? In addition to a few non-fiction books from the library we read the chapter about the English Reformation in the Story of the Renaissance. (affiliate link) Our family has used all of Suzanne Strauss Art’s history books and have found them really accessible for upper elementary and middle school. We also a few chapters from a Child’s History of the World (affiliate link) the style of this is conversational/casual. It is great for my youngest who is in 3rd grade. My other two listened along, but you may or may not like it as it tells history as a story. Finally, we also use a history textbook called World History Patterns of Civilization by Prentice Hall. (affiliate link) I used this textbook when I taught high school history and have been using bits and pieces of it with the kids for a couple of years now. Sometimes I have them read it on their own (I bought copies for my two older kids) and sometimes I read it aloud and discuss things wi
We watched quite a number of movies and documentaries along with this unit. As with any movie/DVD be sure to preview these to see if there are scenes you’ll want to skip and to make sure they work for your family.
As we learned about Henry VIII and his wives, we watched portions of the DVD The Six Wives of Henry VIII. (affiliate link) It’s a long series, so you probably wouldn’t watch all of it, but my kids really enjoyed the parts we did watch.
We also watched Lady Jane (available on Amazon Prime) (affiliate link)(be sure to preview it to be sure you’re comfortable with the entire movie. This is a “Hollywood romance,” but my kids felt for Lady Jane and Gilford Dudley.). This is not a historically accurate movie, but it is well-done enough that I thought it was worth spending time watching. (I’ve always loved this movie.)
We also watched Elizabeth (affiliate link)(with Cate Blanchett). It was nominated for 7 academy awards. I would highly recommend it.
We watched a BBC documentary Bloody Queens Elizabeth and Mary. This was one I found on youtube. This explained the relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart of Scotland (not “Bloody Mary” — ie. Mary I, Henry VIII’s daughter). Elizabeth had Mary Stuart imprisoned for 18 ½ years. Eventually Mary was tried and found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth and was executed. Mary’s son, James I, succeeded Elizabeth to the throne.
As we moved into the Elizabethan Age, we spent some time reading the Usborne Stories from Shakespeare. (affiliate link) My kids *loved* these – and we wound up reading the entire book! I thought they were well done. They are abridged versions of the stories and do not have any of the famous monologues/lines of Shakespeare. Nevertheless, I do *highly* recommend this book. It was *such* a great introduction to Shakespeare for my kids. (currently ages 9, 11, 13) They *begged* me to read more — and now say that they ♥love♥ Shakespeare!
We watched a couple of Shakespearean plays, they were fine but they weren’t quite good enough to recommend to you. If I find something in the future I’ll let you know. (If you have some good suggestions, I’d love if you dropped me a note!)
Today, I am going to share these notebook pages with you. They are currently free, however in the next month or so I am going to combine all of our Renaissance and Reformation materials into one packet, so be sure to download them while they are still free!
You might want to check out the geography packet on famous British landmarks. It has some famous sites like the Tower of London and more! You’ll find the link to this packet here:
We also took a detour during this unit and studied the Age of Exploration. You can find out more about that packet here:
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Again, be sure to check out our History Resource Page for links to dozens and dozens of history and world religions resources.