Tag Archives: Middle Ages/Renissance Unit Study

How to Talk Like Shakespeare and Other Learning Resources

ShakespeareTis the twenty and third of April!  Thus, we shall speaketh Shakespeare.  (“Talk like Shakespeare Day” in honor of William Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23, 1564).  We studied this author and his works a couple of years ago and have come back to learn with the resources we collected time and time again.  Click here for our Shakespeare online link collection  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/23/happy-birthday-william-shakespeare/

betty jo

Blaise Pascal

16bbeda3-bdd9-3f87-99a3-29cf85593965According to Special Days in June,   the 19th is Blaise Pascal’s birthday (1623).  Somehow we missed studying about one of the greatest mathematicians and philosphers of all time when we focused on that time in history.  So, we’re going to take a day or two of summer studies to devote to learning about Pascal and his triangle.  You know, that’s one of the many perks with home education – when you discover a gap somewhere, you can fill it right in.

Below are the online resources I found for our Pascal study.

Biography –

Blaise Pascal

Scientist Notebooking Printables –


Pascal’s Triangle and Usages  (from simple to complex) Explained


Free Printable Worksheet

Short Video – Patterns of Pascal’s Triangle –


Spiraling Square Math/Art Lesson                                      https://www.yummymath.com/2019/spiraling-squares-compass-and-straight-edge/?fbclid=IwAR2j4s0ZexlOSBuQwebzeet6ghFk6s1lQi2pfAu-eF7B1HIiL3FVLEcQW6E

I hope your family has the chance to learn about Blaise Pascal, too.  He was an interesting guy with an unique understanding of numbers and patterns.


For my collection of  history themed and biography resources –


betty jo

Resources For Learning About Skyscrapers

“SKYSCRAPERS” is one of the themes for the month of June and September 3 is “SKYSCRAPER DAY”!   Below are the links we’ll be following as we learn about skyscrapers.  This study will cover the subjects of science, math, language arts, history, geography, literature, and art.  Most of the resources will apply to all ages.

Skyscraper Day Information http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/September/skyscraperday.htm

Fun Facts About Skyscrapers http://www.factmonster.com/spot/skyscraperfacts.html  (there’s related links on the right side of the article)

How Skyscrapers Work Articles with Diagrams http://science.howstuffworks.com/engineering/structural/skyscraper2.htm

Time-lapse Construction Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdpf-MQM9vY

Virtual Field Trip – 360 degree Panoramic View from the Empire State Building http://www.nylocations.com/360-panorama/empire-state-building/

Skyscraper Emergency Engineering Lab Interactives  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/skyscraper/challenge/index.html

Videos, Lesson Plans and Printable Resources, and More http://skyscraper.org/home_flash.htm

Video Algebra Lesson  http://threeacts.mrmeyer.com/dominoskyscraper/

Window Cleaning Skyscraper Math (multiplication) Interactive Game http://www.multiplication.com/games/play/math-wash

Another math lessons will be skyscraper word problems game.  I’ll make up and write some math problems on cards. The kids will be making some too.   For example, “If the elevator travels 30 seconds between each floor and does not stop until it reaches the 37th floor.  How many minutes will it take to reach the 37th floor from the ground floor?”  We’ll each be able to come up with construction time and cost problems too.  Once there’s a stack of question cards, we’ll take turns drawing and answering.  With each correct answer, the player gets a Lego block.  The player with the highest Lego Tower will be the winner.

Skyscraper Building Activity Challenge http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Skyscraper-Challenge-A-Team-Building-Activity-279407

To add a Bible study to our lessons, I entered “skyscrapers” into the search feature at Bible.org.  I was pleasantly surprised to see more than the Tower of Babel to choose from!  https://bible.org/gsearch?search=skyscrapers

The Runaway Skyscraper written by  Murray Leinster, is a  science fiction novelette , originally published in Argosy magazine (a general-interest fiction magazine) in 1919,  now it’s a free read from Project Gutenberg  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17355/17355-h/17355-h.htm

The Two Skyscrapers Who Decided to Have a Child is one of the short stories of the Rootabaga Stories written in 1922 by  Carl Sandburg and is a free read here  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/carl-sandburg/rootabaga-stories-the-two-skyscrapers-who-decided-to-have-a-child/2206/

Skyscrapers are tall. “Tall” isn’t a greatest choice of adjectives for describing a skyscraper.  Here’s the link to synonyms and words related to “tall” for a grammar, writing, and vocabulary lesson. http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/tall

A Word Mining Game  will be another language arts connection.  After we have as many words made as possible from the letters in “SKYSCRAPER”, we’ll categorize them into the relative parts of speech they belong to, noun, verb, adjective, etc.  Then we’ll try to put those words together for silly sentences.

How to Draw a Cityscape http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/link/4534/1/1/how-to-draw-a-city.htm

Print, Cut, and Fold Skyscraper Models –

I’ve been on my local library’s web site and reserved a few skyscraper books  to pick up this week and while we’re out, we’ll take a close look at our city’s 2 tallest buildings – 19 stories and 10 stories.

betty jo


Viking_BoatRecently a friend asked about our Viking studies from last fall.  Here are the links I had saved.  I thought I’d pass the collection on to those of you who might be thinking about a Viking study as well.

Movies to include:  Veggie Tales: Lyle the Kindly Viking,  Brave, and How to Train Your Dragon

Interactive History Games  http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/vikings/

Unit Study and Labook Printables  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/viking_adventure.php

And another Unit Study and Lapbook Printables   http://www.tinasdynamichomeschoolplus.com/middle-ages-to-reform/vikings-lapbook/

Leif Erickson Biography Resources                                                                                      http://cybersleuth-kids.com/sleuth/History/Explorers/Leif_Ericsson/index.htm

paper dolls printables  (this site is interesting, it is written in (perhaps?) Scandinavian so I have very little idea what it says, but wonderful art to browse)  http://www.ungafakta.se/pyssel/klipp/klippdockor/

Arts and Craft Projects    https://www.diys.com/viking-themed-projects/

Walkthrough type videos  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/vikings/

168 page English to Norse dictionary.  (we didn’t spend much time learning this, but it was an interesting list to look over a few times)  http://www.yorku.ca/inpar/language/English-Old_Norse.pdf

And this was our chalkboard wall mural!

chalkboard viking

betty jo

Johannes Gutenberg


This week we are concluding our Middle Ages/Renaissance unit studies.  We were privileged to add Gutenberg to our Bible, history, science, literature, vocabulary, and writing lessons.  (I love it when one subject covers several classes)

Johannes Gutenberg is one of my heroes!  He invented the printing press and printed the first Bible!  Some of those early Bibles still exist and are among  our world’s greatest treasures.  My printed Bible as well as several favorite books are among my greatest personal treasures.

This lovely book,  Johannes Gutenberg, Inventor of the Printing Press by Fran Rees, is from our local library.  We enjoyed the photos of Gutenberg’s earliest projects.

gutenberg 2Below are the links we followed for our study.

Gutenberg biography, worksheets, quizzes, online games  http://www.gardenofpraise.com/ibdguten.htm

Tracing Gutenberg’s Footsteps, a photo tour of Mainz, Gutenberg’s home  http://www.mainz.de/WGAPublisher/online/html/galerie/akah-6jkjgl.en.html?foreachgaleriebildPage=5

Demonstration of the Gutenberg press  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XLWleZgU3s

Project Gutenberg offers 42,720 free e-books to download.  I have this site bookmarked for the next time I hear “I’m bored, Mom”.  http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/

betty jo


Avoiding It Like The Plague


I’ve been designing our homeschool’s curriculum for several years.  I base our unit studies on a historical period timeline.   One year we study everything “ancient”.  The next year we move on to studying everthing “middle ages”.  Then the following year our unit studies are based on “American history”.  The fourth year we focus on “modern world history”.  After these four years, we start over, but with more advanced assignments.

Every June I start planning the upcoming school year’s unit studies.  And I start this process by making a list of everything found on on a timeline that could/should be included in our lessons for the year.

As this homeschooling year comes to a close,  I am pleased that our Middle Ages/Renaissance unit studies have covered almost everything on my original list.  We will be ending our regular studies with church reformers .  Our summer school studies will include the great composers as we have elected music as one of our summer classes.

However, there is one topic on my list we haven’t studied yet.  Truthfully, I have been avoiding this particular study like the plague!  Actually, that is the study, the Bubonic Plague, Black Death.  This was such a terrible time in history as nearly one third of the European population died from this epidemic.  With less than three weeks left of our school year, and not wanting to end with this study, we will be covering the plague this week.

We will be reading about the Bubonic Plague from these library books.

plague books

Here’s the resource links we’ll be using

Teacher notes for the younger boys   http://www.mrdowling.com/703-plague.html

Black Death lecture for the older kids   http://www.historyguide.org/ancient/lecture29b.html#map

The younger boys will work together to make lapbooks from  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/plague.php

I’m not surprised that I couldn’t find notebooking pages for this subject.   I’ll be designing our own notebooking pages using that  horrible art photo at the top of this post for my older kids.

Knowing that we are so close to finishing our homeschooling year will hopefully brighten our moods as we learn about Black Death.

betty jo


Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare

ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564. And, in his honor, April 23 is “Talk Like Shakespeare Day”!  A couple of years ago, we learned about his life and works as part of our Renaissance Unit Studies. Below are online Shakespeare resources for today or any day.

Fun Facts and Timeline                                                                https://www.theschoolrun.com/homework-help/william-shakespeare

Guide for How to Talk like Shakespeare  http://www.shakespeare400chicago.com/talklikeshakespeare.html

Shakespeare Translator to Modern English                                        https://www.shmoop.com/shakespeare-translator/

Shakespeare Invented Words and Phrases                                       http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/word-lists/list-of-words-and-phrases-shakespeare-invented.html

Teacher and Student Resources                                                                                https://www.folger.edu/

Shakespearean Sonnet Generator                                                                                            https://www.poem-generator.org.uk/

Globe Theater Educational Resources                                   http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/education

Tour Stratford Upon Avon                                                                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D57ji9MnM2U

Notebooking pages  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/shakespeare_notebook_pages.php


And, the kids will like playing some of these online puzzles and games  http://www.folger.edu/education/sfk_kids/

Tales from Shakespeare for young readers                                  http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/573

Stories of Shakespeare’s plays written for children                       http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1430

Literature Guides (scroll down a little bit for the Shakespeare collection)   http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/index_author_s.html

Wishbone Shakespaw   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MsSMBrkHWI&list=PLA95D27DD44814AB9

Animated Tales Video Playlist                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0l3PC79f6wHJ4D7f_CtK9b21_9DzGlpl

Of course, there should be cake, because studying anyone on their birthday is better with cake!

Shakespeare Party Ideas and Printables                 https://www.uncommongoods.com/product/printable-party-kit-shakespearean-soiree

betty jo

For more of our Middle Ages/Renaissance Unit Studies click   https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/08/keeping-the-code/

And here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/07/art-day-sistine-chapel-style/

And here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/07/art-day-sistine-chapel-style/

And here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/06/raphael/

And here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/12/gothic-revival-in-western-kentucky/