The highlight of my week at the moment has been the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall. At first I thought it rather slow, but then I became somewhat absorbed in its subtlety. I enjoyed it very much and alongside reading the brilliant Phillipa Gregory and Conn Iggulden books I find myself drawn into this period of history. Incidentally, this comes just after I met and attended at talk by Leanda de Lisle who wrote Tudor’s; The Family Story at the Literary Festival which I direct. I’ve also revived my interest in certain modern fashion designers who drew inspiration from Tudor clothing in the Victoria and Albert museum. In short, i’m loving this time period.
Of course, if i’m interested it means that I want everyone else to be interested and therefore my children, my friends children, the Beaver Scout group and Young Archaeologist Club groups i’m involved with had better gear themselves up as the Tudors will be coming their way.
Interestingly Tudors are no longer specifically mentioned on the new National Curriculum, however it will still most likely be taught as post 1066 history or local history. If you want to give your children a great holiday activity, you could do worse than finding out about the Tudors and relating it to your local area through the use of maps, day trips, investigation of on-line museum collections and role play.
There are some amazing resources on line, for example we really successfully played this medieval cures game at Young Archaeology Club. I wouldn’t have wanted to be ill in those days! A quick Google will bring up endless amounts of worksheets and activity ideas. One of my favourites is this one about the Spanish Armada from the National Archives. Little computer users will enjoy this mini site designed in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Archives. My eldest is looking forward to having a go through this site after school.
Films and Television
In terms of stuff that children can actually watch you are a bit limited, this is a bloody, violent period of history and so its difficult to find appropriate viewing materials. The most obvious port of call should be Horrible Histories which has some brilliant kid friendly songs which are most amusing as an adult. If you can find it, Tudor Monastery Farm might well be of interest and suitable.
My first port of call these days for most topics is the DK Eyewitness series and they have produced a Tudor book
Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors will appeal to even the most reluctant readers
You wont go wrong with the Usbourne Tudor and Stuart Britain book which provides a great overview .
Clearly this is limited geographically, but I plan to revisit the following places with my children.
If you want some more suggestions have a look at this map of Tudor places to visit.
Overall, The Tudor period has such a lot to inspire children that its the perfect project to get them stuck into. If you know of any other brilliant resources please point me in the right direction by commenting below.