When we started using An Island Story for history this year, I longed for a list of simple resources that would go along with the stories to gently add just a little to the stories. There wasn’t a complete one that I could find, so I finally decided that I would just make a list myself. So, whatever path you took to get to using An Island Story with your children, I hope this helps a little bit if you’re wanting to add some simple things to it.
One note is that you will notice that many of the resources are video resources. We are a video loving family, so this is a great way for us to connect with the stories.
The second note you need to know is that this is so long that I’m breaking it into parts, so each part will cover five chapters (usually a week or two in history for us, depending on what kind of side trails we take off on).
For each story we completed a note booking page for narration, and for each historical figure, we completed a simple biography page. My goal was to have written narrations for each chapter and a simple dictionary of historical figures from the book. We did not put any dates in our timeline notebooks unless the date was specifically given by the texts.
The Stories of Albion and Brutus
For this, we used this short historical documentary on Brutus of Troy and read the article Brutus of Troy: First King of Britain or Just a Myth?. I additionally assigned my older two children (11 and 10 respectively) a paragraph writing assignment on whether they thought that the story was true or just a myth.
I’m so interested in this story, I’m thinking about buying some books for further study for me. 🙂
The Coming of the Romans
(We didn’t use any additional resources with this chapter. Some days are just narration and moving on.)
The Romans Came Again
We chose here t0 focus just a little on Julius Caesar. We did this by watching a couple of videos on YouTube. Because we did this lesson just before the Ides of March, we did this by focusing on his assassination. The TedEd video The Great Conspiracy Against Julius Caesar was excellent. We also really liked the Crash Course History video The Roman Empire. Or Republic. Or….Which was it?
How Caligula Conquered Britain and How Caractacus Refused to Be Conquered
We had already done a mini-study on Caractacus when we studied Beric the Briton, so we did not truly focus on him in our chapter study of him. I can recommend one YouTube video though that does a great job with his speech before Claudius. When we had previously studied Caractacus, we read the book The Captive Celt. It’s a quick read, and I feel like it really adds to the picture of the kind of people the Celts were.
We did talk some about Caligula. The story of him and the seashells is just so ridiculous that you have to spend some time talking about how crazy he was. We used this Daily Motion video from Horrible Histories to help the kids picture it in a funny way. While we were there, we couldn’t resist watching the video about him making his horse consul.
The Story of a Warrior Queen
This a chapter covering Queen Boadicea. It’s a great place to stop and spin off for a week or so into a unit study if you’re looking to do that. I can’t recommend highly enough the Heirloom Audio Production Beric the Briton. It really brings this period in history to life, and comes with a free discussion guide that has great topics for discussion and a few fun activity suggestions. (I’m not an affiliate, and I don’t get any money for you buying a copy, but I just really love their work.)
When we studied Beric the Briton, we read the Horrible Histories Book The Cut-throat Celts, and that gave more great pictures of the Celtic people.
There’s also a great video in the Decisive Battles of the Ancient World that really helps to understand this revolt. This Barbarians Rising: Boudica, Warrior Queen was a really helpful video too. There’s also a Horrible Histories Episode called Bolshy Boudica, and I have tried to find it, but I can’t even find it on Amazon’s listing of episodes right now. I must be overlooking it.
My five year old still needs something to color sometimes when we study to help her listen, so I was really pleased to find this Queen Boudicca Paper Doll to help her with her fidgetiness. Even better was when we could playact about Boadicea later.
That’s the first five chapters for us. Check back in the next week or two, and I’ll be sharing resources from chapters 6-10. Also, if you have any resources you want to share on these five chapters, just go ahead and share them, and we’ll all learn together!