We are really enjoying our History at the moment. The Tudors were such a colourful group of characters and my daughter has always found Elizabeth I fascinating (I think Elizabeth I and Victoria are her two favourite monarchs purely because they were powerful women who excelled in what was typically a male role). She has already done quite a bit of background reading about Elizabeth I, the Spanish Armada and general life in the Elizabethan area (she is also very interested in Shakespeare and his works which tie into this time period). So bearing that in mind I thought we would tackle the Elizabethan Settlement, what is was, what it meant and the more long-term effects. But I must admit this is not a topic that I know that much about. So to start us off I turned to the Oaka Books Topic Pack – Elizabeth 1 and the Elizabethan Settlement.
The Topic Booklet (the notes) starts off with a really useful mind map. We really liked this summary right at the beginning. Then it gives a quick background into Elizabeth and what her four main issues were (again I really liked this – other books we have read have not broken it down into four key points which I think is really useful for the kids to know and be able to go back to when they are answering questions). And then from the four main issues it goes onto the religious problem of Catholics vs Protestants. It also deals with the Act of Supremacy and the Act of Uniformity in nice key points. I really liked these concise explanations. I think you need to understand the basic points before you try and read extra detail otherwise it all becomes very confusing.
We also really liked the timeline and the “Was Elizabeth I good for England” pages at the end. Both are excellent as summarises and ordering the key points.
The Write Your Own Notes is as always, the same boxes and images but with no words so you need to try and remember what you have learnt. This might look simple but the act of sitting down and writing out the key events not only reinforces what you have read but it highlights if there is something that you did not understand or something that you got mixed up.
And last but one of our favourites – the character cards and active learning map. We love doing this as our wrap-up. Such a straight forward idea but so effective – the kids get to explain the events using the character cards and map.
I really liked the Elizabethan pack and I think it works really well if you use it with the The Spanish Armada pack. The Elizabeth I pack only mentions that the Spanish Armada occurred and that Elizabeth was victorious whereas the Spanish Armada pack deals with the Spanish threat and attempted invasion in stages.
One of the things that I really appreciate about the Oaka Packs is they keep using the same images for figures and events in their different packs. I love this. My daughter is a visual learner and she immediately identifies the characters and events when she sees the images in the different packs. This might sound like an insignificant fact to some but it really does help to tie the events together and I am convinced helps her recall the events, which ones were linked and who the common characters were.
I think both packs are a great addition to anyone learning about the Tudors.