Sunday, February 01, 2015

History lesson, PR style (Lydia's Grade Eight)

Lesson plan adapted from Conference Lessons, Class II, by K.M. Claxton, in the Parents' Review, August 1915 (isn't that cool? almost 100 years ago)

English History Lesson. Book studied: Winston Churchill, The New World, second half of chapter 15.

By way of introduction, have the student tell me the meaning of the "divine right of kings" and how resentment against that resulted in the rise of "the parliamentary system," and how these two in their turn gave rise to the  long struggle between absolute rulers and attempts at democracy.  Then review the execution of Strafford, "a man they could not convict." Explain why Churchill says, "But that man, if given his full career, would have closed perhaps for generations the windows of civic freedom upon the English people." What effect might the death of Strafford have on King Charles? How might those around him also take advantage of the King's distracted mood?

Read from The New World a description of the bills and other changes that were "snuck by" the King during this time. Read as far as "If he had only allowed these [improved public sentiments] to have their flow he might have reached a very good establishment." What do you think he means by that? Read the rest of the paragraph which tries to explain that statement.  

Since this is a Grade Eight student, I am going to leave the rest of the chapter up to her, with these guidelines.

First, you have to know what a remonstrance is, so please look that up.

Read the short paragraph about Charles' attempt to reconcile with Scotland (and find support there). Why was it unsuccessful?  Read the next paragraph, about the uprising in Ireland.
"The King, the father of the nation, seemed back in control at this time of crisis. But in the gloomy corridors and alcoves of Westminster, John Pym, the Puritan leader and scourge of King Charles, had other plans. While the rest of the nation was rallying round, supporting Charles, and demanding an army to crush the Catholic rebels, Pym was afraid such a move would only empower the King. With an army under his control, he would renege on his deal with Parliament and use force to crush Pym and the Parliamentary opposition. In short, the King could not be trusted with an army....Rather than help prepare a force to retake Ireland, Pym proposed that Parliament should instead issue a 'Grand Remonstrance' detailing all of Charles's religious and political abuses." -- OpenLearn
Read the rest of the chapter except for the very last section.  Note especially the scene of protest against the Grand Remonstrance: "plumed hats were waved, men laid their hands upon their swords, some even drew them  and rested their hands upon the pommels." Narrate. Why did it matter that the vote to present the G.R. was so close?
.Finally, read the last section, about the "infuriated mobs." Make notes in the Book of Centuries.

For extra interest: check out this website on 1640's clothing, especially the Newbies section.

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