A Literary Approach to the Hundred Year War

Otherwise known as the Lazy parent’s guide to teaching The Hundred Year War!  Yes, I am all warred out.  We have covered the Crusades in-depth and T12 has been learning all about the War of the Roses and concurrently we have been learning about the Hundred Year War.  Enough already!  Stop the fighting!  Claire is getting bored!  So what does a home school mummy do when she is fed up with battles and wars but wants her children to have at least a passing knowledge of the set of wars affectionately known to all as the Hundred Year War?

Handily, I had a good excuse not to be involved.  Gary had taken two weeks off work to make a start on the new school room and this seemed the perfect opportunity to give the children some resources and learn completely independently.  As I begun researching the hundred year war, it struck me just how much literature there was out there pertaining to it.  This gave me the idea to do a short unit using a primarily literary approach.  I would provide the resources and the children would use any that appealed to them.  I knew we would be calling on the older children to look after the younger children during the two weeks so I chose not to set them any written work, preferring instead to have them narrate all they had learnt at the end of the day.

We obtained the following two books as a download to listen to.  Whilst not quite as wonderful as his Sherlock Holmes books, Conan Doyle considered them to be his best works and they are well researched:

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Shakespeare is famously known for writing historical plays about the kings of England.  As we will be studying Shakespeare next year, and ultimately Shakespeare is designed to be watched rather than read, I opted for the films of his works rather than the actual written down plays:


The Hollow Crown series was a huge hit with my girls but a bit hit and miss with T12.  He did not enjoy the first video but the second and third he loved.  They all (but especially T12) really enjoyed Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V, which contains his famous battle speech:

In addition, I bought in a few factual books which they read a few pages of each day.  These were bought more for T12 who really enjoys learning about battles and wars; the girls not so much:

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I also had the children peruse this squidoo lens as much or as little as their interest allowed.  It wasn’t required work, just extra should they wish to delve in deeper.

This really was a simple way for the children to learn about this subject in a pain-free and easy way.  It took less than 30 minutes each day reading time, plus some listening time and of course their favourite – video time.  It required practically nothing from me which, as I was helping Gary with the school room, was exactly as I wanted it to be!