Saturday, January 28, 2006

Finishing Up Our Castle Unit

To put the finishing touches to our unit on castles and all things medieval, I had the Lego Maniac and String Bean each narrate a story for me that they then illustrated.

We had two books from the library that helped with this endeavor:
  • 1-2-3 Draw Kights, Castles, and Dragons (by Freddie Levin). This is a very easy to follow drawing book that has all kinds of wonderful drawing ideas. Basic people -- standing, sitting, running or side views -- are described and then "dressed" to show how to make a princess, queen, king, jester, minstrel or knight. Drawing dragons in action, horses galloping and falcons perched are broken down into easy to understand shapes that are then colored to enliven the drawing. Castles, weapons and coat-of-arms are also detailed. This is a great beginning drawing book.
  • Draw! Medieval Fantasies (by Damon J. Reinagle). This one was a bit more difficult -- String Bean didn't even try and Lego Maniac gave up after about 45 minutes of really trying. This book would be better in the hands of a 10 or 11 year old. But the techniques are well illustrated and would be a great resource for those interested in creating comic-book type illustrations with lots of detail and action. Definitely one to remember when Lego Maniac is a bit older.

Another book we had gotten from the library, but ran out of time to use, was unique and Ill need to remember it next time we do the Middle Ages. Origami in King Arthur's Court - An Adventure in Folding (by Lew Rozelle) is a jewel! Castles, knights, a joust, Merlin's Castle (including the inhabitants), Camelot, and the Royal Hunt are the subjects of the chapters. And the items look wonderful! The knights look like knights, the dragon looks like a dragon and Merlin's sorceress looks like an old hag. This is one for every knight and castle afficianado!

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