15 More Ways to Teach History Like a Sailor

(For Medieval History this time):

Make coat-of-arms. Use Hubert Allcock’s Heraldic Design, with excellent black & white illustrations.

Teach chess & hold tournament.

Have students write a canto like one from Dante.

Teach calligraphy and illuminated letters. Here is a good beginner guide.

Read and perform Hroswitha’s Dulcitius (online here) or Hickscorner (online here).

Help students observe, study, cook with herbs. Use Jill Norman’s lovely Herbs and Spices.

Try to teach chant. Here is a website with sound and scores.

Teach students how to pray Liturgy of the Hours.

Take students on a pilgrimage.

Help students make a banner.

Read Howard Pyle's Robin Hood or R. L. Green's King Arthur or Beowulf or El Cid or The Confessions of St. Patrick or Evelyn Waugh's Helena or The Song of Roland. Or be a bard and tell them the story.

Help students try archery.

Show students Gustave Dore engravings of the Crusade and Dante and pictures from the Medieval Bestiary. Make black-&-white copies and color them.

Teach students the Four Temperaments and offer the personality test (see Poet post for more).

Have students memorize these at the appropriate times: a psalm, and
“The Last Horseman,” by Federico Garcia-Lorca (in honor of Pelayo).
Cordoba.
So lone and far.
Pony so dark, big moon,
and in my saddlebag olives.
Though the ways are familiar,
I will never reach Cordoba.
Across the plain, through the wind,
Pony so dark, red moon.
Death keeps staring at me,
down from the towers of Cordoba.
O! how long the way!
O! my pony so valient!
O! what death awaits me,
before I ever reach Cordoba!
Cordoba. So lone and far.

Or an excerpt from Song of Roland,
165
When the Archbishop saw Roland faint and fallen,
So sad was he, he never had been more so;
He reaches out; he’s taken Roland’s horn up.
In Ronceval there runs a stream of water;
Fain would he go there and fetch a little for him.
With feeble steps he turns him thither, falt’ring;
He is so weak, that he cannot go forward,
For loss of blood he has no strength to call on.
Ere one might cover but a rood’s length in walking
His heart has failed him, he has fallen face-foremost;
The pangs of death have seized him with great torment.
268
Homeward from Spain the Emperor Charles has sped
And come to Aix, France’s best citadel.
Into his hall he climbs the palace steps;
There comes to meet him Aude, a fair damozel.
She asks the King: “Where is the captain dread?
Say, where is Roland that promised me to wed?”
Then Carlon’s heart is filled with heaviness,
His eyes weep tears, his snowy beard he rends:
“Sister, sweet lady, you ask me for the dead.
A man yet nobler I’ll give to you instead;
Louis, I mean—what better can I else?
He is my son, and heir to all my realm.”
“To me,” said Aude, “These words are meaningless.
God and His saints and angels now forfend
I should live on when Roland’s life is spent!”
At Carlon’s feet she falls, her hue is fled,
She dies forthwith, God give her spirit rest!
The French lords weep and grievously lament.

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