So I had to interrupt Mom Camp to discuss that today is the 501st anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
Mom Camp has done a Magna Carta Day (click this link for details). So this morning when I pointed out today was Magna Carta day and The Princess asked me what the Magna Carta was, I responded that she should know! (To be fair to her, she was pretty little when we did it so I am going to give her a pass). Although, she did suggest it was a British Declaration of Independence. Incorrect but at lest she knows it has to do with self government.
Cinco on the other hand quickly explained that the Magna Carta was a document signed by King John. He explained that it was to prevent the king from taking any more land. He was of course discussing the provisions in the document regarding the king’s forest and hunting privileges.
I did remind him that while it did discuss that. The big point is that the king has to consult with his nobles to raise taxes.
What’s more, yesterday was primary day in Nevada so I took them with me to vote. We came full circle on self government.
You may have guessed by now that with our trip to England coming up, we are spending a lot of time on all things British. In preparation for seeing Magna Carta we dedicated a mom camp day to learning ALL about it.
I decided to use the Disney movie as a means of teaching the kids about Magna Carta. It is a cute way to introduce the kids to King John and explain that he was taxing people too much.
I freely admit the movie is in no way factual. But, that’s when I stepped in and started explaining how the movie was different from real life. King John was over taxing his barons. Of course, Magna Carta is about more than just being over taxed. He was also dictating who rich widows married and turning too much of England into forest land, among other things.
Next we printed out some adorable and free Robin Hood masks from Sparklebox and put on our own Magna Carta play. The masks include the main characters from the Robin Hood story, but we improvised and used some of them for the barons and widows and other characters. The Princess insisted on playing evil King John and Cinco played the barons. Given our love of William Marshal we included him in the play as one of the negociators of Magna Carta.
Shameless plug for my William Marshal book:
With a little more help from Disney, I took what was supposed to be a Bambi craft and used it to talk more about the forestry laws before Magna Carta. After all, you could be killed or imprisoned for poaching the King’s deer!
Moving on to more serious matters, we also completed a 4-page lesson from the British Council on Magna Carta.
And, this is Cinco, The Princess and me looking at one of the four original copies of The Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral. It is supposed to be the best preserved of the existing copies. i must agree it looked brand new! Lucky for us, we had the chance to actually hover over the document. Although it was written in Latin, we did find The Marshal’s name on the document. He’s listed in a prominent place at the head of the nobles and after the bishops and king.