We are well and truly in the mix of Medieval Times in regards to our history reading. This year we are following along with Story Of The World Book 2 as our spine. We are using loads of great books, documentaries and activities to enhance history though, as I feel SOTW as a stand alone is somewhat lacking for us.
Marveling at the intricate and ornate work done in Illuminated books really sparked the kids interest. The attention to detail and the sheer volume of time spent on creating these stunning works of art is simply amazing.
SOTW includes a simplified colouring page for those that wish to try their hand at illuminating a letter or two.
Marguerite Makes A Book, the story of a young girl living in Paris in the early 1400's. Through a series of events she is led to assist her father, a famous manuscript illuminator to complete a very important book.
This is a long picture book, broken into chapters. This is one of the reasons why we found the book so endearing, it truly was suitable for a wide variety of ages. The stunning illustrations kept my youngest captivated and the story itself has enough adventures and accurate detailing to keep the older of my crew enthralled.
By the end of the story you really have a feel for what it was like to create a book, the amount of effort, time and perseverance that was put into each and every one of these amazing hand made books, is nothing short of amazing!
From there we went searching. We found a pretty cool pinterest board with medieval illuminations, boarders, patterns and letters.
We came across this 3 minute you tube clip which shows some reproduction work of an illuminated letter.
I really wanted the kids to try this out for themselves, but knew I had to choose something that was achievable. This clip has full instructions on creating your own patterned monograms in a fun, easy, creative way.
And so we set to it. I grabbed pencils, rubbers, fine tip markers and gel pens (my kids absolutely love using glittery gel pens) and sketch books.
They had the option of free hand drawing their chosen letter or I had already printed a large letter that we could trace. Having the outline definitely helped the less adventurous kids.
We all enjoyed working on these, it was creative, yet simple and very meditative once you got into it. The process definitely gave us a feel for the work involved in creating illuminated manuscripts.