Stonehenge history preschool ancient British history

Stonehenge lesson for preschool and elementary

For our homeschool history lesson this week we read about how Stonehenge was made, and how we aren’t entirely sure how the ancient Britons moved these huge 26-ton boulders from place to place.  Of course, you can’t just read about Stonehenge without building your own Stonehenge.

Stonehenge lesson ideas for preschool with elementary extension ideas

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Stonehenge lesson resources

I was absolutely positive my library had books on Stonehenge, but I was mistaken. So the one, and only one book I’m recommending to you I haven’t read, but I’m familiar with the series it is a part of, and the series is a generally solid series.

And these are the videos from when I taught this to my 8th graders (I’m sharing my entire Ancient and Middle Ages British history playlist).

Preschool Stonehenge lesson

Stonehenge lesson for preschool

Future Ticia here, we redid this lesson later as an elementary lesson, so I’ve added in the Stonehenge lesson for elementary kids under here, so if you’ve got multi-age groups you can now do this activity with more kids.
So, build we did.  I’d read suggestions of trying this with rocks.  But, our local rocks are all limestone and come out in very irregularly shaped blobs, not good for many craft projects.  Next, I thought of bricks, but I’m sure someone would drop it on their foot, and then off to the ER we’d go.

Finally, I remembered the Jenga blocks (I obsessively stalk Target, Michael’s, Wal Mart, and Hobby Lobby to find “tumbling blocks” on sale to add to our stockpile of blocks).

Stonehenge lesson preschool completed

This picture (above) is mere seconds before Batman decided to cause an “act of God” and destroy our Stonehenge.  We had a lot of fun talking through how to make it and how to best balance the pieces.
Princess eventually joined in on the act and made her own mini-Stonehenge (yes I put the picture of her earlier, but we’ll call it artistic license).

free play after the stonehenge lesson
Notice the boys quite carefully not sitting in the Princess pink chair.

And of course, it ended with the kids happily playing with the blocks, with a few extra guidelines added in.  I had to literally divide the blocks down the middle and give half to each boy, because that was starting to get ugly.

Stonehenge lesson for elementary (with suggestions for middle school)

Stonehenge lesson elementary

Our second time around for the Stonehenge lesson we did get out the Jenga blocks again, but we built our Stonehenge(s) outside.  In the Mystery of History 1, one of the theories for why Stonehenge was built is to show the time of year.  Sort of a giant perpetual calendar.

Stonehenge lessons for elementary kids

We obviously weren’t going to devote our front yard to this for years, but we could use a day to show something different.  This is a variation on our sun lesson, where we measured shadows.  This time we were going to measure how the shadows moved and predict lessons learned from it.

Stonehenge shadow experiment

We watched as the shadows moved for part of the day, and how they were almost gone by lunchtime, but we ran into the same snag as we had before.  The weather didn’t cooperate.  The clouds rolled in and we had no shadows to measure.

Wanting to extend this Stonehenge lesson to middle or high school students?  Middle school students can research star patterns and how they change depending on the time of year.  If Stonehenge was built to show the passage of time, they can learn about other ways to mark the passage of time.

Middle School Stonehenge lesson ideas

  • research how the stars move to indicate the passage of time
  • what other reasons was Stonehenge built?  look into some of those
  • how did the builders move the stone blocks?  Research and come up with ideas (this can also be used for high schoolers)
Stonehenge history preschool ancient British history

High School Stonehenge lesson ideas

  • compare Stonehenge to other possible timekeeping devices, look at the Aztecs and Mayans for some amazing time devices
  • research Stonehenge in literature, Stonehenge frequently appears in fantasy novels because of its mystery.
  • research druidic religious practices

More hands-on homeschool ideas

Stonehenge history and science lesson


17 responses to “Stonehenge lesson for preschool and elementary”

  1. oh very cool.

    You could also do this from styrofoam, cut it to shape, glue together and paint. I saw a brick wall made like this at a craft store and it looked fabulous.

  2. Los Chicos y Mamá Avatar
    Los Chicos y Mamá

    Same here with my kids!! Divide and conquer they said… hahahaha

  3. Christy Avatar

    This post made me laugh. I like the act of God.

    My kids fight over everything. Actually, they are fighting right now. Ugh.

  4. How neat! Stonehenge is on my list to “visit”, and I was also thinking of building it… with rocks, but I see now that blocks will work much better 🙂 Batman is too funny.

  5. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog Avatar
    Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog

    Great idea to build it with blocks! We've been to Foamhenge in Natural Bridge, VA…. a life size replica of the real Stonehenge, but made entirely of foam. Mark thought it was a work of genius!

  6. I love the hands on building of Stonehenge! Glad you used blocks and not rocks or bricks.

  7. Fun! Stonehenge is one of the many places that C loved during his world wonder obsession. We actually found a small Stonehenge set at Borders that has all the pieces to build a replica. But we also started with wooden blocks originally.

  8. An Almost Unschooling Mom Avatar
    An Almost Unschooling Mom

    There's a “Stonehenge” in Washington, along the Columbia river – we always see it from the Oregon side on the way to the grandparents', but we've never stopped.

    Glad you managed to divide the blocks, before things got too ugly 🙂

  9. MaryAnne Avatar

    I went to the real Stonehenge when I was 9 or 10; it was pretty amazing.

    We have those same jenga blocks, my kids play with them all the time. They actually seem to prefer them over the Melissa & Doug blocks they got last Christmas…

  10. Discovering Montessori Avatar
    Discovering Montessori

    This is a really cool geography lesson, you even managed to add a liitle math in there. Great work.

  11. We're studying England this week – we'll have to build Stonehenge. And we have Jenga blocks! Thanks for the great idea!

  12. Phyllis Avatar

    We have done this very same thing! My James did this for days. 🙂

  13. I think using the blocks was a great idea.

  14. Pathfinder Mom Avatar
    Pathfinder Mom

    I can imagine that you get to play referee quite a bit. Do you end up buying two of most things?

  15. child central station Avatar
    child central station

    Great Idea! Love the Jenga Blocks part. Have you heard about Carhenge? My husband has put that on our list of place to visit. I thought it was interesting to show our son how others have tried to replicate too!

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