Ticia of 2019 here, I first published this Jan. 1 of 2016, but we went and saw Henry V last night, and this Joan of Arc unit is the only history lesson I have from the Hundred Years War. That is a tragedy of epic proportions that must be remedied, especially since we covered middle ages history this year.
And, if you bring up Henry V you have to watch Brian Blessed as the ambassador of England, yes it has nothing to do with this Joan of Arc Unit, but everyone should watch this scene.
With that, I now return you to our originally scheduled, Joan of Arc unit,
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Last year as we studied the Mystery of History 2 in our homeschool history we learned about Joan of Arc, but at the time we were in “get the school year done mode,” and didn’t really create a Joan of Arc unit to learn more about her. But, this fall we studied France, and I made a Joan of Arc Unit as part of our studies of the country.
Joan of Arc Unit Supplies
Legos (I used, in particular, a couple of Lego friends figures and some various castle and pirate figures), Wonder Maps*, Mystery of History 2, marker, and various Joan of Arc picture books (my suggestions: Joan of Arc*, You Wouldn’t Want to Be Joan of Arc!: A Mission You Might Want to Miss*, Joan of Arc: Heroine of France*, Joan of Arc*, all of these are in my local library and I looked through them)
France unit printable (quite likely I’m gonna put this on the subscriber page when I’m not going out of town in a day, so better grab it while it’s here)
What we did for the Joan of Arc unit
First we read the lesson and completed the notebooking pages. Then I read “Joan of Arc: Heroine of France” to them.
Next we walked through the timeline of Joan of Arc’s life with our Lego history.
Joan is the maiden of Orleans.
Only this is Joan of Arc, because she had black hair not blonde, so all those paintings of her with light colored hair are wrong.
That’s where she was born and at the age of 12 she heard the voices of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Margaret and Michael the Archangel (he gets a sword because Michael is traditionally the archangel that goes into battle). As a young girl of 12 the voices told her to be good and obey her parents.
But at the age of 17 the voices told her to help the Dauphin (the heir to the king of France) gain his throne. Charles VII was currently over in Tours, but the king of France is crowned in Reims, so he needed to get there to become king. The problem is there was this giant English army in the way.
So, Joan goes to the king and to prove she really is sent from God, she picks him out of a crowd of soldiers, and another test or two. Then she says, “I’ll totally get you to Reims and on the throne.” Little known fact Joan of Arc was a valley girl.
Joan leads the army out and wins a battle in her hometown of Orleans. The army is amazed at her ability to lead them, and between Orleans and Reims she leads them to 4 more victories.
They get to Reims and Joan happily stands beside the king as he is crowned. But the story doesn’t end here.
See, there’s this other group who are jealous of Joan and think she might be crazy, so they conspire with the English, who obviously have a bone to pick with Joan. They capture Joan, and after some back and forth she is sent off with the English.
Now the English want to kill Joan of Arc, but they recognize outright killing her would be bad PR, so they try her for heresy. It was all the rage to try people for heresy back then and burn them at the stake.
They try Joan for 1. wearing men’s clothing, 2. lying about hearing voices, and 3. witchcraft. Joan of Arc was tried and found guilty and burned at the stake for her crimes.
Over 20 years later Joan was tried again, and her name was cleared. Then several hundred years later in 1920 the Catholic church named Joan of Arc a Catholic saint.
A great discussion to have with older kids as part of a Joan of Arc unit is whether Joan was really hearing from the Saints she claimed and she was called by God, or if she was hearing voices. I find it an interesting discussion to have. I’ve found many great people are quite complex.
Joan of Arc unit resources
Sadly I haven’t seen many other posts written about her, so if you’ve got something let me know and I’ll add it in. Instead, I’ll just point you to my Mystery of History 2 Pinterest board, now called Middle Ages Pinterest Board.
I do have some videos on the Hundred Years War as part of our French History playlist we used for Middle Ages history this past year.
More Middle Ages Resources
Huh, my quick search did not find a lot, I need to label stuff better, and it’s almost midnight so I’m gonna have to look this up more tomorrow morning.
Phyllis at All Things Beautiful says
You really need to write a history book! As always, this Lego history post is wonderful!
I’m really starting to toy with the idea, just they would have to be fairly photo heavy since these are rather photo heavy texts…..
Almost Unschoolers says
I like the flowers as fire – I’m sure there could be some symbolism in there somewhere 🙂 Another very good lesson!
I’m sure there probably is now that you say that.
Natalie PlanetSmartyPants says
I remember visiting some of Joan’s sites in France when I lived there. She has certainly been one of the most unusual historic figures of that time.
I love the unit! I particularly like the use of LEGO figures and the maps. One addition I would like to make is that Orleans was not Joan’s hometown. She was just staying there to lift the siege of the British. Her hometown was Domremy, in the Lorraine region of France which is in the NE of the country. One of her many nicknames was the Maiden of Lorraine. There was an old prophecy that said a maiden would would come from Lorraine to save France.
It was Domremy that she left at the age of 16 to go to the nearby city of Vaucouleurs to get soldiers to fight with her. Then she went to the Dauphin. Her house, part of her church and the font where she was baptized are still in Domremy and can be visited.
Ugh, I better go in and fix that. Thanks for letting me know.
That would be an amazing place to visit.
maryanne @ mama smiles says
Yes, write that history book! I love the way you use LEGOs to teach history 🙂
It would certainly be fun to write. Now the question is, actually try and use “historically accurate” or at least close or the completely and totally random that I have now.
I’m so glad to have found your Joan of Arc post. I will definitely be using this to teach my kids. And I will also use the Lego minifigure like you did. My kids will love it!Thanks!
You’re welcome! My kids loved it.