The End of the World or Chapter 25 shocked the kids, especially my six-year-old. After the first page, she started talking over me, saying things like, “I don’t like this story…” I told her that it gets better and she listened quietly, but still making comments at the end about how sad this chapter is.
There are two different stories in this chapter, one about the plague itself and one about how the Black Death changed the feudal system. We answered the questions and worked on the map. Then, we did a craft which is a spinning wheel showing the progress of the plague, i.e. its spread from rats and fleas to humans.
I think it blew them away to find out that Ring Around the Rosy might actually be talking about the Great Plague. My daughter was especially interested in the fate of the Scandinavian girl who survived the plague and ended up living with animals for years. When she was finally discovered by people, the girl had no idea who and what they were. But they took her in, taught her to be human again, and gave her all the land of the villagers where she lived. There was nobody left to claim it.
She and her family became gentry and it all impressed my children very much. I like it when I expand their horizons. I can’t think of anything better to do with my time than to read to my children and to teach them history, math, languages and everything else under the sun.