History - Admirable admiral?

14th September 2012 at 01:00

What it's all about

Acting out history helps children to see both sides. Our Year 4 (P4) dramatisation of Tudor punishments, which included beheadings, brandings, amputations and a cardboard pillory, nearly led to a riot, writes Steve Eddison. It was a relief when Chloe (Queen Elizabeth I), with sword in hand, elected to knight rather than decapitate Ryan (Francis Drake).

"So, what can you tell me about Sir Francis Drake?" I asked the English supporters.

They had researched well. He was a famous sea captain and explorer . born in Devon between 1540 and 1544 . went to sea in the 1550s . commanded his first ship in 1567 . defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588 . Between 1577 and 1580 he became the first man to circumcise the globe .

"I think you mean circumnavigate the globe, Paula," I explained.

"So what's circumcise mean?" she asked.

Moving swiftly on, I asked the Spaniards what they thought about Sir Francis Drake. It wasn't easy to recruit Spaniards until I agreed to let them draw curly moustaches on each other with charcoal sticks.

"He's nowt but a greedy, thieving, rotten pirate," roared Sam (Philip II) in a broad Yorkshire accent.

He attacked Spanish ships to steal their treasure . raided Spanish ports, sinking ships and taking their gold . destroyed 30 vessels in Cadiz harbour .

Drake felt affronted. "Are they trying to say I'm a pirate?" he asked.

"Yes," I replied. "Isn't that what pirates do? Sail the oceans stealing from other ships?"

What else?

Virneth has shared 3dhistory's interactive globe, which lets pupils map Drake's voyage, bit.lyT1GLTc. Try kakacik `s animated presentation of Drake's adventure, bit.lyO8CzgI.

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