So, I have a confession to make. My first crush was Robin Hood—no, not the human, the fox. 😉 (I know I’m not the only one. I’ve seen the Pinterest memes!) How can anyone not like this adorable rogue? I was more than a little pleased to see him return in an updated form as the conman Nick Wilde in Zootopia.
I was, therefore, very happy when it turned out that one of my kids’ favorite Disney movies to watch over and over and over again is Disney’s Robin Hood. Naturally, the next step was for us to do a Robin Hood Quest!
Where has Prince John hidden all the money he stole from Nottingham? Help Robin Hood, Little John, and his friends find the money by figuring out the answer.
For this Quest you will need:
- All printable worksheets (see below)
- Plain paper
- Colored pencils
- Coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters)
- Shoebox with the lid removed
- Large rubber bands
- Felt or construction paper in the colors blue, red, and white
- Old (clean!) socks
- Dried beans
- Funnel (optional)
- Masking tape
The home-educator should read through the Quest in advance, to be sure he or she has everything necessary and to-hand. Print off all necessary worksheets, one per student.
In this Quest, kids will learn: music history, song creation, writing, reading, counting money, instrument identification, instrument creation, problem-solving, English history, animal observation, flag history, physical science, coordination, physical movement, and geography.
I began by hiding each of the activities with a character from the book and a number. I found the characters at homeschoolshare.com.
I only used nine of them, the ones I thought the kids more likely to recognize: Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet, Alan of Dale, King Richard, Maid Marian, Sheriff of Nottingham, Little John, and Queen Eleanor. I wrote the number of each activity on the front of the character card and then the letter associated with it in pencil on the back. They received the letter that matched the number in the answer code after completing the activity. The kids were allowed to do the activities and find the letters in any order.
1, C= Robin Hood’s story began as a ballad. A ballad is a sung poem. Listen to the ballad and then write your own poem about one of Robin Hood’s adventures. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of a ballad is “a poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas. Traditional ballads are typically of unknown authorship, having been passed on orally from one generation to the next as part of the folk culture.”
You can read and listen to the ballad of Robin Hood and Little John here. The kids had a hard time following along so we after listening to the ballad, we watched these two fun clips to get a better idea of what happened: Robin Hood River Fight and Robin Hood Men in Tights (for comedic benefit).
2, A= Help Friar Tuck sort the money they’ve stolen from the rich to give to the poor. Sort into piles according to type, then count it up to find the total. For this activity you just need a pile of coins! We also talked about different coins from the UK since we had some on-hand.
3, S= Help Will Scarlet identify the instruments played in the song “The Phony King of England” from Disney’s Robin Hood. (One of my favorite songs, haha!) We started by watching and listening to Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin in order to better identify types of instruments. A few we heard in the Robin Hood song included the piccolo, lute, drum, mouth harp, tambourine, fiddle, maraca, trumpet, trombone, accordion, and violin. What do you hear?
Alan of Dale
4, T= Alan of Dale is a bard who usually plays a stringed instrument in some form in most tellings of Robin Hood. Let’s make one! Grab a box—a shoebox with the lid removed is the perfect size—and some large rubber bands. Then carefully string the rubber bands over the box and you’ve got a guitar! If you tighten or loosen the elasticity on the rubber bands, they should make a different sound when plucked. Play around with it! For added learning, you could look up a YouTube guitar lesson.
5, L= Prince John and King Richard are lions in the Disney movie version, but Richard the Lionhearted was a real person from history. First, we talked about him, and I read from this lapbook unit study from homeschoolshare.com. If you have older kids, I recommend using this lap book for more parts of the Quest. It’s very informative, and I’ll be using it when we read the full Robin Hood as my kids get older!
Then we talked about lions. What is a lion really like? Find out by watching some videos from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. While watching, I had the kids fill out an animal observation sheet from kcedventures.com.
6, E= Help Maid Marian make a flag to hang in their new Sherwood Forest hideout. Create the flag of the United Kingdom with felt or construction paper in the colors blue, red, and white. Read about the history and design here. Since at the time of Robin Hood it wasn’t the full flag, you could get technical, or just have fun with it! 🙂
Sheriff of Nottingham
7, O= Robin must beat the Sheriff of Nottingham at an archery tournament. Help Robin practice by learning how a bow and arrow works. We couldn’t very well shoot arrows in the house, so instead we played a game of bean bag toss! We made these bean bags ourselves a couple months ago. I’d collected baby socks of theirs that were in good shape and too fun to throw out. A cheap bag of dried beans plus a stapler and voila! Our very own bean bag toss!
We marked out lines on the floor and gave points according to where the bean bag landed. I had them help me tally their points, which was great math practice. Altogether a very simple and fun game!
8, W= In the original story, Robin Hood and Little John meet crossing a bridge, and the opening of the Disney movie makes reference to this when they fall off the log and into the river. Help Robin cross the bridge by balancing.
Because it was raining outside, we couldn’t balance on a piece of wood. Instead, we taped a line on the floor and practiced balancing while crossing that! Probably safer anyway. 😉 Is it easier or harder while you’re holding something? (It is best if the kids do this activity after hearing the original ballad, to understand the reference, but if they have not found that clue yet, it’ll still work, it will just make more sense once they hear it.)
9, R= Using an atlas or Google maps, plan a course from London to Nottingham so King Richard and his mother, Queen Eleanor, can find their way to Robin.
Answer: CASTLE TOWER
I hope you enjoyed this adventure! Be sure to tell us what you added or liked most in the comments! Happy Questing!