This week, our mini topic is Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night. We’ve been using Twinkl PlanIt for History, and I’ve attempted to tie in some Spanish with a simple practice worksheet for the first couple of lines of the traditional poem.

Gunpowder Plot

It’s really close to Bonfire Night, so we resumed our seasonal Gunpowder Plot studies. The fourth lesson from PlanIt The Gunpowder Plot is about The Search for Thomas Percy. Every PlanIt lesson has an engaging presentation, and this one featured a funny description of Thomas Percy. We talked about whether it was sufficient to identify him, and what other characteristics we might include if we were attempting to identify someone solely with a written account. Alas, fingerprint technology wasn’t invented till modern times but the kids picked up on scars, vocal inflection, and birthmarks.

The kids created their own “wanted” posters, to help capture Thomas Percy. (I printed the A4 word mat as A5 sheets, to help them with vocabulary and description ideas.) There was some disgruntlement over how to depict salt-and-pepper hair, so my elder child abandoned the whole notion for something that looks suspiciously blonde. (My younger child skipped the whole predicament by opting for a black-and-white drawing.)

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Worksheets from lesson 4 of PlanIt The Gunpowder Plot, and the traditional Bonfire Night poem.

Bonfire Night Poem

The traditional poem, as most British adults know, begins: “Remember, remember the fifth of November; gunpowder treason and plot!”

We read the English version (with a few complaints thrown in, for the archaic language). It helps that we’ve been looking at the actual historical event, so the full poem is more relatable than if we were reading it out of context. Still, there was some eye-rolling over “catch’d” and “’twas”, plus, oddly enough, “holler”.

A couple of kind Spanish speakers helped me with translation of the first two lines, which I’ve used to make a free Bonfire Night Poem worksheet. (They did, in fact, go on to translate the next couple of lines too, but, as is ever the case with poetry, they couldn’t decide how closely to translate it – as a very literal translation usually means the rhyme and meter gets distorted.)

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Traditional Bonfire Night poem in Spanish.
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