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Where we learn history through classic children's books.
 
The Anne of Green Gables Living Book History Course: Information For Parents

The Anne of Green Gables Living Book History Course: Information For Parents



Does your child love stories? Are they a big reader? Are you looking for a way to inspire them with a love for their schoolwork, but current resources just aren’t cutting it?

Look no further!

Here at Living Book Home School, I develop resources drawing on the ideas of the great educationalist Charlotte Mason. Instead of using dull, fact-heavy textbooks to teach history, I use ‘living books’ – books with inspiring storylines and fascinating characters.

The Anne of Green Gables Living Book History Course uses the classic tale by L.M. Montgomery as a gateway to learning about the historical context Anne inhabited.

Want to find out more? This post is for you.

A Preview of the Anne of Green Gables Living Book History Course Introduction Workbook


Is This Course For Your Child?


This course is aimed at young people 12+ who love stories and reading. They don’t need to have any previous knowledge of the period we are studying (1850-1950). It is however recommended that your child reads through Anne of Green Gables before starting the course. 

The course will frequently point them to different passages/chapters in the book to read in relation to the aspect of history we’re studying. It would therefore be easier for them if they read the story as a whole beforehand.



A classic book like Anne of Green Gables is a classic for a reason. It doesn’t just entertain us … it has something important to teach us.

Anne of Green Gables is a book close to my heart, as well as to generations of people who have read and loved it too.

This course draws back the curtain on the world that Anne inhabited and helps your child to see how that context impacts the story, the characters and the attitudes you see in the book.

Your child will have plenty of opportunities to read parts of Anne of Green Gables and watch clips from TV adaptations of the book in order to look at it in its historical context. This being so, they will see:

  • How historical attitudes to childhood affected Anne’s experience and are reflected in different characters.
  • How children without their parents (orphans or otherwise) were treated during the period and how Anne’s experience fits within this context.
  • The reputation orphans had and how Anne has to overcome prejudices formed against orphans in the book.
  • Why Netflix’s Anne With An E (an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables) decided to add the previously untold (but historically accurate) storyline of an Indigenous girl called Ka’kwet who is separated from her parents.
  • The kinds of attitudes which can be seen represented in Anne of Green Gables which contributed to the events portrayed through Ka’kwet’s storyline.

The Learning Objectives of the Course


The Big Question the Anne of Green of Green Gables Living Book History Course Answers

The course aims to answer the big question:

What was it like to be a child without your parents in early twentieth-century Canada?

Anne of Green Gables was written in 1908 and its main character, Anne, is an orphan. To understand what it was like for children without their parents such as Anne at this time, it’s useful to know some information relating to before and after the book was written. For this reason, we will be learning about trends that affected children from 1850-1950.

Becoming a Good Historian

Throughout the course, your child will not only learn about different historical trends affecting children like Anne, but they will also learn skills that will make them a good historian. Skills such as:

  • Analysing and selecting historical sources to learn about the past
  • Assessing the reliability and usefulness of these sources
  • Accounting for similarities and differences between accounts of the same historical event
  • Noticing historical trends and how attitudes have changed
  • Identifying intended and unintended consequences of decisions made in history
  • Writing history essays
  • Understanding the functions of historical memorials

Fun and Creative Tasks to Expect


The course has a wide variety of different tasks and activities to keep things interesting. These include:

  • Videos
  • Reading texts
  • Short quizzes
  • A board game
  • Source analysis tasks
  • Tasks to read Anne of Green Gables in context
  • Questions to encourage private reflection
  • A story-writing task
  • Two essay-writing tasks
  • A historical-memorial-designing task

Opportunities for Feedback


After the short quizzes (there is one quiz in each unit), students will automatically receive feedback on how they did. This will include a score and, in some cases, a reason for correct or incorrect answers.

There are also four tasks in the course where they can submit work and receive feedback from me. These include a story-writing task, two essay-writing tasks and a historical-memorial-designing task.

Once students have completed all sections of the course, they will receive a certificate of completion with their name on it.


How to Make Sure Your Child Gets the Most Out of the Course


Aside from making sure your child has already read Anne of Green Gables before starting the course, there are a few other things to keep in mind to make sure your child gets the most out of the course.

Encourage Your Child to Participate in the Course Community

The best way to learn is with other people who are trying to master the same thing. That is why it is so important to participate in the community discussions surrounding the course.

Your child can do this on the left-hand side of the course material when they click on ‘Discuss’.

Throughout the course, there will be moments when your child will be asked to share a thought, idea or something they’ve learned with the course community. While not mandatory, such participation is highly encouraged

That being said, it is expected that participation is kind and respectfulInappropriate or unkind comments will not be tolerated.

How Much is it Necessary to Support Your Child with this Course?

It is not necessary for you as the parent/guardian to do the course with your child. The activities – particularly for older students – can be done without supervision. 

That being said, there are some activities that might benefit from your child being able to discuss some ideas with you

When it comes to the board game activity, they will (of course) need to find somebody to play it with.

It is therefore up to you to decide how much you think your child would benefit from your presence and support, or whether it is more important to you that they learn to study independently.


What Books Would You Like to See Made into a Course?


I am always eager to hear suggestions for books to turn into history course like the Anne of Green Gables Living Book History Course and the A Christmas Carol Living Book History Mini Course. The possibilities for adapting great children’s books as a gateway to learning are endless.

What are you favourite books?

Which would you like to see adapted to teach a particular area of history?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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