When Americans think of Britain, our thoughts are typically of proper citizens drinking tea and saying everything in a cool accent. We might also think of Kings and Queens, quaint cottages surrounded by flowers, with polite butlers greeting visitors at the door, and a dish of scones being served to guests.
But before the Romans brought civilization to Britain, the British were called Britons and they were actually barbaric! Imagine William Wallace from Braveheart – – – and you’ll have just an inkling of what these Ancient Britons were like.
Welcome to Beric the Briton, an exciting novel by G. A. Henty that takes place in Ancient Britain during the time when Rome invaded. The story starts in A.D. 60, and blends historical facts with the fictional tale of one Briton, named Beric, who lived in both the Roman and Briton worlds.
I first shared this in the Proverbial Homemaker’s Fall Book Series. Visit her website for all the other great books and unit studies!
In the first half of the book and study guide, we will read about the ancient Celts and their lifestyle, as well as their fight to be free. The famous Iceni Queen, Boudicea, also enters this tale. After much resistance and fighting, Beric and many of his companions are captured and taken to Rome as prisoners.
The second half of the book takes place in Rome. We get to meet Nero, gladiators, and are introduced to 1st Century Christian martyrs. These are the Christians that Paul wrote to in the book of Romans.
Beric the Briton is an exciting story of ancient civilizations, battles, and it introduces us to the beginnings of Western Civilization.
How to Use This Guide
This Study Guide is designed to be used in a variety of situations by homeschool families or in a homeschool co-op setting. It may be used by an individual student or a group of students. The book itself is suitable for upper elementary and high school (as well as parents who would like to learn along with their children!), but could be read aloud to all ages.
With this free study guide and a free Kindle download of the book, you can have a complete semester or year of history for FREE!
I like to read stories like this one aloud to my children, and then have everyone participate in the discussions and activities (according to their ages and abilities). We typically read 1-2 chapters per day (or listen to a quality audio version), look up the maps, visit a link or two, watch a video clip, or explore other related books.
The study guide includes a Names, Places and Terms sections for each chapter (for further research, spelling and vocabulary practice, or copywork). A few chapters don’t have this section; I tried not to overwhelm with frivolous content. You’ll want add in costuming, eat some Roman or Celtic foods, listen to their languages, and play historic games; links to ideas for all of these activities are included from around the web!
I personally used this in our local co-op with 4th-6th grade students. We met once a week for 10 weeks. Since the book has 21 chapters, I assigned 2 chapters to be read at home each week. In class we discussed geography, lifestyles of the Celts and the Romans, battles, and everything else.
We did hands-on activities some weeks, and ended the semester with a Roman feast.
At the end of this guide, I’ve included links to additional resources that you might want to explore. Please consider purchasing through my affiliate links to allow me to provide more free study guides like this one!
Did you know that the G.A. Henty books – combined with Winston Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples – makes a great world history curriculum? I’ve written it all out for you here.