From Classrooms to Castles Katie Helm Teaching Versailles to 3rd Graders
Thesis • The grandiose of Versailles is difficult to convey and teach those who have never experienced it first hand; however, through various methods of teaching students can indeed learn about the history and culture of the castle.
Lesson Intro • The King’s Day: Louis XIV of France by Aliki • Writing activity • Social Studies: locate what hemisphere Versailles is located in
Lecture: History • Versailles was originally a moderate 2-story hunting lodge built in 1624 for Louis XIII. • It became the official royal residence and the seat of the French government in 1682 under the rule of King Louis XIV. • The castle underwent a lot of reconstruction before it was made the royal palace
Lecture: King Louis XIV • Louis became the king of France when he was 4 years and 8 months old • Le Roi Soleil • He was king for 72 years • He married Marie-Thérèse
The Castle • Reconstruction of the castle began in 1661 but Louis didn’t move in until 1682 • There are 700 rooms, 1,250 chimneys, 67 staircases, and over 2,000 windows
Hall of Mirrors • There are17 mirrors on one side of the wall and 17 windows on the other side that look out on the castle’s gardens • It was once used to host royal wedding celebrations and to receive visiting ambassadors.
The Mars Salon • The room is one of seven that makes up the King’s grand apartment • The room was inspired by Mars the god of war • It was used to hold ballets, balls, and other forms of entertainment
The Gardens • Following the French style, the gardens are very ornate and symmetrical with clear evidence of planning • There are flowers, sculptures, fountains, grottos, and more • Mythology and the sun are a common theme throughout the garden
Application • Language Arts Activity: write an invitation to a ball • Math activity: have the class solve math equations about different parts of the castle • Example: If there are 700 rooms in Versailles and 67 staircases, the students could use estimation and subtraction (700 – 70 = 630) to figure out how many more rooms the castle has than staircases
Fun Activity • Have the students all draw their own castles and decide what kind of rooms would be in it and who would live with them in the castle.