Explore the world of Robin Hood

Say the name Robin Hood, and a series of ideas, images and connotations immediately come to mind. Try it in class as a brainstorming activity and let you students give you words they think of when they hear the name. The story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men has so many retellings and film adaptations that it has become one of the few legends which almost everyone is familiar with, like a favourite fairytale or myth from childhood.

Our Level 2 (CEF A1-A2, Trinity 2-3 levels) Robin Hood reader, adapted by Scott Luader and Walter McGregor from the 1883 book The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. The Helbling Readers adaptation is illustrated by Catty Flores.

Follow our steps and explore Sherwood Forest and Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands, the setting of the story. Learning about the setting of a story leads us to discoveries about its history, geography, culture, lifestyle and even scientific developments.

  • In groups or individually, ask your students to do some research using internet, maps and encyclopaedias.
  • We recommend these activities for children and young teens at an elementary or pre-intermediate level of English.

Sherwood Forest

Robin Hood in the woods. Illustration by Catty Flores in the Helbling Reader adaptation of Howard Pyle’s Robin Hood. ©Helbling

Keywords:

  • heritage forest, woodland, hunting, to conserve, conservation, to protect, to destroy, destruction, wildlife, endangered species

Sherwood Forest is one of the most famous heritage forests in the world. Although most of your students will have heard about this forest, not all of them will know where exactly it is situated, how old and big it is, and what kind of trees and animals can be found in it.

  1. Where is Sherwood Forest?
  2. What does heritage mean? What is a heritage forest?
  3. Sherwood was a Royal Hunting Forest. What does it mean?
  4. How big is Sherwood Forest?
  5. How has it changed through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries?
  6. What are the reasons for this change?

The Major Oak, one of the most famous oak trees in the world can also be found here. The tree, just like the forest, has such a long history that it can tell you about life from Middle Ages through the Victorian Era to present day scientific practices. It is also interesting to learn that there are other named trees in the forest.

  1. How old is the Major Oak?
  2. Why is it famous?
  3. How do local groups try to protect it?
  4. What scientific experiments were done on the tree?
  5. What other types of trees can be found in the forest?
  6. What other named trees can you find?

Various trees and animals live in the forest.

  1. Write a list of animals that live in the forest.
  2. Which are the biggest ones?
  3. Which are the smallest ones?
  4. Write a list of the most common birds in the forest.
  5. Which animals do not live in your country?
  6. Are there any endangered animals in the forest?

Here are some websites to help you start your discovery.

Nottinghamshire, the East Midlands and the Midlands

Draw a simple map to show how these places are related to each other.

  • Nottinghamshire is one of the six counties in the East Midlands.
  • The East Midlands is one of the nine official regions of England.
  • The East Midlands is the eastern part of the Midlands, which is a cultural and geographical area in England.

Answer these questions to learn more about the area.

  1. What other counties can you find in the East Midlands?
  2. What are these counties famous for?
  3. What are the nine regions of England?
  4. Which are the most important and interesting places in Nottinghamshire?
  5. List the largest and most populated cities in Nottinghamshire.

Plan a journey to the Midlands

Have you ever visited this area? Tell the story of your journey.

If you haven’t visited the Midlands yet, then plan your journey.

  1. How can you travel there?
    • Check the websites of airline companies, buses and trains.
  2. Where can you stay?
    • Choose a city and find a hostel or a hotel.
  3. How much money will you need?
    • Calculate the number of days of your visit and your expenses.
  4. What attractations would you like to visit?
    • Choose at least one attraction for each day.
  5. What local food would you like to try?
    • Write a list of drinks and food which are typical of the region.

What other counties would you like to explore in England?

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