Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

What's a Hornbook Anyway?



Making a Hornbook


Shakespeare for Kids
Did you ever wonder what it was like to be a student during Shakespeare’s time? During the Elizabethan Era, beginning students were taught from a hornbook. Because religion dominated everyday life, it was taught in the classroom. Although different hornbooks had many different lessons on them, a great many had a cross in the top left-hand corner and the Lord's Prayer in the middle. Traditionally, the hornbook would also have the alphabet, basic vocabulary, and illustrations.


Typically, a hornbook was made from a piece of parchment or paper pasted onto a wooden board and protected by a leaf of horn from a ram. A hornbook measured about 3 1/2" x 2 1/2."  Books were quite expensive at this time, which made them costly to replace. However, the durable hornbook could last through many years of young students. 


Make Your Own Hornbook

 

Try making your own hornbook!! It is really very simple and quite fun! All you need is a pair of scissors; a piece of cardboard; crayons, markers, color pencils, or paints; and saran wrap. 

 

• With the scissors, cut the cardboard into the shape of the hornbook that you see here.


• With crayons, markers, color pencils, or paints, decorate one side of your hornbook with any images you want. This will be the front of your hornbook. Be creative. 


• Next, decide what you want to put on your hornbook. This will go on the other side. What subjects would you include?  You can put anything you want. Follow the Hornbook Activity Content Ideas  link on the right for ideas.


• Now, wrap your hornbook with saran wrap to protect it from spills and dirt.

 

 
Hornbook. London?, 1630



Additional Information

Hornbook Activity Content Ideas



Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »
    Hours:
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623