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One week through ancient history... what topics and books?


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Background: To fill the state history requirement for my oldest daughter, we need to cover a few topics in Ancient history, so that it can be recorded as studied. This is an agreeable compromise from requiring each child to study separate history programs. (We are doing SOTW3 this year all together)


The idea: We will take one week and each day study a different ancient civilization. I want to make this a fun break from our usual subjects.

Which civilizations would you do and what activity would you do for each?


Example: My ES said that we just "have" to mummify a hot dog when we talk about Ancient Egypt.

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I don't know her age, but I personally would cover a few certain facts (look at a map, the years it covered, its most famous king/leader, anything we moderns think of it (the hanging gardens of Babylon and the Ham's laws, e.g.) and THEN I'd look at the art of the place. You can find so much on the internet. I'd stroll around and look at the Assyrian lion hunts, and the Greek vases, and the Egyptian tomb paintings. See if the library can get you an oversized adult book with photos of these artifacts.


If I only had a day for the Greeks, that's what I'd do.

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If I had to do only 5, I'd do Egypt, Israel, China, Greece, Rome.


Egypt: build pyramid, make papyrus, learn hieroglyphics, make a mummy and sarcopagus,


Israel: learn about the Biblical history of the region, build a model of the tabernacle or temple,


China: make paper,


Greece: something with the mythology, have an Olympics,


Rome: build an aquaduct, have a Roman feast


Almost all of these ideas are in the SOTW activity guide. I would probably read the kids a bunch of the chapters from SOTW (if you have it) and do as many of the projects as I could fit in.

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If you are Ok with videos the Schlessinger Media Ancient ________ videos would be great for this. You could watch one a day - Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, China. There are others as well. There is a lot of great memorable info in each one. Probably only if your library has these. Then maybe an easy project and map for each one.

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We recently had an ancient Egypt costume party. DS6 made a King Narmer crown and DD4 (5 this month) made a wig out of black construction paper. She LOVED wearing eyeliner and lipstick. We found a recipe for a barley honey cake; ate fig newtons (instead of figs :)), grapes, and melon, and drank pomegranate/grape juice. These are the resources we used:

Living History, Two-Can Publishing, for wig (lots of costume ideas in this book)

Pyramids! 50 Hands-on Activities to Experience Ancient Egypt, Hart, Mantell

Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide, Broida


Of the latter two, I don't remember which had the King Narmer crown and which had the recipe.


There's a lot you can do with ancient Egypt, but I'm sure you already know that!

Edited by nova mama
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  1. Ancient Mesopotamia (cradle of civilization)

  2. Ancient Egypt

  3. Ancient China

  4. Ancient Greece

  5. Ancient Rome





Since your dd is in 6th grade, I'd assign free reading from "The Story of Mankind" by Hendrik Willem Van Loon or "A Little History of the World" by E. H. Gombrich. In our copy of the Van Loon book, approx. the first 25 chapters cover prehistory to the fall of Rome, so I'd have her read 5 chapters a day, just to help cement any learning/activities you are doing during 'school' time. Also, I'd try to find a book that covered the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World for free reading too. Sonlight's website has some great lists of chapter books (look under Core 6 for books related to ancients).


If your library has the Hands-On Ancient People books by Yvonne Merrill, there are some excellent craft ideas. There are things like making Babylonian mosaics from the Gate of Ishtar, creating Shabti figures, etc....


Sounds like a fun week!

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