Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ancient Greece

There is so much fascinating history during the Ancient Greek period. D loved this period in history and we spent a solid two weeks on it, and I bet we revisit this in two-three years and add a LOT of information!

 We started by adding this period in history to our giant timeline. I have a timeline that spans almost an entire wall, with pictures of each unit we study, so it's very visual. The end of the timeline is when C was born, so it is large. We also found Greece on the map, and talked about how Ancient Greece was MUCH larger than the land that Greece has now.

 Our library has so many great resources for history, I am just impressed by how well equipped we are to teach our children so much, for free!!! There were at least four books that were "Hands on activities to study Ancient Greece" ! Amazing.

 One of our favorite books to read was Hour of the Olympics, the Magic Tree House book. It covers a lot of information, as well as being a really easy read. D would say his favorite was the true story, comic-book version of Alexander the Great. I do NOT like "graphic novels" but D sat and listened to me read 100 pages of comics in one sitting. And somehow retained it. Crazy.

 And of course, the activities. The activities were AWESOME!

 We had our own version of the "Pentathalon" Olympic event. Our events were: Relay race, jumping, javelin throwing, discus, and Knucklebones (a real game that kids played in Greece!) to replace boxing....


We made our own olympic torch out of a pencil, paper, and a cardboard flame to pass during our relay race.

 This is knuckebones. VERY similar to the game marbles, but you'd use dried out bones or stones. Try to get the closest to the middle circle without getting knocked out!

 Javelin throwing! We used a broom stick. Kids loved this!

 We used a big, heavy ball to throw for discus, kids had a little trouble with that one.....but still begged me to have more olympic games for days afterwards!

We also learned that the Greeks used Mosaics to decorate their floors, so we made our own mosaic pan/coffee cup coasters. We just poured glue into an old lid, and decorated with beads, seeds, and beans. Very fun.

My favorite activity was reading about the story of the Trojan Horse. There are lots of great historical, and fictional accounts of Homer's famous poem. This lent itself to a lot of discussions about what poems are, what legends are, and how they often get fact and fiction mixed up! The boys made up a lot of rhyming poems, which I loved listening to (though they were absolutely ridiculous lol!) and, building our OWN Trojan Horse and re-enacting the story!!! Loved Loved this. This is the reason I homeschool. We used cardboard boxes. Cut a hole out of the bottom, and duct taped it to the wagon. Our garage door served as the wall surrounding Troy. D wanted to be Odysseus, obviously. I was stuck being a poor helpless Trojan who fell asleep. Somehow, I'm always getting stuck as the bad guy! We played this in our authentic costumes of course.

We read about Greek Jewelry making, and made our own stone necklaces using rocks we found, clear nailpolish, and copper wire. The kids then used their jewelry for "trading."

After this, we read a book about the creation of Greek coins to make trading easier! We made our own coins out of clay, and the kids bought a whole lot of treats from my cupboard. Don't worry, I then used all their coins to purchase a warhorse and take over their cities.

They each made their own sword and Greek shields.

Can you see that D painted a bull on his?? He did that all on his own! I was so proud! A Bull stood for strength.

 Yumm... Our Greek snacks. Shortbread cookies with Ricotta Cheese and honey. Greek Yogurt with honey and crushed almonds. A Hit!

After our Greek unit, I asked D if he wanted to take a break to study the ocean (which he is interested in!) to which he replied "No way! I want to keep studying Greece and Rome!"


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