May 16, 2012

Mesopotamia Day Two: Chariots and Bricks

 I'm starting this post with a gratuitous picture of Lady Harriet.  She's 15 months now and walking.  What a darling.  She naps during History Group.  That is most helpful.
 For the second meeting of History Group we made chariots.  Archeologists believe that the Sumerians were the first people--that they know of--to invent the wheel.  To prep my kids we read a library book about wheels and talked about all the things we do today that require wheels. 
 Julie was the one who put this activity together and I forgot to take a picture of her original mock-up of the project done with paper.  The dimensions would be helpful, I realize.  I'll do better next time.
 We made the chariots out of foam board and strengthened them with modge-podge.

 I'm not sure why Eli's hair looks so exceedingly orange.  I didn't change the photo in any way, so the lighting must have been weird!
 Along with the cut-out foam board, neatly labeled, Julie also provided dowels to be used as axles and wooden wheels that attached with push-pins. 
 We ran out of time so the kids painted their chariots on a later day.

 The chariots all turned out very cute and the kids love them.  They have held up for two weeks now, without any of them falling apart, so that's pretty miraculous.

I was supposed to have the kids make bricks during that meeting of the History Group, but instead I had the kids watch a youtube video about brick-making.  The chariots took the whole time.  Just an FYI if you do this activity, it takes awhile (about an hour).

While searching youtube for videos about bricks I hit on the greatest BBC show ever.  Well, maybe not better than Are You Being Served? but a really great BBC show.  It is called Come Outside.  You might have already heard of it.  The brick episode can be found here.  The show has a lady who takes her dog around in an airplane investigating and exploring different things.  There is an episode on wool and sewage and soap and carrots and lots of other things.  It is fantastic.

PS  I was mostly joking about Are You Being Served?


  1. Other than your library books (thanks for reviewing them on your blog!), what resources does your History Group use for activity ideas? I mean, do you use a particular curriculum or do you piece things together? I am looking for any and all ideas concerning history activities, so I am very interested! :)

  2. Hi Lynette, I don't really have a great answer to your question. Sometimes I find books that have ideas in them--40 Activities for Ancient Egypt (I made up that title) and I look through those. I also search the internet for ideas sometimes.

    Mostly though, i read through the books I am going to read to my kids and get ideas that way. For example, the people in my history group and I haven't planned next Tuesday's activities yet. I checked out a Persian book for me (too much text for the kiddos) and I am going to read it this weekend and see what the Persians were known for (I don't know anything about them) and go from there.

    Not much help I realize.

  3. No, it's really good to know! I actually do the same thing! I love the For Kids series (for example: The Civil War for Kids: A History with 21 Activities) and have used a few of those books in the past, but I wanted easier reading to go along with the activities. It's not as reader-friendly as I would like it. I just pick other library books and use that series strictly for activity ideas. But boy is it a lot of work! And history is not my strong suit...I can tell that you thoroughly enjoy teaching history because of the books you find and the activities you have found/come up with. It looks so well put together that I really thought you had some sort of curriculum. :)

    Anyway, thank you for taking the time to answer my question!

  4. Yes, I love teaching history! That's why my science posts are so lack-luster. :)