October 3, 2012

Ancient History: Greece and Maps

 We have gotten to a very late start with Greece.  This was due to lots of factors, including our taking off all of last week for me to put together Flex courses for Harmony.  However, I have all that under control now so we started off strong--again.

Yesterday we read Wings by Jane Yolen.  Like many Greek myths, this is fairly depressing reading, but my kids loved how the illustrator put the faces of the gods into the clouds in all the illustrations.  They also quite liked the idea of a minotaur.  While not my favorite, it is still a good read.
 This book, Ancient Greece!: 40 Hands-On Activities to Experience this Wondrous Age by Avery Hart and Paul Mantell, is my new favorite book on ancient Greece.  I hadn't read it until Sunday night when I was putting together the week's activities as I had checked it out for Miriam to get ideas for her special project.  It is a great history book.  All the major events and time periods of ancient Greece are summarized in this book.  Fabulous!!  (It's a good thing I like it so much because I have to purchase it from the library as we managed to spill a bunch of the Aegean Sea on it.  Grr.)
 After reading the first 17 pages of Ancient Greece! and Wings we started mapping.  I printed off a map of Ancient Greece, a map of modern day Greece, and a map of Europe so the kids could get a perspective on where Greece is located and how much it has shrunk.  I used this for the map of Europe.    This for the ancient Greece map and this for the close-up of modern Greece.

 We also added some dates to our Century Book.  I can't remember if I've talked about Century Books on this blog--I'm pretty sure I have--but I am really loving the format of ours.  Miriam, above, is adding a little labyrinth to her Century Book and Cowen, below, is adding a much larger one.

 Above is the minotaur in the labyrinth.
 We made Greece in a plastic container.  I sent the children out to find the right shaped rocks and they couldn't find anything long and skinny for Crete.  Cowen improvised and found us a mostly dead pepper left over in the garden.  Awesome.  We had a lot of fun making the blue Aegean Sea and hopefully the basic geography of Greece is cemented in my children's brains.
 A completed map.  The kids were super neat and did awesome until they got bored adding all the water.  I can't blame them--my own map went a little downhill when I got to the water too.
 Miriam's still turned out really nice.
 Here's a sample of the back of a page of our Century Books.  The page is divided into six sections: Middle East, Europe, Greece, Rome, Asia, and the Americas.  So far we've talked about the Middle East and a little bit of Greece.  I'm excited to see the finished Century Book at the end of the year.
 Cowen's final picture of the Greek kid (Theseus) defeating the Minotaur.  I like the minotaur's horns and Theseus's armor.  Nice job, Cowen!
 Here's Cowen's Gilgamesh.  Seriously love his artwork.

 Miriam's Century Book is pretty sweet too.

And there you have it--an actual real day of history at this little homeschool.  Unfortunately my lesson plans for today were tabled when I freaked out on my kids for taking so long to be obedient every time I asked them to do something.  I fed them an early supper at 4:30 (lettuce wraps--every time I make them I wonder why I ever make anything else), put all of them to bed at 5:30 (except Cowen--he's still doing dishes) and didn't even feel bad that Cowen is missing one of his last football games.  You want privileges, bucko, do your work one of the first 16 times I ask you.  Glad I got that off my chest.  

Happy homeschooling . . . or something like that!

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