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Category: 18 – Life in Early Crete

Satori and the family really enjoyed learning about Early Crete this week. There were three stories in our SOTW book – Bull-Jumpers and Sailors, King Minos and the Minotaur, and Mysterious End of the Minoans. When Daddy got home on Saturday, Satori regaled him with her perspectives of the stories. For example, as we went shopping for school supplies (we start tomorrow in a 1-day/week), she told David that if she lived in Ancient Crete, she would be going to school to be a bull jumper. She then described bull jumping in detail. She also chatted away about the volcano, which we re-created today.

Using Plaster of Paris and some water, we molded a volcano around a plastic cup. The SOTW Activity Guide suggests “working quickly”, and I suppose I should’ve paid attention to that instead of letting Satori play with her plaster while I snapped away with the camera. It started hardening faster than I expected! Both David and I swooped in to help out with the volcano formation before it got too hard.

Once we made our volcano, we transferred it outside where it would dry quickly. Here we mixed brown and black paint to paint our volcano. Again, the book suggested “water proof” paint, which I ignored, and used washable paint. We were only going to use this volcano one day, so it was okay.

Here’s our finished volcano on the island of Thera! It almost looks like a chocolate cake with frosting! (If I made a cake, it would probably look like this, I blame it on the altitude as always.)

As we waited for our volcano to dry, we read this fantastic book, The Hero and the Minotaur by Robert Byrd. I highly recommend it! The illustrations were so beautiful. The handy map in front and back of the book was great to follow the adventures. Not only did it cover the story of Theseus and the Minotaur in more detail than SOTW story, but Byrd also covers the story of Icarus and his flying wings.

Our volcano dried rapidly in the Colorado sun, so we called Daddy over to help mix up our chemical experiment. Satori then poured the vinegar into the baking soda.


Out came our frothy lava! I may have used too much liquid soap, it looks a bit too frothy.

Here’s our volcano surrounded by lava. Here’s what Thera looks like today.

We then settled in to watch The Minotaur’s Island – the history of Minoan civilization and its mythical minotaur.  We learned more about the amazing Minoan civilization with their magnificent palaces, flush toilets, and labyrinths. It covered it all – the bull leapers, the minotaur and King Minos (even showed his throne seat), and the Thera volcano. Satori actually watched this three times, twice in the car, and once with Mama on the TV. Here is it on Amazon and Netflix.

We will be studying Ancient Greece next, and we’ll be savoring all the Greek mythology, history, and culture for the next few months.

Today the family pulled out our little LEGO assortment to do a few recent SOTW history activities. For the first project, Daddy helped Satori build an Assyrian siege tower.

Earlier I had printed out a sample LEGO siege tower I found on Google so they had some idea of how to build one.

We didn’t have enough pieces to build an elaborate one, but it was able to do the job to break into this castle!

Woody saves the day!

While that was being built, Mama worked on building a Minoan labyrinth, like we re read about in the story King Minos and the Minotaur maze. Only instead of a minotaur in the middle, I put a terrifying man-eating flower at the end of the maze!

Here is Theseus with a light and he’s about to go in with his ball of yarn to slay the flower.

Satori threaded some yarn all through the maze…

And she got Theseus to rope the man-eating flower! He saved the people of Athens!

For more Minotaur Maze fun, we purchased Theseus and the Minotaur for the iPad. It’s $2.99 and a fun puzzle game.