Story of the World Volume 1: Ancient Times

Story of the World is a complete history program for young children. The whole series is designed for grades 1-4 (and slightly older or younger) and covers Ancients through Modern times. I’ll often refer to The Story of the World as SOTW. Volume 1 covers Ancient Times and is what will be covered on this page.

If you want to follow this program, below is a listing of what you’ll need, as well as suggested secondary spines. Wherever possible, I’ve linked to the most inexpensive version, which is usually Amazon.

SOTW Main Text – Required

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor by Susan Wise Bauer – Hardcover, Paperback,  Audiobook (7-CD set), PDF

You will probably want one version of SOTW to read, whether it be electronic or paper. The audio CD set has been invaluable for us to review in the car.

SOTW Activity Guide – required

The Story of the World Activity Book 1: Ancient Times by Susan Wise Bauer- Paperback, PDF, Student Pages only PDF

A student PDF file is very handy, as you can print out multiple copies of the activity pages as needed. I also enjoy having the Paperback version on hand to quickly view the suggested reading lists, review questions, and activity descriptions.

Additional History Spines

The following are possible additional history spines to supplement (or replace) SOTW. They are all suitable for K-6 ages. Other history programs such as History Odyssey or Myths, Maps, and Marvels may use these books in addition to SOTW. I’m simply being thorough here, it would be overkill to use them all! We are using just SOTW and UILE on a weekly basis ourselves, and read the others as a review after we cover the topics. I have some of these on Kindle, so I can read from them anytime the opportunity arises.

LHW and CHOW are similar formats to the main SOTW text, read-aloud stories with minimal pictures.

  1. A Little History of the World [LHW] by E.H. Gombrich – Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Unabridged Audio CD
  2. A Child’s History of the World [CHOW] by V.M. Hillyer – Used copy on Amazon

I highly suggest getting one of the following children history encyclopedias. They have photos and images that can be helpful to visualize the past. If you have to choose one, I suggest the UILE version, it is more suitable for younger children and has great Internet related links! The KHE is more suited for older children.

  1. The Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World – Internet-Linked [UILE] by Jane Bingham. This is the 2007 version that covers just the Ancient World. The Usborne World History book that I used to link to has been out of print and used copies are going for $200.
  2. Kingfisher History Encyclopedia [KHE] by Charlotte Evans

Timelines

I like to try everything, so we have quite a few timelines on hand. My favorites are:

I just started using the timeline software, and am finding myself using these all the time! So much fun. I do plan to post a detailed comparison of these timelines one day.


SOTW 1 Lessons

Here are all the SOTW lessons in book 1, Ancient Times – 1 through 42. For each lesson I’ll list the main topics covered, suggested spine readings, relevant read-along books, DVDs, activities and Internet links we plan to use. As we get to each lesson, I’ll also link to blog posts that cover the activities we did. The lesson link will be bolded after we finish the lesson. For each lesson, any book, movie, or activity we did is also bolded.

I’ll also break each lesson out to its own category so you can go directory to all related blog posts on the lesson. To see what we’ve done so far, head up top and click “Story of the World History”, then “SOTW 1: Ancient Times” and the particular lesson.

  • 0 – Introduction – What is History
  • 1 – Earliest People
  • 2 – Egyptians Lived on the Nile River
  • 3 – The First Writing
  • 4 – The Old Kingdom of Egypt
  • 5 – The First Sumerian Dictator
  • 6 – The Jewish People
  • 7 – Hammurabi and the Babylonians
  • 8 – The Assyrians
  • 9 – The First Cities of India
  • 10 – The Far East: Ancient China
  • 11- Ancient Africa
  • 12 – Middle Kingdom of Egypt
  • 13 – New Kingdom of Egypt
  • 14 – The Israelites Leave Egypt
  • 15 – The Phoenicians
  • 16 – The Return of Assyria
  • 17 – Babylon Takes Over Again!
  • 18 – Life in Early Crete
  • 19 – The Early Greeks
  • 20 – Greece Gets Civilized Again
  • 21 – The Medes and the Persians
  • 22 – Sparta and Athens
  • 23 – The Greek Gods
  • 24 – The Wars of the Greeks
  • 25 – Alexander the Great
  • 26 – The People of the Americas
  • 27 – The Rise of Rome
  • 28 – The Roman Empire
  • 29 – Rome’s War with Carthage
  • 30 – The Aryans of India
  • 31 – The Mauryan Empire of India
  • 32 – China: Writing and the Qin
  • 33 – Confucius
  • 34 – The Rise of Julius Caesar
  • 35 – Caesar the Hero
  • 36 – The First Roman Prince
  • 37 – The Beginning of Christianity
  • 38 – The End of the Ancient Jewish Nation
  • 39 – Rome and the Christians
  • 40 – Rome Begins to Weaken
  • 41 – The Attacking Barbarians
  • 42 – The End of Rome

0 – Introduction: How Do We Know What Happened?

Topics: history, historian, archaeology, archaeologist, timeline

Spine Readings

  • SOTW: 1-6 (INTRO How Do We Know What Happened? – What is History? | What is Archaeology?)
  • UILE: 104-105 (Looking at the Ancient World)
  • KHE: viii-ix (What is History?)
  • CHOW: 3-10 (CH 2: How Things Started – Prehistory)
  • LHW: 1 (CH 1 Once Upon a Time)

Additional Books

DVD/Videos

SOTW Activities

We personally did a lot with timelines and archaeology when we studied prehistory so we didn’t do all these activities. Check out our prehistory activities.

  • Writing/Craft: Make a History of My Family Book
  • Writing/Craft: Make a “This is My Life” Timeline
  • Activity: A Dirty Dig! – simulate an archaeological dig

Other Activities

Internet


1 – Earliest People

Topics: nomads, tribe, Fertile Crescent, farming, shaduf, Jericho
We really studied prehistory and early humans before we started SOTW. Here’s just a sampling of what we’ve done.

Readings

  • SOTW: 7-13 (CH1 The Earliest People – The First Nomads | The First Nomads Become Farmers)
  • UILE: 108-109 (The First Farmers | The First Towns)
  • KHE: 8 (The First Farmers)
  • CHOW: 11-16 (CH2 People Who Lived in Caves); 17-21 (CH3 Fire)
  • LHW: 5 (CH2 – The Greatest Inventors of All Time)

Additional Books

DVD/Video

SOTW Activities

  • Art: Make a Cave Painting
  • Craft: Make a Prehistoric Hunter’s Game Bag
  • Activity: Build Your Own Hut
  • Map: Fertile Crescent, SP4
  • Coloring: Farmer Using a Shaduf, SP5

2 – Egyptians Lived on the Nile River

Topics: Nile, delta, Upper and Lower Egypt, Double Crown, King Narmer/Menes, pharaoh, Egyptian gods, Osiris, Isis

Readings

  • SOTW: 14-20 (CH2 Egyptians Lived on the Nile River – Two Kingdoms Become One | Gods of Ancient Egypt)
  • UILE: 114-115 (Farmers on the Nile Valley)
  • KHE: 10-11 (Ancient Egypt)
  • LHW: 10 (CH3 The Land By The Nile part 1)
  • CHOW: 22-26 (CH2 From an Airplane)

Read-Alongs

Egypt Books for Adults or Older Readers
DVD/Video
Egyptian Coloring Books (yes, we went overboard, but my daughter loves to color!)

SOTW Activities

  • Craft: Make a Model of the Nile – watch your grass grow when the Nile floods – very cool!
  • Craft: Make the White Crown of Upper Egypt (see photo below)
  • Craft: Make the Shepherd’s Crook of the Pharaohs – meh…
  • Map: Egypt, SP 6
  • Coloring: Osiris and Set, SP 7

Other Activities
Internet Links
  • Egyptian Gods and Goddesses – Click “Story” to view a brief summary story of the most well-known Egyptian gods and goddesses. Click “Explore” to learn about them individually. Finally, click “Challenge” to play a short game.
  • Play a Game of Senet – Learn the rules, then play an interactive game of senet


3 – The First Writing

Topics: hieroglyphs, Sumer, Mesopotamia, cuneiform, papyrus
Satori surprised me by memorizing all the hieroglyphs the month we studied this chapter! We addressed our Valentine cards that year in hieroglyphs.

Readings

  • SOTW: 21-24 (CH3 Hieroglpyhs and Cuneiform)
  • UILE: 110-111 (The First Civilization)
  • KHE: 9 (Sumer and Akkad)
  • CHOW: 34-40 (CH6 – Puzzle Writers in Egypt)
Read-alongs
DVD/Video

SOTW Activities

Other Activities
Internet Links


4 – The Old Kingdom of Egypt

Topics: Old Kingdom, mummies, Cheops/Khufu, BC/BCE and AD/CE, sarcophagus; pyramids

Readings

  • SOTW: 25-31 (CH4 The Old Kingdom of Egypt – Making Mummies | Egyptian Pyramids)
  • UILE: 116-117 (Mummies and Pyramids)
  • KHE: 10-11 (Ancient Egypt)
  • CHOW: CH5 – (Real History Begins); 41-47 (CH7 – Tomb Builders)
  • LHW: CH3 The Land By The Nile part 2
Additional Readings
DVD/Video
There are sooo many videos on Egypt, here’s a few that we watched.

SOTW Activities

Other Activities
Internet Links

5 – The First Sumerian Dictator

Topics: Sargon, Akkadia, military, dictatorship

Readings

  • SOTW: 32-34 (CH5 The First Sumerian Dictator – Sargon and the Akkadians)
  • UILE: 113 (Kings and War)
  • KHE: 9 (Sumer and Akkad)
Additional Readings
DVD/Videos
  • Lost Civilizations (1995) – Disc 1 covers “Mesopotamia: Return to Eden” as well as Egypt and Aegean

SOTW Activities

Internet Links

6 – The Jewish People

Topics: Ur, Abram/Abraham, Canaan, Israel, Jewish people, Joseph, coat of many colors

Readings

  • SOTW: 35 (CH6 – The Jewish People – God Speaks to Abraham; Joseph Goes to Egypt)
  • UILE: 142-143 (The Hebrew Kingdoms)
  • KHE: 24-25 (The Hebrews)
  • CHOW: 56-63 (CH9 – The Jews Search For a Home)
  • LHW: 24 (CH5 The One and Only God)
Additional Reading
DVD/Videos

Activities

  • Map: Babylon, SP 16
  • Activity Puzzle: Jewish People Word Search, SP 17
  • Activity Project: Color Comic Book, SP 19-22

7 – Hammurabi and the Babylonians

Topics: Hammurabi, Code of Hammurabi, Babylonians

Readings

  • SOTW: 46-50 (CH7 Hammurabi and the Babylonians – Hammurabi’s Code)
  • UILE: 132 (Empire of Hammurabi)
  • KHE: 21 (Babylon 1900-700 BC)
  • CHOW: 48-55 (CH8 – A Rich Land Where There Was No Money)
  • LHW: 17 (CH4 Sunday, Monday)
Additional Readings

SOTW Activities

Other Activities

8 – The Assyrians

Topics: Shamshi-Adad, Assyria, Gilgamesh

Readings

  • SOTW – 51-58 (CH8 The Assyrians – Shamshi-Adad, King of the Whole World | The Story of Gilgamesh)
  • UILE: 146-149 (Assyrians at War | Assyrians at Home)
  • KHE: 22-23 (The Assyrians 1900-612 BC)
Additional Reading

SOTW Activities

Other Activities

9 – The First Cities of India

Topics: Arabian Sea, Harappan civilization, Mohenjo-daro

Readings

  • SOTW: 59-65 (CH9 The First Cities of India – The River-Road | The Mystery of Mohenjo-Daro
  • UILE: 118-119 (Cities of the Indus Valley)
  • KHE: 14-15 (The Indus Valley 4000-1800 BC)
  • CHOW: 122-125 (Ch20 The Other Side of the World: India)
Additional Reading
DVD

SOTW Activities

  • Science: What Does it Take to Make a Brick?
  • Map: India AB 28
  • Coloring: Ceremonial Mask: AB 29;
  • Statue from Mohenjo-Daro AB 30
  • Writing: What Happened at Mohenjo-Daro?

Other Activities


10 – The Far East: Ancient China

Topics: China, Far East, Yellow River/Yangtze River, Huang Di, silk, dynasty, pictogram

Readings

  • SOTW: 66-75 (CH10 The Far East: Ancient China – Lei Zu and the Silkworm | Pictograms | Farming)
  • UILE: 164-165 (The People of Early China)
  • KHE: 18-19 (Shang Dynasty 1766-1122 BC)
  • CHOW: 126-129 (CH21 All the Way Around the World in China)
Additional Readings
DVD

SOTW Activities

Other Activities

Internet Links


11- Ancient Africa

Topics: Sahara Desert, climate change, Anansi

Readings

  • SOTW: 76-87 (CH11 Ancient Africa – Ancient Peoples of West Africa | Anansi)
  • UILE: 172-173 (Life in Ancient Africa)
  • KHE: 30-31 (Africa 6000-200 BC)
Additional Readings
DVD

SOTW Activities

Other Activities


12 – Middle Kingdom of Egypt

Topics: Amenemhet, Nubia, Kush, Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Hyksos

Readings

  • SOTW – 88-92  (Ch12 Middle Kingdom of Egypt – Egypt Invades Nubia | The Hyksos Invade Egypt)
  • UILE: 114-117
  • KHE: 10-11
Additional Readings

SOTW Activities


13 – New Kingdom of Egypt

Topics: New Kingdom of Egypt, Thutmose I, Hatshepsut; Amenhotep IV, polytheism/monotheism, King Tut, Valley of the Kings, Howard Carter

Readings

  • SOTW: 93-102 (CH13 New Kingdom of Egypt – The General and the Woman Pharaoh | Amenhotep and King Tut)
  • UILE: 134-137 (Egyptian Empire | Temples and Gods)
  • KHE: 26-27 (Egypt, The New Kingdom 1550-1070 BC)
Additional Books

SOTW Activities

  • Map: AB 37 “The New Kingdom of Egypt”
  • Coloring: AB 38 “The Mask of King Tut”
  • Craft: Hatshepsut’s False Beard
  • Craft: Hatshepsut Monument
  • Craft: Egyptian Death Mask
  • Craft: Be an Archaeologist

14 – The Israelites Leave Egypt

Topics: Moses, Exodus, Red Sea

Readings

  • SOTW: 103-109 (CH14 Israelites Leave Egypt – Baby Moses | Exodus From Egypt)
  • UILE: 142 (The Hebrew Kingdoms)
  • KHE: 24 (The Hebrews)
Additional Readings
DVD/Videos

SOTW Activities

  • Map: Egypt/Canaan AB 39
  • Coloring: Moses Parting Red Sea, AB 40
  • Craft: Make Baby Moses’ Basket
  • Craft: Red Sea Diorama
  • Activity: Moses and the 10 Plagues Stickerbook
  • Activity: Famine Experiment

15 – The Phoenicians

Topics: Glassblowing, purple dye, colonies, Tyre, Carthage

Readings

  • SOTW: 110-114 (CH15 Phoenicians – Phoenician Traders | Founding of Carthage)
  • UILE: 144-145 (Traders from Phoenicia)
  • KHE: 28-29 (Phoenicians 1500-500 BC)
  • CHOW: 84-89 (CH 13 – The People Who Made Our A B C’s)
Additional Readings

SOTW Activities


16 – The Return of Assyria

Topics: Ashubanipal, basket shields/siege tower, Nineveh, library

Readings

  • SOTW: 115-121 (CH16 Return of Assyria – Ashurbanipal’s Attack | Library of Ninevah)
  • UILE: 146-149 (Assyrians at War | Assyrians at Home)
  • KHE: 22-23 (Assyrians 1900-612 BC)
  • CHOW: 106-110 (CH17 – Kings with Corkscrew Curls)
Additional Readings

SOTW Activities


17 – Babylon Takes Over Again!

Topics: Nebuchadnezzar, Ishtar Gate, Persia, Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Readings

  • SOTW: 122-127 (CH17 Babylon Takes Over Again – Nebuchadnezzar’s Madness | Hanging Gardens of Babylon)
  • UILE: 150-151 (City of Babylon)
  • KHE: 36-37 (Babylon Revived 626-539 BC)
  • CHOW: 111-114 (CH18 – A City of Wonders and Wickedness)
Additional Readings

SOTW Activities

  • Map: Babylon, AB 49
  • Coloring: Marduk and Tiamat, AB 50
  • Art Project: Draw Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • Science Project: Build a Babylonian Mountain Garden

18 – Life in Early Crete

Topics: Crete, Minoans, bull-jumpers, Theseus, King Minos, Thera, volcano

Readings

  • SOTW: 128-136 (CH18 Life in Early Crete – Bull-Jumpers and Sailors | King Minos and the Minotaur | Mysterious End of the Minoans)
  • UILE: 124-127 (Palaces and Legends)
  • KHE: 16 (Ancient Crete 3000-1450 BC)
Additional Resources

SOTW Activities


19 – The Early Greeks

Topics: Mycenaeans, colony, Greek Dark Ages, Iron, barbarians

Readings

  • SOTW: 137-141 (CH19 Early Greeks – The Mycenaeans | Greek Dark Ages)
  • UILE: 128-131 (Palaces and Tombs | Warriors and Traders)
  • KHE: 17 (The Myceneans 2000-1200 BC)
Additional Resources

SOTW Activities

  • Map: Greece, AB 54
  • Coloring: Greek War Chariot, AB 55
  • Project: Mycenaean Helmet (Easy or Realistic)
  • Craft: Mycenaean Shield
  • Craft: Greek Vase (Simple or Realistic)

20 – Greece Gets Civilized Again

Topics: Sea People/Philistines, Greek letters, Homer, Trojan War, Olympic Games

Readings

  • SOTW: 142-154 (CH20 Greece Gets Civilized Again – Greece Gets an Alphabet | Stories of Homer | First Olympic Games)
  • UILE: 141 (Raiders of the Mediterranean), 154-157 (Greeks at War | Life in Ancient Greece)
  • KHE: 38 (Greek Dark Age)
Additional Resources

SOTW Activities

  • Map: Greece, SP57
  • Coloring: Cyclops, AB 58
  • Project: Write Your Name in Greek Letters, AB 59
  • Project: Make Greek Instruments; Greek Loom; Olympic Wreath
  • Have Olympic Games/Greek Feast party

21 – The Medes and the Persians

Topics: Media, Persia, Astyges, Cyrus the Great, Asia Minor, King Croesus

Readings

  • SOTW: 155-161 (CH21 Medes and Persians – A New Empire | Cyrus the Great)
  • UILE: 152-153 (The Power of Persia)
  • KHE: 40-41 (Persian Empire 559-331 BC)
Additional Resources

SOTW Activities

  • Map: Persian Empire, AB 60
  • Coloring: Cyrus the Great, AB 61
  • Activity: Conquer Mesopotamia Game
  • Craft: Persian Ruler’s Silver Plate
  • Craft: Persian Puppets

22 – Sparta and Athens

Topics: Sparta, Athens, democracy, Plato

Readings

  • SOTW: 162-168 (CH22 Sparta and Athens – Life in Sparta | Life in Athens)
  • UILE: 154-159 (Greeks at War | Life in Ancient Greece | City of Athens)
  • KHE: 52-55 (Classical Greece 600-337 BC | Greek City-States 600-337 BC)
Additional Resources

SOTW Activities

  • Map: Sparta and Athens, AB 63
  • Coloring Page: Spartan Warrior, AB 64
  • Craft: Make a Greek Bowl
  • Activity: Write on an Athenian Wax Tablet
  • Craft: Make “No-Sew” Greek Clothes
  • Craft: Make Greek Stickers (Homemade or Regular)
  • Craft: Greek Charm Bracelet
  • Activity: Greek Tattoos
  • Activity: Spartan and Greek Paper Dolls

23 – The Greek Gods

Topics: Greek Gods, polytheists, Zeus

Readings

  • SOTW: 169-172 (CH23 The Greek Gods – The Golden Apple)
  • KHE: 48 (one illustration)
Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities

  • Map: Greek Gods, SP 69
  • Coloring: Aphrodite and Zeus, SP 70
  • Activity Project: Make an Olympus Family Tree
  • Art Project: Draw a Home for the Greek Gods
  • Craft: Make a Golden Apple
  • Activity: Greek Gods and Goddesses Wordsearch

24 – The Wars of the Greeks

Topics: Persia, Marathon, architecture, friezes, Peloponnesian War

Readings

  • SOTW: 173-179 (CH24 Wars of the Greeks – Greece’s War With Persia | The Greeks Fight Each Other)
  • UILE: 154-155 (The Greeks at War)
  • KHE: 52-53 (Classical Greece 600-337 BC)
Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities

  • Map: Wars of the Greeks, SP 73
  • Coloring: The Parthenon, SP 74
  • Cooking Project: Ship and Parthenon
  • Activity: Make a “Stone” Sculpture
  • Craft: Make Athenian Coins
  • Activity: Play the Peloponnesian War Game

25 – Alexander the Great

Topics: Philip, Macedonia, Alexander the Great, Pharos, Alexandria

Readings

  • SOTW: 180-187 (CH25 Alexander the Great – Philip and his Son | Alexander’s Invasions | Death of Alexander)
  • UILE: 160-161 (Alexander the Great)
  • KHE: 56 (Alexander the Great 336-323 BC)
Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities

  • Map: Alexander the Great, SP 76
  • Coloring: Alexander the Great and Bucephalus, SP 77
  • Craft: Make Bucephalus Stick Horse
  • Activity:Tie a Gordian Know
  • Activity: Pharos Lighthouse
  • Story: Being Brave
  • Activity: Alexander the Great Game

26 – The People of the Americas

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


27 – The Rise of Rome

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


28 – The Roman Empire

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


29 – Rome’s War with Carthage

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


30 – The Aryans of India

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


31 – The Mauryan Empire of India

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


32 – China: Writing and the Qin

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


33 – Confucius

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


34 – The Rise of Julius Caesar

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


35 – Caesar the Hero

Topics:

Readings

Activities


36 – The First Roman Prince

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


37 – The Beginning of Christianity

Topics:

Readings

Activities


38 – The End of the Ancient Jewish Nation

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


39 – Rome and the Christians

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


40 – Rome Begins to Weaken

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


41 – The Attacking Barbarians

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities


42 – The End of Rome

Topics:

Readings

Additional Resources
  • ..

SOTW Activities