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Category: Ancients

Last week I wanted to totally wrap up SOTW1- Ancient Times by making flashcards, but was daunted by the amount of time I knew it would take. To my delight, Mary from Lizards and Ladybugs posts on the WTM forums to share her SOTW1 Timeline Cards for Ancient Times! Check out her blog post of her photos and download her free cards.

The cards correspond exactly to the events listed in the back of the Story of the World Ancients textbook. There are interesting slot games you can play at about the story of ancient world. There are 82 events in total. There are some events which aren’t mentioned in SOTW1 book, but perhaps covered in level 2 or other history books. I’m perfectly fine with that, these are all important dates to know.

Mary made up pages with two events with photos per sheet. Each image is six inches across, so you’ll need over 40 feet of space for the images. I don’t have that much space in the room I wanted to put the cards in, so I printed off four pages in one page, making them much smaller, and only three inches across. I then laminated, cut, and rounded the edges. Here’s the entire finished stack!

I had just enough space in the library to hang 30 cards. One more minor adjustment I had to make was that when I put the clothespins on the cards, it covered up the dates. So if you were to print them out, make sure you leave some space on top! In my case, I had already cut them, so luckily I had some clear tags with holes on top lying around. I stuck them to the back and fastened the clothespin to the tag instead. They look like they’re hanging in mid-air now, kinda cool.

Another advantage of the tags is that they can be stored together in a ring when not in use! I previously was pondering hole-punching each card, but this works even better.

So here’s our wall of time cards before I ran out of space and clear tags. I will have to make two more of these to fit them all. But I love how they look in the library, which is where we have been doing our SOTW History subject this summer anyway.

We can also easily stick them (with some putty) to our laminated Pandia Press timeline for removable cards. Love the versatility. Thanks again to Mary of Lizards and Ladybugs for all her work in making these timeline cards!

Next-Day Update

I’ve had a few questions regarding some of the things I’ve done here, so I’m going to append to this post a bit.

First of all, the clothespins are Lara Craft’s Painted Wood Mini Clothespins I got at Michaels craft store. I don’t have a link, but I’ve seen them there recently. They come in a box with a set of four, and there is a Spring and Garden set. Here is the Spring set with a few pieces from the Garden set. I also sprinkled a few other mini painted clothespins, probably also found at Michaels. The only link I could find on the web was of the Garden set at another online store.

Next, to print off  four pages to one actual page, you’ll need to select that setting when you print the page. This is the setting for my HP printer:

under Page Scaling

Lastly, someone mentioned that they had a hard time downloading the file. I do not know Mary’s email, but based on the comments on her post thread, she is responsive, so I’d let her know in a comment that you’re having issues obtaining her file.

One of my most memorable elementary education experiences was learning about Greek mythology. I think I might have been in fifth grade at that time, but Satori is lucky to learn them at age six. We’re taking an extended study into the Ancient Greeks, learning all the fascinating Greek gods and goddesses and mythology.

To kick it off, I wanted Satori to be able to physically handle each persona as we talk about them, and I thought about making puppets, but that would take too long. Instead, I found this wonderful resource to print out your own Greek Mythology Flashcards. It took me several hours to prepare them, but finally I had them all printed off on cardstock, cut, and laminated with edges rounded.

The above website had an amazing assortment of greek gods, goddessess, mortals, monsters, etc… but they were missing a few important ones, so we made a few of our own. Excuse the rough sketches, but we get the gist of the flashcard at least. 🙂 I had to add these six flashcards – Dionysus, Hestia, Iris, Eros, Persephone, and Cronus. Some of these I had to add because they were some of Satori’s favorites.

If you wanted, you could even print off two copies of each, so you could play games like Memory or Go Fish, but we’ll have plenty fun with one copy only.

I even stuck a little magnet dot on the back of each card before laminating, so we can put them up on the magnetic whiteboard. Here’s all the gods and goddesses on their thrones on Mount Olympus. We included Hades, god of the Underworld, below.

We’re using the following books to learn about Greek mythology. The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by Aliki, is a quick and easy read, full of glorious color illustrations. It’s 48 pages and is suitable for young children, and is great to kick off Greek mythology, quickly getting up to speed with the main characters.

No family household should be without this amazing book – D’aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths. I’ve had this for over a year, but only this month have we started reading it. Both Satori and I immediately fell in love with this timeless book, with the lavish illustrations and inspiring stories. It goes into much more depth than the above book, and we both can’t wait to read more of the stories. Along the way, we learn little nuggets, such as how peacocks got their tail spots or why we have winter during Persephone’s stay in Hades. We learn where we got some of our words – like Nike and Atlas. Satori is constantly reminded of Rick Riodan’s book we read last summer, so maybe she will get into the rest of his books now. There is even a Literature unit for the book, I’m sure we’ll get some use out of this resource.

Of course, we have to have a related coloring book when studying something major like this. Satori loves to color. The Dover Coloring book, Greek Gods and Goddesses is great for this purpose.

Classic Myths to Read Aloud by William F. Russell is also an excellent book that covers many of the greek stories, and it’s aimed to read aloud to children five and up. While there’s no pictures in this 264 page book, I love it’s detail and how it gives pronunciation cues (which none of our other books have done). It even has a Kindle version, which I’ll definitely be getting, as I’m very addicted to reading books on my iPad now.

When I was a young girl, my teacher chose Greek characters for our class, and I was Athena. So today, Satori and I have also chosen a Greek god or goddess for everyone in our household, including our pets. Satori is Aphrodite, Mama is Athena, Daddy is Zeus…

As I write this blog post, Satori is playing with her dolls, and acting out the Greek mythology stories. She can’t wait to perform a play for Daddy this weekend!  She just took the D’Aulaires book and is reading the stories over so she can better perform her plays.

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.

The Phoenicians were known for their ships and trading throughout the ancient world. Just a few of the things they traded were their glass (they had amazing glass blowing skills) and their purple dye. Today we did two projects – here’s the first.

One of the SOTW Activity Guide projects is to make pretend colored glass. We selected a picture to put inside our “glass”, and thought we might as well choose a picture of a Phoenician boat I got off Google images.

Meanwhile, I set Satori off to make some crayon shavings from some crayons and stubs we no longer use. We also cut up some colored thread.

We sprinkled the crayon shavings and thread on our picture and enveloped it in two pieces of wax paper.

Mama took the iron to it and we ended up with a pretty colored glass picture! You cannot really see our Phoenician boat anymore, but I wasn’t really sure why we were supposed to stick a picture in there anyway, the color threads and crayon bits look awesome by themselves.

We hung it up in our window to admire!

Tomorrow we will finish our Phoenician purple dye activity and I’ll tell of our blueberry disaster!

I’ve been letting our history lessons slide if I’m not prepared to do the activities, so I’ve decided to just keep going with the readings and do a bunch of the activities in one day when we’re more prepared. For SOTW’s Middle Kingdom of Egypt we already made our Hyksos chariot, but this week we re-read it as a review and did a few more activities. Satori got a kick out of mom continually having to refer to the pronunciation chart in the back of the book to pronounce Amenemhet, Ahmose, Tutunkhamen, Thutmose, Hatshepsut. Satori of course had it all memorized the first time, she’s got such a good memory. A day later, I heard her murmuring some of these hard Egyptian names when playing with her Barbies.

For this lesson, I thought I’d use the whiteboard to “act-draw” the lesson out, mostly to help me retain it all. It actually turned out fun and Satori loved it! This board illustrated the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, how Amenemhet looked to Nubia to expand, bringing gold and other items like monkeys into Egypt. The Egyptians renamed Nubia Kush. Later, Nubians became an important part of Egypt, such as Queen Tiye (Tie-ee). Then the Hyksos came down with their new weapons and chariots, ruled for Egypt 100 years, until Ahmose drove them out.

Some of the activities we did included making  golden bracelets.

For this craft, I used a Scott toilet paper roll (they don’t leave toilet paper residue), cut it in half, and then cut lengthwise. Painted it in gold and let dry.

Then Satori put them on her little arms.

Also a suggested activity was burning incense. Might as well make a lesson multi-sensory!

Anyway, from now on, we will be on schedule for our SOTW history lessons, even if we go for several weeks simply reading the book and doing the Activity Guide coloring pages/maps. We can easily review with audio. The fun crafts and activities won’t hold us up any longer!

If you are studying Ancient Egypt, I highly recommend the National Geographic Classic Science Archaeology: Pyramid kit by Thames and Kosmos. It ties all of Satori’s interests together: archaeology, hieroglyphs, mummies, and of course pyramids.

It comes well-protected in a perfectly designed box and you’ll find your pyramid and treasures within, archaeologist tools (hammer, chisel, brush, peg), protective goggles, full-color manual, and a 3D paper cross section model. Satori fondly remembers her “paleontologist days” when studying prehistory, so she was so excited to begin excavating!

*READ THE DIRECTIONS* first, or you might miss out on some of the clever surprises! (You may not wish to read further if you want your own kit to be a surprise.)

Click on the image above to get the full detail and you’ll notice hieroglyphs on a certain level of each side of the pyramid. Satori quickly wrote down a translation, she needed no manual, she already had them memorized! These hieroglyphs of course had a few vowels and other letters that used the same translation, so once Satori wrote down the letters, Mama still had to help translate. But overall, this was a very cool puzzle. Satori was so happy that she basically solved it herself. Each side gave a message to tell you if this side was the entrance. Our first side said “TRY AGAIN”.

(There are more pictures, but I don’t want to spoil this kit for the people who want it to be a surprise!) Click “continue reading…” link below.

continue reading…

One of the activities in our Story of the World 1 Activity Guide is to build a pyramid. Their specific activity was to use sand and glue, but we wanted something simpler! So we use sugar cubes, simple yet perfect building blocks for a pyramid. All we needed was one box of sugar cubes (1 lb), some glue, and some cardboard to build it upon. To finish our pyramid off, we also used sand and gold paint.

Last night we had read a few read-along books about pyramids. You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Pyramid Builder and Who Built the Pyramid? So we were familiar with all the many different jobs people had when building a pyramid – so it was fun to describe again these jobs as we prepared our very own pyramid, right down to the capstone.

First off we counted off the base of the pyramid – 36 cubes to build a 6×6 base.

From there we drew a line around our 36 cubes, only to take off the cubes, paint on a thick layer of glue, and then replace the  cubes.

We kept building up, next was a layer of 25 (5×5), 16 (4×4), 9, 4, and finally 1. I reminder Satori to place them tightly together, as the Ancient Egyptians did.

Once done, we painted the pyramid with glue, and sprinkled sand to give it a more authentic sand look. I did not have a more realistic sand color, and we probably would have been fine with keeping it white like limestone. To top it off, we painted the final block gold and set it on top for our capstone.

Now that I think back upon this, it would have been cool if we placed a tiny treasure inside the pyramid, then break into it later! Similar to our second pyramid activity which I’ll be blogging about next.