This year we used Beautiful Feet’s Ancient History as the starting point for our history studies. We–or at least I–was very excited to return to the ancient period!
As always, I took Beautiful Feet’s Ancient History curriculum and made it my own. We used The Story of the World: Ancient Times as our base to fill in the gaps and then picked at least one book per major culture we were studying.
In many ways we made this a big unit study. Our art pertained to our study of ancient cultures and so did our writing assignments. Some of those writing assignments included researching and writing a paper about an Egyptian god, a literary analysis about how Odysseus exhibits characteristics of an epic hero, and a creative writing piece about “a day in the life of a gladiator.” All of this made our studies more rich and interesting!
We read The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne, which was a non-fiction book that was incredibly interesting to all of us! It was so engaging and took us through the complete story from the rise and fall of the ancient empire. We even decorated our own sarcophagus boxes! We followed this tutorial and I got the Egyptian Sarcophagus Pencil boxes on Amazon.
We read a fictional retelling of the story of Naaman’s slave girl in the book Adara by Beatrice Gormley. It gave us a historically based peek into life in Ancient Israel. We created scrolls as our art project and watched the classic The Ten Commandments as a way of combining both our Egyptian and Israeli studies. Despite the length, the movie was a hit with the kids!
Next we came to Greece, which some of my kids were most excited about. We read The Children’s Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy by Padraic Colum which was so well done. The writing was rich, lyrical, and captured many aspects of the translated versions that are more on an adult level. Although my 6th-grader found it confusing to follow at first, she became more acclimated as the story proceeded.
The 14-year-olds watched Troy, fast-forwarding the raciest bits. Hollywood really did a great job with this movie adaption. They make a few changes but it doesn’t take away from the story which they mostly stay faithful to.
For art we learned about Greek vases and we created our own Greek Vase Scratch Art, which was so fun!
From Greece we moved on to the Roman Empire. We read The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare as our literature selection and learned about Roman mosaics. We made mosaic coasters as our art project and we introduced the boys to one of my favorite movies: Gladiator!
If you are interested in studying Ancient History I highly recommend checking out Beautiful Feet’s Ancient History Intermediate Pack or High School Pack.