How do you study history with your students? It’s one of those content subjects that, I feel, can be approached many different ways. My style of teaching is very eclectic, and we have been using the Story of the World books as a spine. We are studying Book 1: Ancient Cultures and were just beginning to start studying the ancient Greeks when we had an opportunity to use Home School in the Woods’ HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece. We jumped at the chance to try a new approach to history, and we are so glad we did.
The Product: HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study of Ancient Greece
The Project Passport World History Studies are designed as an all-inclusive vacation to your destination in time. There are 25 stops, each one with a text to read and an itinerary of activities. The first day we packed our suitcases, made our passports, and plotted our way to Greece.
This curriculum uses many strategies to help students learn history, including audio, visual, tactile, and even taste! It incorporates literacy, science, the arts, and even culinary arts.
Many of the small projects that are completed during the 25 stops come together in the end to make a lapbook, showcasing a lot of the work the student has completed.
On our trip to Ancient Greece, we went on 8 audio excursions led by Trojan Horse Tours. These are fairly short and well dramatized. The tours make history come alive as you talk with Archimedes or watch the Olympic Games.
Scrapbook of Sights
As we learned about historical events and the culture of the Ancient Greek people, we completed a lot of various hands-on activities and stored them in our scrapbook.
Some activities in our Scrapbook of Sights includes the following:
We would get postcards from different men of Greek history, such as Herodotus or King Agamemnon. We would read the letter, draw a corresponding picture on the front, and store it in our Postcard Rack.
We worked on creating a newspaper full of articles and ads about different events and concepts we learned about Greek history.
At each stop, we added peoples and events to our timeline.
As we learned about people and events, we also learned about the geography of Ancient Greece by adding cities, towns, monuments, etc. to our maps.
Souvenirs & Gifts
We were able to collect many gifts and souvenirs by following the instructions to create many of the sites or objects we’ve ‘seen’ on our trip including the agora, platonic solids, the Parthenon, Greek armor, Greek clothing, a clepsydra, and many more!
The itinerary includes other activities that are collected in our Scrapbook of Sights.
How We Used It
Each stop contains a good amount of information — especially for a kindergartener and second grader. I would often paraphrase or repeat information in simpler terms. My son doesn’t care for coloring, so I usually didn’t make him color, but he was able to complete most of the activities outlined in the itinerary. I did have to modify a lot of the material for my kindergartener. I made her own Scrapbook of Sights to put her projects in. Here are a few of the pages:
My kids’ most favorite activities were adding the pictures to the timeline each day and the constellation cards where we poked holes where the stars would be, took them to a dark room, and shone a flashlight on the card to see the constellation on the wall. Making Greek clothing and armor was also high on the list!
My kids absolutely loved doing this curriculum. Almost every day they would ask to start school with studying Ancient Greece. Student engagement is high on my pro list for any product, and this one gets two thumbs up from us!
There is a vast amount of information and work for each stop. We didn’t mind it too much, but like I mentioned above, with some modifications, it worked well with lower elementary students. It would be perfect for older elementary students and probably a fun, independent study for older students. I did most of the cutting and assembling before the lesson as making the kids do this on top of the activities would be too time-consuming. I will say that if I had a whole semester to dedicate to this curriculum, the time consumption issue would be moot, but as we still have other ancient cultures to study this semester, we had to do one stop per day.
We loved this curriculum so much that we are planning on incorporating another HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study next year. Have you tried any of the history products from Home School in the Woods? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!
Till Next Time,