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I’d say that history is one of our “spine” subjects. Each year time, we drink in a ton of information and cover lots of ground over many, many centuries.
You’ve probably heard it said more times than you can count that dinosaurs roamed the earth millions and millions of years ago before any humans ever stepped foot on our planet. Its possible you may also believe this. In fact, this is pretty standard teaching in our world today.
Well, I ventured to teach my children something not as popular when we approached this unit on what some may call “pre-history”.
I must admit, it was challenging to find good, quality and entertaining materials that didn’t reflect an evolutionary and/or unbiblical worldview. Despite this, we didn’t avoid every book that mentioned evolution. Instead, we laid a foundation for what God says in His Word and acknowledged the fact that not everyone believes in the Bible or what it has to say about God and our world.
With this in mind, here’s a look at how we studied the Ancients for the first six-weeks of this new school year. I hope you’ll try your hand at incorporating some of what we studied in your own historical ventures!
The Mystery of History (MOH) by Linda Hobar, served as our our main text. All our lessons were based upon various lessons in this interactive textbook/workbook.
Week 1: Creation and Dinosaurs (Creation, c.6000-4000 B.C.)
Required family reading: MOH Lesson 1, Herein is Love Chapters 1-5
Suggested readings: Dinosaurs of Eden: Did Adam and Noah Live with Dinosaurs? by Ken Ham
* Note: Space readings out over several weeks. Older students can read on their own and narrate what they read to you.
(2nd-4th grade) Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Treehouse #1) by Mary Pope Osborne – read one chapter a day for the week (chpts. 1-5)
* Note: This book mentions time periods from the Mesozoic Era.
(4th-8th grade) It Couldn’t Just Happen: Knowing the Truth About God’s Awesome Creation by Lawrence O. Richards – Chapter 1
- Dinosaur syllables practice – write several dinosaur names on index cards. Print the phonetic spelling underneath. Show the cards to your kids. Clap your hands as you say each syllable and pronounce the words.
- Make a game out of this as you learn the pronunciations. When you show the card, encourage your child(ren) to race to a dry erase board and write the number of syllables on the board. For multiple children in your home, this becomes a lively competition.
- Creation craft (grades preK-2nd) – Materials: large black construction paper, white printer paper, scissors, cotton balls, leaves, small twigs, grass, small flowers or weeds, crayons of various colors, white marker or colored pencil, glue
- Step 1: Draw seven boxes on black construction paper
- Step 2: Cut printer paper to half the size of the first box, glue it in the box so one half is white and the other is black (this is Day 1)
- Step 3:
Week 2: Dinosaur Math Games
Required family reading: MOH Lesson 6, Herein is Love Chapters 6-10
Suggested reading: (preK-2nd grade) Oh Say Can You Say Di-no-saur?: All About Dinosaurs by Bonnie Worth
* Note: This book makes mention of dinosaurs living long before humans. This is in contradiction to the Biblical creation account.
(2nd-4th grade) Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Treehouse #1) by Mary Pope Osborne – read one chapter a day for the week (chpts. 6-10)
* Note: This book mentions time periods from the Mesozoic Era.
(4th-8th grade) It Couldn’t Just Happen: Knowing the Truth About God’s Awesome Creation by Lawrence O. Richards – Chapter 4
- Investigate how big the dinosaurs were through these math activities from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational
Measure and make a T-Rex tooth using these fun facts about the Teeth of 25 Dinosaurs!
The longest recorded Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth is 12 inches. Get out a ruler, measure 12 inches and draw your funky Dino tooth shape around it. Color it, cut it out and hang it up for display!
Use a map to locate where dinosaurs fossils have been discovered.
Week 3: Noah and The Great Ice Age (c. 4000-2500 B.C.)
Required family reading: MOH Lessons 4 & 5, Herein is Love Chapters 31-35
Suggested Reading: Your favorite books about the Ice Age and volcanoes
(2nd-4th grade) The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top by Joanna Cole
Noah’s Ark and the Ararat Adventure by John D. Morris
* Note: Space out readings over this week and next. Older students can read on their own and narrate verbally or in written form. Feel free to read as much or as little as you’d like.
- Make ice cream in a bag – What better way to learn about the Ice Age than with some ice cream, right?!
- Follow this 5-Day, No Stress Volcano Unit I created just for YOU!
Week 4:The Ancient Europeans: The Mystery of Stonehenge (c. 2700 B.C)
Required family reading: MOH Lesson 10, Chapter 36
Suggested reading: Your favorite books about simple machines and Stonehenge
(K-4th grade) Pull, Lift and Lower: A Book about Pulleys (Amazing Science: Simple Machines) by Michael Dahl
(2nd-4th grade) Where is Stonehenge by True Kelley
- Watch a brief video about pulleys
- Make a pulley
- Build your own Stonehenge using Jenga blocks – use any picture of Stonehenge to model your own blocks after
- Take the virtual Stonehenge tour
- Color your own Stonehenge
- Visit Foamhenge in Centreville, VA if you’re ever in the area – this is a life size foam replica of Stonehenge!
Week 5: The Sumerians and Abraham (c. 3500-2750 B.C.)
Required Reading: MOH Lesson 7 & 13, Herein is Love Chapters 37-41
Suggested reading: the biblical account of Abraham
Read Gilgamesh the Hero spaced out over this week and next.
- Watch Mesopotamia from Farmlands to Nomads
- (3rd-5th grade) Here’s a map of Ancient Mesopotamia
- Make a Cuneiform tablet
- (preK-4th grade) Build your own Ziggurat using Legos or Jenga blocks – older students can measure the height and width using rulers
- Play Checkers (the Sumerians invented this game)
- Research other inventions from the Sumerians. Challenge your kids to make their own fun list of favorite Sumerian inventions. Bonus: quiz your siblings and parents!
- Ancient Sumeria and Fertile Crescent Crossword Puzzle
Week 6 – Abraham’s descendants & Intro to Ancient Egypt (2100-1730 B.C.)
Required reading: MOH Lessons 11, 14-15, Herein is Love Lessons 42, 48-49, 66
SUGGESTED READING: Your favorite books about Ancient Egypt, History News: The Egyptian News by Scott Steedman
- Mummify an apple
- Tracing pages: print for K-2nd grade & cursive for 3rd-5th grade
- Ancient Egyptian coloring pages
- Celebrate the end of this unit by watching The Prince of Egypt!!!
I hope you will enjoy this unit as much as we did! Be on the look out for Part 2 in the coming weeks!
If you decide to study the Ancients, do me a favor and drop me a line in the comments. I’d love to see how your family is getting along!
Just for fun, here’s some pics of our family going through this unit.