Inexpensive Elementary Ancient History Curriculum
- Pick an interesting text to be your spine. For this grade/age range, we have used The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, and A Child’s History of the World by V.M. Hillyer. Optionally, you can do History Pockets. We also used Famous Figures of Ancient Times: Movable Paper Figures to Cut, Color, and Assemble by Cathy Diez-Luckie
- Make notes of key words as you read. Begin by the teacher modeling this, and gradually have the student take over this activity. Have your student write a few sentences about what he has learned in his history notebook. If desired, add an illustration to the page, either sketched or copied from the internet. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey, which gives specific directions on what to write about and illustrations to add to the notebook pages.
- Read additional fictional books of the time-period. (Examples below.)
- Color and label an appropriate map and add this to the notebook so that it is across from the page he has just completed.
- Begin a timeline that covers the period you will be covering. After each notebook entry, mark significant dates on your timeline.
- Optional: Create a hands-on project that relates to the topic studied. (Examples below.)
- Feel free to further explore topics that come up during the study.
- Read Archaeologists Dig for Clues by Kate Duke.
- Make a cave art project. See Cave People: The First Artists.
Weeks 2 and 3: First Farmers and First Towns
- For the young ones, go over what a crescent is. Serve crescent shaped cookies or rolls for a snack!
- Read about the city of Jericho in the Bible. Have your students play with cardboard blocks, knocking down the walls of Jericho.
Weeks 4 and 5: The First Civilizations and Crafts and Trade
Week 6: Kings and War
Weeks 7 and 8: Farmers of the Nile Valley and Mummies and Pyramids
- Watch The Prince of Egypt, which has a wonderful animation of building the pyramids.
- Watch and/or read David Macaulay's Pyramid. At least look through the pictures.
- Make a mummy out of fruit and vegetables.
- Make canopic jars out of clay for the preserved orange pulp.
- Show how papyrus is made with a paper bag.
Week 9: Cities of the Indus Valley
Week 10: Europe's First Villages and The Monument Builders
- If desired, complete a Stonehenge project.
Weeks 11 and 12: Crete: Palaces, Legends and Life on Crete
- Act out the story of Theseus and the Minotaur.
Weeks 13 and 14: The Mycenaeans: Palaces and Tombs, Warriors and Traders
|from James' History Notebook. Illustrations from Ancient History Portfolio.|
- Read about the Trojan Horse.
Weeks 15 and 16: The Babylonians: The Empire of Hammurabi and the Hittite Empire
- Make Hammurabi Puppets to represent the Babylonians..
- Make Hittite musical instruments.
- Make Hittite shields, spears and costumes for reenactments.
- Have a Hittite feast.
Weeks 17 and 18: The Egyptian Empire: Temples and Gods and Life at Home
- Color and put together Pharaoh Khufu and his servants puppets.
Weeks 19 and 20: The Canaanite, Philistines and Hebrews
- Sketch a Philistine soldier.
- Make a puppet of Moses.
- Have a Hebrew feast.
Week 21: Traders from Phoenicia
- Sketch a picture of the Assyrian war chariot.
- Make a puppet of the last Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal.
Week 24: Alexander the Great
Weeks 25-26: Ancient Asia
- Make a abacus and use it.
- Read Three Pigs, One Wolf and the Seven Magic Shapes by Grace Maccarone. Make or buy and use a set of Tangrams.
Week 27: The Riches of Arabia
Week 28: Life in Ancient Africa
Week 29: The Ancient Americas
Week 30: The Celtic Tribes
Weeks 31-35: Ancient Rome
Week 36: Christianity and the End of the Roman Empire