History Lesson Log #5: The Islamic World

I don’t always have the resources to delve deeply into a topic, but as far as the Islamic World, the thirteen-year-old and I have read over a few texts and listened to his dad’s podcast on the topic, and I think that’s good for now. We will eventually watch some Great Courses on Islam, but we’re still not finished with the Great Course on Ancient Rome yet! So I’m going to post this log with a reminder that our history lessons are always in flux. We will come back and learn more about certain eras of history at different times. I don’t want to get stuck feeling like we can’t move on to another topic until we’ve exhausted this one. That would never work.

In addition, if you’ve been reading my blog, you may have noticed that history was not on my list of high priorities for this year. (This doesn’t mean we don’t do history.) Since I’m putting a higher priority on other subjects this year, I found World History Detective by the Critical Thinking Co. that my 13-year-old can work through at his own pace. He told me he really likes it. It’s considered a full curriculum that covers all of the ancient world. How cool is that? But we’ll still use my husband’s screencasts, our home library, public library, and other resources whenever we can find the time.

So, here’s our latest lesson log on the Islamic World:

Sources I’ve used for this topic:

Web

My husband’s lecture and screencast titled “The Islamic World.”

Home Library

One World Many Religions: The Ways We Worship by Mary Pope Osbourne, Chapter on Islam, page 25

The Kingfisher History of Encyclopedia, pages 106-107, 116

From the Local Library

Islam by Michael Ashkar

Documentaries

Great Courses: There are a few Great Courses that include the history of the Islamic World, and eventually we’ll be watching some of them.

Activities

None so far

Field Trips

None so far

History Lesson Log #4: Ancient Rome

We have had a lot of fun exploring Ancient Rome, though as you can see, I haven’t used a lot of resources. Now that we have a subscription to the Great Courses Plus, this seems to be the best resource I can find. My twelve-year-old and I have really enjoyed watching the lecture, and there are more courses we are planning to watch as well. I highly recommend the Great Courses for mature middle schoolers or high school students.

Sources I’ve used for this topic:

Web

My husband’s lecture and screencast titled “Ancient Rome.”

Home Library

The Kingfisher History of Encyclopediapages 62-67, 80-81

From the Local Library

Tools of the Ancient Romans by Rachel Dickinson (This is a really good book. My nine-year-old especially enjoyed it.)

Documentaries

Great Courses: The Rise of Rome (Click link to view the trailer.)

Field Trips

Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University

U.S. History Lesson Log #1: Native Americans

Though we began a more formal study of U.S. history earlier this year, starting with life in America before the arrival of Europeans, I have been teaching my boys about Native Americans in a variety of ways over the past few years. The resources listed here will reflect that. I will return to this page and add more resources as we continue to learn about Native American history and culture.

(Note: We are also continuing our study of world history, and eventually I’ll post a lesson log about Ancient Rome.)

Sources I’ve used for this topic:

Web

My husband’s lecture and screencast titled “North American Before 1842” and “Contact: Europeans and Native Americans

Home Library

Suitable for small children:

The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose

North American Indians by Marie and Douglas Gorsline

The True Story of Pocahontas by Lucille Recht Penner (Though I am weary of any resource that claims to be “the true story.”)

Raven: a Trickster Tale From the Pacific Northwest

 

Suitable for older elementary kids or teens:

Smithsonian Children’s Encyclopedia of American History, pp. 18-21

Life in a Pueblo, A Bobbie Kalman Book

Exploring Bandelier National Monument by Sarah Gustafson

 

Fiction:

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich

The Porcupine Year by Louise Erdrich

(Click to read my reviews of the Birchbark books. I highly recommend these books, and we intend to finish the series.)

From the Local Library

The Cherokee: native basket weavers by Therese DeAngelis

Sequoyah by Doraine Bennett

The Cherokees by Jill Ward

Only the Names Remain by Alex W. Bealer

Journey to Cahokia: A Boy’s Visit to the Great Mound City by Albert Lorenz

Red Power on the Rio Grande by Frank Folsom (I do not recommend this particular book for young children or sensitive kids.)

Field Trips

See my post Trip West. We visited Bandelier National Monument, the Indian Cultural Arts Center, Petroglyph National Monument and many other cool places.

Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University

Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA

On our bucket list: Etowah Indian Mounds

History Lesson Log #3: Ancient Greece

I usually wait until I’ve covered three history topics until I write another log, but I’m eager to share our Ancient Greece resources. We spent quite awhile with Ancient Greece because The Odyssey and the myths took a long time to read, and we’ve been taking a break this summer from history too.

Although these are the resources I’ve used so far for Ancient Greece, we probably won’t stop here. I will add more resources to this list as we find them. I plan to move on to Ancient Rome in the near future, but my eleven-year-old is interested in doing U.S. history too, so we’re going to start with that this September, and we’ll see how long it takes to get back to ancient history. Having a big timeline on our wall helps us keep the dates straight! If you have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to e-mail me.

Ancient Greece

Sources I’ve used for this topic:

Web

My husband’s lecture and screencast titled “Ancient Greece

Odyssey Online: Greece (See field trips below for explanation)

 

Home Library

The Kingfisher History of Encycolpedia, pages 52-56

The Usborne Encylcopedia of World History, pages 154-161

Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times, pages 137-187

 

From the Local Library

Ancient Greece by Philip Wilkinson

The Odyssey retold by Geraldine McCaughrean and illustrated by Victor G. Ambrus

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaires

 

A year later, we found these graphic books, which are great for older kids:

George O’Connor’s The Olympians Series

The Odyssey A graphic novel by Gareth Hinds

Documentaries

There are some fun videos on Ted Ed about Ancient Greece. Do a search for Ancient Greece.

 

Field Trips

Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University – This museum has artifacts from many ancient cultures! According to their website: “Some 17,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt, the Near East, Greece, Rome, the Americas, Asia, and Africa, as well as works on paper from the Renaissance to the present day.” We spent an afternoon this summer at Emory, and we loved this museum. A post about this museum is coming up next.

If you aren’t local, check out their website. They have Odyssey Online, which are interactive web sites for kids. Some of these are still in the making, but the one on Greece is great. They also have a podcast.

History Lesson Log #2: The Hebrews, Ancient India, Ancient China

our homemade history timelines (and our cute dog too)

As promised, I’m continuing with my detailed record of what resources we’re using for history. Sometimes we may simply read about a topic, and other times we may go on field trips and do activities. Over time, we may add more to our studies, so I may come back and add more resources to these lists in the future. These logs are a work-in-progress.

My husband is a history professor, so we’re fortunate that many of these lessons, documentaries and books are supplemented with conversations with him. We also have the benefit of using his college history lectures too. See this post for access to all of those. And this post will explain our choice of textbooks.

The Hebrews

Sources I’ve used for this topic:

Web

My husband’s lecture and screencast titled “The Hebrews

Home Library

 The Kingfisher History of Encycolpedia, pages 24-25

The Usborne Encylcopedia of World History, pages 142-143

Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times, pages 35-45

One World Many Religions: The Ways We Worship by Mary Pope Osbourne, chapter on Christianity, p. 13

 

Ancient India

Sources I’ve used for this topic:

Web

My husband’s lecture and screencast titled “India

 Home Library

The Kingfisher History of Encycolpedia, pages 33, 78-79

The Usborne Encylcopedia of World History, pages 174-175

Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times, pages 59-65

The Kids Books of World Religions by Jennifer Glossop, chapters on Hinduism (p. 12) and Buddhism (p. 18)

From the Local Library

The Elephant’s Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India by Marcia Williams

 Children Just Like Me: Celebrations by DK Publishing, pp. p. 18, 34, 50 (We read about three yearly celebrations that take place in India: Holi, Raksha Bandhan, and Diwali. It’s also a fun book to read about celebrations around the world.)

Documentaries

Michael Woods’ “The Story of India” – Love this documentary. It was the second time we watched it.

Activities

I’ve shown the boys photographs from my own trip to India.

Field Trips

The Art Institute of Chicago – collection from India (We visited the Art Institute on our most recent trip to Chicago to visit relatives over Thanksgiving.)

 

Ancient China

Sources I’ve used for this topic:

Web

My husband’s lecture and screencast titled “Ancient China

 Home Library

The Kingfisher History of Encycolpedia, pages 18, 39, 58, 70

The Usborne Encylcopedia of World History, pages 268-269

Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times, pages 66-75

The Kids Books of World Religions by Jennifer Glossop, chapters on Taoism (p. 52) and Confucianism (p. 54)

From the Local Library

If I were a kid in ancient China by Cobblestone Publishing

Where is the Great Wall? by Patricia Demuth

Ancient China by Arthur Cotterell

Documentaries

PBS NOVA’s Secrets of the Forbidden City

PBS NOVA’s Chinese Chariot Revealed

We are also planning to watch Michael Wood’s Story of China.

Field Trips

Genghis Khan exhibit at Field Museum (We actually visited this a long time ago, so I’m not sure the boys will remember it. I include it here because it’s a good web resource, and I’m sure we’ll visit the exhibit again on another trip to Chicago.)

History Lesson Log #1: Intro, Prehistory, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt

our homemade history timelines (and our cute dog too)

As I mentioned in my last post, I plan to keep a detailed record of what resources we’re using for history on this blog. Sometimes we may simply read about a topic, and other times we may go on field trips and do activities. Over time, we may add more to our studies, so I may come back and add more resources to these lists in the future. So these logs are a work-in-progress.

My husband is a history professor, so we’re fortunate that many of these lessons, documentaries and books are supplemented with conversations with him. We also have the benefit of using his college history lectures too. See this page post for access to those.

I am a visual person, so in order to wrap my head around history, I made two timelines – big ones – that you can see in the photos. If it helps me, I thought it might help my boys too. I don’t add everything we study to the timeline, but I’m adding many details to it. I plan to keep this up until both boys graduate from high school and maybe even longer. See this post, if you’d like to learn how I made the timelines.

Note: We have learned – and continue to learn – a tremendous amount about the Earth’s history through our science studies. We love that too, but for the sake this record, I’m going to refer to human history. However, The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History begins with many chapters on the Prehistoric World, if you are looking for a source. I also recommend NOVA’s documentary series, Origins, which deals with the origins of the universe and life itself.

2nd Note: To read about the history books I added to our library and use as a “spine,” click here.

Prehistory

So, we began with prehistory, which refers to the time before there were any written records.

Sources I’ve used for this topic:

Web

My husband’s lecture and screencast titled “Prehistory

Home Library

The Kingfisher History of Encycolpedia, pages 3-8
The Usborne Encylcopedia of World History, pages 86-109
Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times, pages 1-13

(Page numbers are approximate. Sometimes we read beyond these specific topics.)

Documentaries

These are all excellent, but the first two are my absolute favorites:

Dawn of Humanity
Great Human Odyssey
Iceman Reborn
Secrets of the Sky Tombs
After Stonehenge (Secrets of the Dead)

 

Mesopotamia

Sources I’ve used for this topic:

Web

My husband’s lecture and screencast titled “Mesopotamia

Home Library

The Kingfisher History of Encycolpedia, pages 9, 21-23
The Usborne Encylcopedia of World History, pages 110-113
Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times, pages 32-58

From the Local Library

Life in Ancient Mesopotamia by Shilpa Mehta-Jones
Gilgamesh the King by Ludmila Zeman

Documentaries

NOVA’s Eclipse Over America – Obviously, this is more about science than history, but there is a part in the documentary about how Babylonian astronomers kept track of each eclipse and eventually were able to predict when another would happen. It shows excellent examples of clay tablets with cuneiform writing.

 

Ancient Egypt

Sources I’ve used for this topic:

Web

My husband’s lecture and screencast titled “Ancient Egypt

Home Library

The Kingfisher History of Encycolpedia, pages 10-11, 26-27
The Usborne Encylcopedia of World History, pages 114-117, 134-139
Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times, pages 14-20, 25-31

From the Local Library

Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures Ancient Egypt by Joanna Cole (Best book for kids on this topic, IMO.)
Kids Everything Ancient Egypt by Crispin Boyer
The Ancient World: Ancient Egypt by Nel Yomtov
National Geographic Treasury of Egyptian Mythology by Donna Jo Napoli (The boys loved these stories, and the illustrations are beautiful.)

Documentaries

BBC’s Egypt: Rediscovering a Lost World – This is a six-episode docudrama about the discoveries of the ancient tombs. It’s excellent, and my boys loved it. I have linked to the first episode on YouTube. We watched it on Netflix. Be sure to search for all six episodes!

Field Trips

We have visited the Field Museum’s exhibit on Ancient Egypt several times on our trips to Chicago. It’s perhaps one of the best exhibits of Ancient Egypt artifacts in the country. You can explore what an Egyptian tomb would have looked like and view real mummies. Check your local natural history museum to see what they offer!

Feel free to leave information for any resources on these topics that you have found useful too.