History in April

We started off April learning about Ancient China using Year 1, Unit 10 of Layers of Learning.

We colored two maps of China at two different points in time. Adrian found modern day China on the big world map on the wall.

We learned about shadow puppets and made some.

We copied our names in calligraphy.

We learned about pagodas. The boys acted out the story of why they started being built.

We talked about The Great Wall of China and built walls (Fritz picked cups and Adrian used Magna-Tiles).

We learned about Hundred Schools of Thought and the boys made garlands with images representing philosophies and things they chose.

Then we moved on to Early Japan using Year 1, Unit 11 of Layers of Learning.

We learned about the Shinto creation story and talked about how it compares to the creation story we know from Genesis. They drew pictures of it.

We learned about pit houses. Cameron reminded us how he dug a big pit on the hill by my parents’ house several years ago. He intended it to be his house. They built a pit house for Woody.

We talked about what our names would be if we suddenly had to give ourselves names based on where we live or what we do. I’d be Roundedroad. Cameron would be Kickler. Fritz would be Babieslaugh. Adrian would be Tabler.

We learned about Jimmu and the three treasures. We chose three things around the house to represent valor (mint), wisdom (chess set), and benevolence (money).

We talked about the Yamoto Court and cultural exchange. We drew pictures of three things we would give to a tribe without access to technology. We chose matches, electricity, and toilets.

We colored a map of ancient Japan.

The third week of April, we learned about the First North Americans using Year 1, Unit 15 of Layers of Learning.

We learned about the Native Americans that lived in the San Antonio area and also about the six flags Texas has been under. This was not part of the planned lesson, but the little boys needed to do it for their Texas Cub Scout patch and it fit well with this week’s topic.

We learned about land bridges. We used clay to make two continents and then connected them with a land bridge in a pie plate. We dyed water blue and poured it into the pie plate making sure to keep our ocean below the level of the land bridge. We talked about how people would cross the bridge to get from Asia to North America. Then we added ice cubes to our water. Within about an hour, the ice cubes had melted and the water level had risen above the land bridge demonstrating how the two continents were now cut off from each other.

We colored a map of some early North Americans.

We learned about the giant Olmec heads and came up with a story of why they are there. Fritz thinks they are monuments to their great generals. Adrian thinks they represent their gods. Cameron thinks they are just heads because carving a whole body would be too difficult.

We learned about the Mayan hierarchy (classes) and drew pictures to go with each group.

The final week of April, we learned about Ancient South Americans using Year 1, Unit 16 of Layers of Learning.

We learned about some of the ancient South American groups and placed them on the map.

We learned about the importance of jaguars (and eagles) to the ancient South Americans and made jaguar masks.

We learned about camelids and chose to learn extra about alpacas and teach each other what we learned to each other.

We learned about the Nazca Lines and drew our own.

History in March

After Spring Break, we decided to change our history a bit and finish out our ancients year using Layers of Learning (just using the history portion). The boys are enjoying it much more and I think they are learning more, too. Cameron and Adrian both learn so much better hands on and Fritz, while he learns any way I throw at him, enjoys the hands on stuff a lot.

In March we did two weeks using Year 1, Unit 4 (Ancient Greece).

We colored the city-states on a map of ancient Greece and identified ones still around today and the ones that had letters written to the church there in the New Testament.

We had a little mini-Olympics. The boys (and Lola) ran a footrace (notice Cameron is barefoot as usual).

And the little boys competed in the long jump.

Adrian told his brothers about bull-leaping in Crete. He had read a book that talked about it a few weeks ago. Then they built a bull out of blankets and pillows and took turns jumping over it. Eventually, Lola claimed the bull as her own and spent quite a bit of the rest of the day hanging out on its back.

We learned about the Greek and Persian War (and also the Peloponnesian War). We colored a map showing the different sides and neutral areas. We looked at the big world map and found the area and what countries they are today.

We acted about some bits of the wars. Cameron decided they surely had tiny war wolves so Lola had to join us. We made a video reenacting Pheidippides’ Marathon.

We learned about Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns.

We watched a Crash Course World History video about Alexander the Great.