Ancient Greece Unit Study: The Plan

Our Ancient Egypt Unit Study went so well, now that we’ve moved on a little bit, we were excited to dive into an Ancient Greece Unit Study! Between unit studies we’ve carried on with listening to History Quest Early Times (HQET) chapters, and I’ve been supplementing with Story of the World (SOTW) as I feel appropriate. We took a very relaxed approach to the Mayan, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and the other topics, mostly just creating an art project as we listened to the HQET text and read a few additional picture books.

Our Ancient Greece Unit Study also started out in a relaxed way too. Rather than take a “ski week” this year, we instead took two very light weeks where I spent one week reading Aesop’s Fables to the kids. The only work they were required to do for the week was to re-tell one fable per day, and create their own fable over the last three days of the week.

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During the second week I read most of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths to the girls. The only work they were required to do was fill out and illustrate a paper slip for each of the main deities. At the end of the week we turned all these slips into fabulous lift the flap family trees. All those family interactions are so tangled!

It was really nice to front-load all that information in advance. We also started listening to Greeking Out, which re-iterated the mythology stories. We headed back into our normal workload with a lot of inspiration and the information we needed to get started.

Here’s our plan:

Week 1: Aesop’s Fables
– Read 3-4 Aesop’s Fables per day
– Re-tell or illustrate one fable per day
– Use a scaffolded process to write your own fable.

Week 2: Greek Mythology and Family Tree
– Read D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths
– Read Hades Speaks!
– Note down details for (at least) the Titans and Olympians
– Create a family tree for the Titans and Olympians
– Read The Story of Clocks and Calendars
– Sundial and Water Clock Experiments
– Greek Roots/Vocabulary

Week 3: The Iliad, Pythagoras
– Read Black Ships Before Troy
– Read Surprise! Trojans!
– Read Pythagoras and the Ratios
– Read What’s Your Angle Pythagoras
– Explore the Pythagorean Theorem
– Pythagorean music science experiment
– Create your own mythical creature
– Square and Triangular Numbers

Week 4: Early Greece, The Odyssey, Hypatia of Alexandria
– Read The Wanderings of Odysseus
– Read Ancient Greece Daily Life
– Read Do Not Open! The Story of Pandora’s Box
– Read The One Eyed People Eater: The Story of Cyclops
– Read Goddess Girls
– Make a Trojan Horse
– Measuring with an astrolabe experiment
– More Pythagorean Theorem

Week 5: Classical Greece and Eratosthenes
– Spend the whole day in Ancient Greece!
– Read Goddess Girls: Athena the Wise
– Read The Librarian who Measured the Earth
– Measuring the circumference of the Earth experiments
– Pythagorean Theorem with Constructive Triangles

Week 6: Wrapping things up, Alexander the Great, Archimedes
– Read The Usborne Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece
– Read Mr Archimedes Bath
– Debate: Which makes a better pet: Dogs or rabbits?
– Olympic Games with friends
– Water displacement science experiment
– Parthenon Building