Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Back to Ancient History (and Classical Conversations, Cycle 1)

Ancient History Resources @ Mt. Hope Chronicles 

We are finishing up Modern history this summer and preparing to hop in the “Way Back Machine” in the fall. We get to return to Ancient history! [This marks the beginning of my 3rd tour through history!]

After much consideration and a few years of experience, I’ve chosen option #5 from this post exploring ways to integrate Classical Conversations history sentence memorization and The Story of the World. This means that we study world history chronologically by reading all four volumes of The Story of the World over a period of three years, roughly corresponding to the CC history sentences memory work in Foundations and more closely corresponding to the themed writing in Essentials. The beauty of this schedule is that my kids will go through world history twice during 1st – 6th grades (once as a light introduction with some picture books and a second time as an in-depth study with integrated writing) before beginning the Challenge program in 7th grade.

CC Foundations cycle 1 history sentences cover a broad range of civilizations and geographical regions from ancient to modern, only roughly chronologically due to the various lengths of time each civilization was flourishing (and a few of the sentences really jump around on the timeline because they are grouped by geographical region rather than chronologically). We’ll be focusing on the ancient civilizations for our in-depth studies, but we’ll be placing each one of the history sentences along with the facts from the history timeline (which students memorize in full from ancients to modern every year) in our new timeline book.

I am tutoring an Essentials class this year, and both Luke and Leif will be joining me. So we will using the Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons from IEW and writing papers using literature selections from and non-fiction sources about Sumer, Egypt, Israel, Babylon, Greece, and Rome.

Our last time through the Ancients, I posted an extensive list of literature selections, so I’ll focus on mostly non-fiction books and resources for Ancient history and geography in this post. I’ll share our resources for cycle 1 math, science, Latin, English grammar, and fine arts in an upcoming post.

If you wish to read Our Big-Picture Educational Scope and Sequence Integrated with Classical Conversations, check out this link. It covers our progression in all subjects from Pre-K through 6th grade.

Honestly, our children are so blessed to have so many excellent books and resources available to them in this day and age. This list could have been much longer, and I know there are many other beautiful, informative, fascinating, or hilarious books out there that we don’t have (yet, ha!)! This is a wide range of books from simple picture books to longer chapter books. Some are serious. Some are meant to be funny and entertaining. I prefer a wide variety!

[I do not formally schedule or read aloud most of these books. I set them out when we are covering that civilization or time period and the boys grab them and read independently whenever they have time or I tell them it’s time to read. I’ve had these books out in stacks this past week while sorting and planning, and I could not keep the boys out of them!]

Ancient History

(Click here for more literature and historical fiction selections.)


The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History

The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

Classical Acts and Facts History Cards from Classical Conversations

The Story of the World: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor

Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons [IEW]

Famous Figures of Ancient Times: Movable Paper Figures to Cut, Color, and Assemble

Sun-Day, Moon-Day: How the Week Was Made (includes Babylonian, Greek, and Roman stories)

100 Things You Should Know About World Wonders (Short paragraphs of information not just about the 7 wonders of the ancient world, but also wonders in the Americas, Africa, the East, Easter Island, Stonehenge, natural wonders, and a few modern wonders)

Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander (A fun fiction chapter book. Jason and Gareth travel to Egypt and Rome/Britain as well as more modern time periods.)

Pages of History (volume 1; up to Martin Luther) (A time-traveling history book from Veritas Press)

YouTube series:

Horrible Histories, History Teachers, Crash Course History [All hilarious. Parental guidance suggested.]

PBS – Pyramid – David Macaulay (Hour-long show, much of it animated)

PBS – Roman City – David Macaulay (Another of Macaulay’s Early Civilizations shows)


Educational Trivia Card Game - Professor Noggin's Ancient Civilizations

Educational Trivia Card Game – Professor Noggin’s Countries of the World

Educational Trivia Card Game – Professor Noggin’s Wonders of the World

The Classic Historian Ancient History Go Fish

BrainBox Horrible Histories Awful Ancients



Archaeologists Dig for Clues (Simple, fun presentation, but very informative!)

Discovery in the Cave (Step Into Reading 4) (Lascaux cave paintings in France)

First Dog by Jan Brett (A simple, sweet picture book about a cave boy)



Mesopotamia (DK Eyewitness Books)

Science in Ancient Mesopotamia (and Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Early Islamic Cultures, and India in series)



Discovering Ancient Egypt (interactive website with activities—the hieroglyphic typewriter is fantastic)

Ancient Egypt TOOB by Safari (I love the Safari TOOBS with miniature figures, and this one is great fun for ancient history studies!)

Uncovering History: Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt (This is one of my favorite general books on Egypt.)

Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile by Tomie dePaola (A cute picture book for younger kids)

Story of the Nile: A Journey Through Time Along the World’s Longest River (This is a beautiful picture book.)

Ralph Maseillo’s Ancient Egypt Drawing Book

Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs by James Rumford

Hieroglyphs (The included stencil makes this book extra fun.)

Tutankhamen’s Gift by Robert Sabuda

Tut’s Mummy: Lost… and Found (Step Into Reading 4)

Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht (This series of books by Richard Platt is quite entertaining.)

Temple Cat by Andrew Clements

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses by Henry Barker (A great easy reader for independent reading!)

Secrets of the Mummies (Eyewitness Readers Level 4)

Chester Crab Comix: Ancient Africa (Egypt, Mali)



I Wonder Why Greeks Built Temples and Other Questions About Ancient Greece by Fiona Macdonald (Also Egypt and Rome in series)

You Wouldn't Want to Be a Slave in Ancient Greece! (And others in series for Sumer, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mayan and more)

History News: The Greek News (Get your history, newspaper-style! Check out Egypt and Rome in the same series.)

Good Times Travel Agency: Adventures in Ancient Greece (And more in series)

TOOLS OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS: A Kid's Guide to the History & Science of Life in Ancient Greece (Also Rome in series)

Chester Crab Comix: Greeks, Romans, Countrymen!

The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky (One of my favorites!)

What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? (Math)

Herodotus and the Road to History by Jeanne Bendick (A short, illustrated chapter book about the first historian)

Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick (Another winner from this author about the ancient mathematician)

Basher History: Mythology: Oh My! Gods and Goddesses

Greek Myths by Deborah Lock (DK Readers Level 3)



Rome in Spectacular Cross-Section (This is a beautiful oversized book with detailed illustrations by Stephen Biesty. Check out Egypt and Greece in this series, as well.)

Augustus Caesar’s World by Genevieve Foster (An excellent longer narrative)

Chester Crab Comix: Greeks, Romans, Countrymen!

Pompeii… Buried Alive! (Step Into Reading 4)

Pompeii: Lost and Found by Mary Pope Osborne

Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #14: Ancient Rome and Pompeii: A Nonfiction Companion to MTH #13

Roman Diary: The Journal of Iliona, A Young Slave (Another book in the entertaining series by Richard Platt!)

Galen and the Gateway to Medicine by Jeanne Bendick (A wonderful short, illustrated chapter book about the greatest doctor of the Roman empire)

Asterix and the Laurel Wreath (And a bunch of other ancient-history themed Asterix books—classic comic books!)

Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda (Neat mosaic illustrations)



Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China: Land of the Emperor's Great Wall: A Nonfiction Companion to MTH #14

The Great Wall of China

If I Were a Kid in Ancient China (Children of the Ancient World series) (This series has Egypt, Greece, and Rome versions, as well.)

Good Times Travel Agency: Adventures in Ancient China (And others in series)

Confucius Speaks: Words to Live By (Confucius in comic strip form)

Confucius: The Golden Rule



Prince Siddhartha: The Story of Buddha

I Once Was a Monkey: Stories Buddha Told


Ancient American Civilizations

Chester Crab Comix: The First Americans (includes Anasazi and Moundbuilders)

DK Eyewitness: Aztec, Inca, and Maya


Amanda said...

Thank you, Heidi! This is very helpful! I enjoy reading your blog! Your post a while back about the 5 options for incorporating CC & SOTW was an answered prayer! Do you plan to pretty much stick to SOTW Vol 1 for Cycle 1, then Vol 2-3 for Cycle 2 and Vol 4 for Cycle 3?

Heidi said...

Amanda~ Ideally, I'd like to do vol. 1 during cycle 1 and then continue during CC break times (particularly spring time) so that they are more evenly spread out over the 3 years. This past "tour" I did vol 2 in cycle 2 and then volumes 3 and 4 in cycle 3.

Laura at By the Bushel said...

Thank you Heidi, your 'lists' are exceptional! Will be looking back for some of these resources.

Unknown said...

I can't tell you how grateful I am for your booklists as inspiration, especially in this season with baby just around the corner. I am feeling rather intimidated at the prospect of schooling three this year, with a newborn and preschooler in tow and am so thankful for this jumping off point for our history reading this cycle. Also love that I can trust that your recommendations are quality books and resources. Thank you so much!