Thursday, May 29, 2014

Teaching Ancient History 3rd Grade

We spent most of the Fall and Winter this past year studying Ancient History. We used a book I purchased online called "History Pockets" as a starting point. The book covered 6 ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Ancient China, and the Aztec World.

The book offered a great introduction to Ancient History with lots of hands on activities for each civilization.

I supplemented each lesson with additional work:

  • Using a dictionary to look up words
  • Researching online to see pictures of costumes, houses, utensils and other artifacts
  • Discussing and comparing life in each of those time periods
 Once we completed all the of the lessons, we took a trip to a museum to see some of the things we had studied about. We were very lucky to find a museum near us that has a wonderful exhibition on almost all of these Ancient Civilizations.

Some of the things we saw and were able to tie in to our lessons were:

  • Tools
  • Utensils
  • Jewelry
  • Coins
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bedding
  • Food bowls
  • Decorative bowls
  • Sculptures
  • Mosaics
  • Hieroglyphics
  • Tombstones
  • Modes of transportation



We had an amazing time exploring and learning about these 6 Ancient Civilizations. Buttercup learned so much new vocabulary and lots of interesting facts about life so, so long ago. It was really fun to hear her viewpoint on the differences between life then and now.
One of the most interesting things to come out of these lessons was learning that those Ancient Civilizations contributed a lot to the things we have now and things we still use today: written language, arenas, domes and arches, the plow to name just a few.
If you are interested in Ancient Civilizations or would like to introduce it to your child, I highly recommend this book.

Happy Homeschooling Adventures!

Monday, May 5, 2014

How to Make a Rainstick (Easy)

We decided to make a rainstick to go along with our Lesson about Brazil (You will be able to purchase my complete lesson here shortly).

We spent a few weeks learning about Brazil.......... from the Amazon to Rio de Janeiro......

                          ......from soccer to capoeira   
                                                  ....from folklore to real stories about famous Brazilians....

We had an amazing time researching, reading, exploring!       

One of our fun projects for the Brazil Lesson was to make a rainstick and it was surprisingly easy to do, so I'm sharing how we did it.

How to Make a Rainstick

Materials used:

  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Paper towel roll
  • Brown wrapping paper
  • Beans, lentils, rice
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Crayons, color pencils, feathers, stickers for decorating 


Cut out two rounds, each a little bigger than the opening of the paper towel roll.

 Make small cuts all around the circle (this will make it easier to attach to the roll).


Attach one of the rounds to one end of the paper towel roll. We used tape to attach it.

Cut an 8 inch strip of foil and accordion fold it (do this twice)


Twist each strip of foil so it looks kind of like a snake, then twist the two strips together at the ends

Place the foil into the paper towel roll (this will slow down the movement of the beans making for better rain sound).

Attach the 2nd round to the open end of the roll.

This is before it was decorated

Now, let your child go crazy decorating it! Oh, you can cover the roll with paper before decorating, although we didn't do this.

Happy Homeschooling Adventures!