Friday, August 21, 2015

Reading Through Ancient Greece

"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep;
I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion."

Alexander the Great

There are many great books on Ancient Greece.  I just want to share a few that I particularly think shouldn't be missed.

In Reading Through Ancient History the Bible (See Reading Through Ancient Rome and Reading Through Ancient Egypt) should always be used.  In the case of Ancient Greece passages from the book of Daniel and The Acts of the Apostles should be incorporated into your study of Greece.

Alexander's Horses is the remarkable story of Alexander the Great.  We learn about this titanic General and Conqueror by learning about each of his horses and their part in his story.  We did this as a family read aloud and I was immediately drawn in.  The story seemed so incredible I found myself verifying different facts.  This is upper elementary or junior high to read independently but early elementary should have no trouble following along if someone reads it aloud.

Did you know that Archimedes designed a crane equipped with a grappling hook that was used to lift enemy vessels out of the water?  This is just one of the amazing things that you learn about Archimedes in Archimedes Takes a Bath and Archimedes and His Wonderful Discoveries.  Both make this scientist very accessible to younger children. Takes a Bath is the easier of the two but I highly recommend both and am glad we read them both.

Theras and His Town will bring to life what is was like to live in Athens and Sparta.

And of course you can't Read Through Ancient Greece without reading about the Trojan War and Aesops' Fables.  There are many books out there that tell these stories and I have included some that we have used and enjoyed.

We completed our reading journey by watching The 300 Spartans (1962) movie. (I never could find a good book on this battle for elementary children)  This movie relates the Battle of  Thermopylae. We enjoyed finding things in the movie that we read about in our books and seeing the bravery and discipline of the Spartans.  They had great courage against overwhelming odds.  (Parental warning - compared to movies today this movie is very innocent and not graphic but it is a little more graphic and violent than you might expect a 1962 movie and that might not be appropriate for younger children or might be offensive to some.)

For more resources see Helps for Reading Through Ancient (Bible) History


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