Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Hammurabi’s Code of Laws Craft

Monday, January 25th, 2016


My daughter made a “Hammurabi’s Code of Laws” craft by creating a slab of stone with a black poster board. She wrote a summary in her own words of some of the laws of Hammurabi, many of which were quite weird. She used a chalk pen, and she wrote in her best handwriting.


You will want to start by cutting a black poster board into a slab of rock by rounding the top portion with a pair of scissors. Write the title across the top, then try to emulate the etchings at the top of the original Code of Hammurabi. My 10-year-old daughter did a great job drawing these pictures! There is a figure sitting on a throne, and the man at the foot of the throne is Hammurabi, who is getting the law from one of the gods the people worshiped in those days. Hammurabi wanted his laws to be authoritative, so he said that the gods had given him these laws.


Here are some of the laws:

  • If a man cuts down a tree not on his property, he will have to pay.
  • If a man wants to throw his son out of the house, he has to tell it to the judge. If the reasons are not good, the son stays.
  • If a doctor operates on a person and the person dies, the doctor’s hand will be cut off.
  • If a builder builds a house and the house collapses on the owner and he or she dies, the builder will be put to death.

Here is an alternate activity on black cork board instead of poster board, where the child creates her own code of laws for her home. (Notice also that she drew a little girl instead of Hammurabi on the stone slab):

If you would like your kids to write summaries on colorful pages, here are some free Hammurabi notebooking and coloring pages:

For more hands-on activities for history, join the Unit Study Treasure Vault!

LEGO Covered Wagon

Monday, October 5th, 2015


My son made a LEGO covered wagon out of regular LEGO bricks. This is a fun hands-on activity you can do with your kids when you are studying the Wild West. You can also combine it with a literature study of Little House on the Prairie.

My son made some log cabins out of red LEGO bricks attached to a green base. He stuck a horse into the barn, and he placed a chimney on the house. Next to the house is where he placed the covered wagon.

lego-covered-wagon-baseHe started building the covered wagon by grabbing some brown LEGO bricks and placing four “wheels” on the bottom. Those wheels were really LEGO bricks with 2 bumps. Then he built the main platform on top of the wheels. This was in the shape of a rectangle. He placed a front seat on the covered wagon. It was another LEGO with 2 bumps.

lego-covered-wagon-topThe top part of the LEGO covered wagon was built out of white LEGOs in the shape of an upside-down “U,” with a row of 2-prong LEGOs along the top. Brown LEGOs attach the white canvas top to the bottom of the covered wagon.

Now your LEGO covered wagon is complete, and you can begin having Wild West adventures with your fun Wild West LEGO scene!

Modern History Unit Study

Monday, September 21st, 2015

modern-history-unit-studyThis post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

Before I began teaching this Modern History Unit Study, I was shocked by how few activities I found that brought to life this time period. With the help of All American History, Volume II and my own flair for unit studies, my kids had a wonderful time doing hands-on modern history!

We enjoyed all the printables that we were able to use in our modern history notebook, as well as many of the hands-on suggestions mentioned in the teacher’s manual. The culture of each of the decades came through clearly in the textbook. Even though I don’t normally use textbooks, I was able to break down each event in modern history into unit studies.

Hands-on Activities for Modern History

Here are some fun hands-on activities, field trips, creative writing assignments, crafts, and themed parties that helped us to bring to life this modern time period (from the 1900’s to the modern day):

I hope you enjoyed our modern history unit study as much as we did! Use any of these ideas to help your kids to bring this time period to life. Make modern history unforgettable!

The Hiding Place Summary

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015


My son wrote an interesting summary of The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

The Hiding Place Summary

by Bryan Evans, age 14

Once upon a time there was a Beje (don’t even ask me what that means). In it lived a family called the Ten Booms. I don’t know what’s weirder, the name of the place they lived in or their last name. There was Corrie, and Betsy, and Father (yes, that’s his first name). They sold watches (evidently you can sell watches at this thing called a Beje). Everything was just great… except that German weirdo who punched old people. But then the Germans took over Poland and ruined everything! They confiscated the radios and telephones and gave people ration cards and smashed random places and took all the stuff and arrested Jews and *gasping for air*–where was I?

The Beje turned into a hiding place for Jews who didn’t want to die (another thing you can do with a Beje), and also a hiding place for fake ration cards. The watch business actually did well because those rude German soldiers wanted their watches repaired. Suddenly they realized that everyone knew about their top secret base of operations, and sure enough, German soldiers barged in. “Where are the Jews?” “What Jews?” (Apparently Corrie had a terrible memory). “I know they’re in here!” So they tied her to the wall and searched all over the place and somewhere in the middle of it all the phone got knocked off the hook. And do you know what it said? I’ll tell you what it said!

“Corrie! You are in grave danger! Any minute now German soldiers will barge into the Beje and search everywhere! You must warn the Jewish man who’s coming at 4:30 and the Jewish mother with her baby who are coming at 6:00! You need to evacuate the Beje, Corrie! I think they’ll suspect that you’re hiding Jews in your house! You need to get rid of all the fake ration cards and hide the radio!” All this time a German soldier was writing this down.

Soon they took Corrie and a bunch of other people to a prison with tiny gray rooms, and they all went insane! Except for Corrie… You know why? She found a few ants, and they have anti-insanity properties. Don’t believe me? Ever seen an insane ant? I thought so. One day, someone gave her some colorful paper and a Bible. Reading the Bible was just about the only thing she could do, other than stare out the window with bars on it.

After a few months they were taken out of prison and shipped to a concentration camp. Apparently the Germans’ favorite color was gray. (I mean, of all the colors, they could have painted everything in sight.) None of the prisoners could leave because of a barbed wire fence. They had to sleep on fermented rotting straw full of lice. During the day, Corrie worked on relay switches. She did so well, a friendly guard broke some of them and said, “Now fix them again, slowly and inefficiently. You’ve already made your daily quota! Don’t you know German fighter planes are gonna use these? You don’t want them to work perfectly, do you?”

The Germans decided it wasn’t depressing enough, so they took all the prisoners to Ravensbruck. This was another concentration camp, one that treated its prisoners notoriously badly. To get there, they took a train that could hold 40 people. However, they stuffed 80 people in there, killing dozens of people standing in the middle for no reason. The trip was days long. They finally made it to Ravensbruck. Not only was the concentration camp gray and surrounded with barbed wire, but there were no living plants in sight. Everything was miserable. When they went to bed, not only was the fermented rotting straw they slept on full of lice, but fleas as well. Betsy was sick, but they had a small bottle of pills. Miraculously, day after day the bottle didn’t run out of pills. It got to the point where it became obvious that it was a miracle. After what must have been years, they were finally released, but not before Betsy died.