Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

Map of Greece

Monday, January 10th, 2011


Last time we studied Ancient Greece, we made a three-dimensional model of Greece. I bought some white air-hardening clay, and the children helped me to mold it into the shape of Greece. We made dots for all the islands, and a worm-like blob for Crete.

We let it harden for two days in a square pyrex dish. Then we poured water into the dish, lower than the level of the clay. We tinted the water blue with food coloring. It looked stunning!


If you don’t have the clay to do this easy activity, just go ahead and color a simple map of Greece. Your children can still learn quite a lot just by coloring the shape of the country. If you have some Greek music, you can play that in the background while they are coloring, so they associate the country with the music.


The Geography Hop

Crete: Palace of King Minos

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Before I was married, while I wpalace-of-king-minosas still a student in England, I took a cheap tour to Greece and the Greek Islands. I stayed at the bottom of the ship in an ugly room with women who were strangers. We pulled our bunks out of the wall. Dirt cheap. But I got to see the palace of King Minos on the island of Crete.

palace-of-king-minos-2There was a labyrinth under the ground where the Minotaur (a half-man, half-bull), according to legend, used to eat 7 girls and 7 boys from Athens every year. Finally Theseus, the son of Aegeus, king of Athens, went over to Crete to fight the Minotaur. Ariadne, princess of King Minos, fell in love with Theseus and gave him a spool of thread so that he could find his way back out of the labyrinth again. Theseus went into the dark labyrinth, groping his way along the reeking corridors,  killing the Minotaur. He found his way back out with the string.

When he sailed back to Athens, his dad jumped off the cliff because Theseus had forgotten to change the color of the sails. (White sails meant Theseus was returning victorious, and black sails indicated that he had died. The sails were black.) So the Aegean Sea was named after King Aegeus, who had hurled himself into the sea, and Theseus became the new king.palace-of-king-minos-3palace-of-king-minos-4

My Visit to Athens, Greece

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011


Many years ago, before I even started dating my husband, I visited Athens, Greece. I went on a cruise by myself, bunking with two other single women that I met after I boarded the ship.

When I saw the Parthenon, it was almost surreal as I stood there and touched it. Everything was super tall.


The columns were carved elaborately, and the entire temple made you feel eerie. People used to worship Athena in this place.


Athena had apparently won a contest against Poseidon, so she had the city of Athens named after her. Above is pictured a statue of Athena located on top of a tall pillar.


I saw other structures like the famous amphitheater, where theatrical performances began. I also saw the temple of Zeus, which only had a few remaining columns (pictured above).


In the Museum of Athens, many famous works of art were displayed, such as the golden mask of Agamemnon, which is beautiful and creepy.


Many other statues and sculptures could be seen, even though most of the greatest historical pieces of art were taken to the British Museum in London.


I really enjoyed my visit to Athens, Greece. It’s as if history was suddenly standing before me, just the way it was in ancient times!

Ancient Greece Unit Study

Monday, January 3rd, 2011


These are some of the activities we are doing for our Ancient Greece Unit Study. I include lots of hands-on activities to have fun with my kids during this time period. Watch the video to see all the fun goodies I have planned, and click on the links below the video to see how we did them:

Ancient Greece Unit Study: Hands-on Activities