Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Babylon's Hanging Gardens

When learning about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, there is a bit of imagination that is required.  We all love the idea of Nebuchadnezzar creating this "mountain" for his Persian bride so that she would not miss her homeland so much.  I mean, how can anyone resist a story about a labor of love like that? 

But even with a variety of primary sources from the Ancient World, it was tough for me to really "see" this Wonder without seeing images or something of what it may have looked like.  So, when it came time to teach about it, we decided to create something that we could use as reference for what the Hanging Gardens may in fact have been like. 

So we created a Printable Replica of the Hanging Gardens.  We definitely recommend using cardstock to print these two sheets out on.  You'll need the cardstock for the Gardens replica to hold its shape.  And, this printable replica will come together easiest if you also use an exacto blade.  We used scissors, but it was very tricky to get some of those intricate cuts.

We used images of the Ishtar Gate for part of Nebuchadnezzar's "Mountain", since it seemed likely that some form of Babylonian architecture would have been used. 

In close details, you might notice that we included a waterfall pouring down the mountain, since the pumping of the Euphrates is mentioned in at least one of the primary sources. 

We hope you enjoy this fabulous mini replica and that it is useful for instructional purposes or just for the fun of imagining the Hanging Gardens in an entirely new way. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Theseus and the Minotaur

I was pretty excited to reach Chapter 18 in Story of the World, where we first get introduced to Greece.  Well, at least the Minoans and Crete.

I used to love Greek mythology as a kid, and the first story that our Homeschool Curriculum shares is the classic tale of Theseus destroying the Minotaur. 

I had just finished up our Greek Paper People, and so I was already in the groove of thinking about Paper People and it dawned on me:  Why not create a Paper People set that would allow kids to play out the myth?

 Back to the proverbial drawing board I went, and shortly thereafter, we had our first two players in the ancient story.  But what is a hero without the heroine?

 We must have Ariadne!  So, I made Ariadne and she was immediately confiscated by my 4 year old daughter who assumed that the beautiful Cretan Princess must have been made for her.   I also made King Minos and threw in a ball of wool, a torch and a sword for good measure.  Everything we need for a play-pretend of the ancient story.

Or was it?  Where's the Labyrinth?  That is a pretty essential piece of this one.  Well, that one we decided to make.  Perhaps you can come up with a better way, but here is what we did.

  We began with a cardboard box and I cut the flaps off of it.  I was going to need more cardboard so I made an executive decision and chopped the box in half.

This meant my paper people would be oversized for our Labyrinth, but at least we would get to better understand the concept of what a Labyrinth actually was.

First, we drew a maze on the bottom of our box.

Next, we glued our cardboard pieces onto the lines of our maze, cutting out doorways in advance.

Not quite accurate, since the Minotaur is a good head and chest taller than our Labyrinth, but to be honest, this did not bother my kids in the least.  They were quite delighted with this new plaything and had a blast playing with the characters.

One more item I should mention:  Theseus is a Boob.  Seriously.  Story of the World doesn't explain this, but he leaves Ariadne on an island instead of taking her with him.  After she risked her neck to save him!  So, Theseus gets the Boob Award.  Ariadne wins out in the end, though.  Not only does she get one of the Greek gods as a husband, she ends up getting deified later on, so there's definitely a good moral in there somewhere:  don't be fooled by a smolder and a quick sword, little ladies:  hang on and wait for the best!

You can find our latest product, "Theseus and the Minotaur" in our TpT store.  We have also included the Greek myth, rewritten and our lesson plan for creating the labyrinth above.  As always, we recommend printing on thick card-stock for our Paper People. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

More Paper People

We've been busy over here, and I am honestly proud of the results.  In our Homeschool curriculum (story of the world), study of the ancients in the Americas are still several chapters away.  But I have been wanting to get prepared for when it comes.  Here's our latest offering.

I like my ancient Mayans.  Turns out that the Mayans utilized facial tattoos quite commonly.  Another thing they did was to insert implants into their teeth!  Apparently, archaeologists have unearthed quite a few Mayan skulls where the teeth were ornamented with gems.  (I didn't attempt to pull that off in my paper people, but if I thought I could do it well and get away with it, I would have!) You can see images online of these skulls, and as bizarre as it sounds, I think it might have looked rather nice in person.  Especially when the individual smiled.

I also created a packet of paper dolls, or "Paper People" as I prefer to call them, for Ancient Greece.  Both of these packets include the images of the people themselves, several outfits for male and female, and then a coloring page for the budding artists out there who would like to color their own outfits.

These are going to be great products for your study of the clothing of the era, or even introducing to younger ages.  My son played with Ancient Egypt Paper People for several weeks, and I loved hearing him create stories with them.

Each of these historical packets is available in our store and I will soon be making a combined bundle of the three!  Follow me here or at my TpT store to keep up on all the latest!