Mystery of History, Volume 1 Week 4: Stonehenge, Early Egypt, The Minoan Civilization
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Lesson 10: Stonehenge
his is so fun because many people don’t know or think about the fact that this cool ancient structure in ENGLAND is as old as the pyramids! After we read the MOH lesson together, the kids made notes in their notebooking pages. The youngest used this for copywork:
The placement of rocks at Stonehenge reveals man’s early understanding of the solstice and equinox of the sun.
We talked about the definitions of solstice and equinox, too.
Here are a few really fun and informative videos we watched:
By the way, you can purchase a similar building set at this link:
This video is fun because you can see how enormous the stones are compared to people, and watch the sun rise through them:
For an art lesson, have your children learn to draw Stonehenge with this video:
I really enjoyed this thoughtful article by Answers in Genesis: Overturning Expectations About Early Man. Mark that one down for your worldview studies.
Lesson 11: Early Egypt
This is just one of a few lessons on Ancient Egypt in Mystery of History, so we dove in just a bit, but not too much yet. There is such an enormous amount of resources out there for Ancient Egypt studies! Books, websites, activities…there’s just too much to choose from. I’ll share a few here.
After reading the MOH lesson, we filled in the notebooks with definitions from the book, and located the Pyramids and the Great Sphynx on the map. I also used Google Earth on my iPhone (cast to the TV screen) and starting at our home address, plugged in “Great Pyramid of Giza” and watched as it took us around the world to Egypt. The kids loved seeing the actual pyramids and the Sphynx in “real life.”
Next, we watched this interesting video of a tour inside the Great Pyramid:
With Draw and Write Through History, I had the kids draw the Pyramids. Some also drew the Great Sphynx. Copywork for this lesson was:
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the tallest and oldest of three enormous pyramids built in Giza, a town near the city of Cairo. The Great Pyramid was built for Pharaoh Khufu. This pyramid is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
There is also a good page of cursive copywork on Egypt in Draw and Write Through History: Creation to Jonah.
We also watched this short National Geographic video about life in Ancient Egypt:
Food is such a fun “hands-on” history activity, and most historic feasts can be created with a combination of roasted meats, vegetables, fruits, and the appropriate bread. I did a bit of research and then made a quick trip to the store for this. I bought a rotisserie chicken, flat bread and French bread, fruits and vegetables, hummus and honey. The only thing I actually cooked was the boiled eggs. You can find lots of websites with Ancient Egyptian foods (and recipes), but I wanted quick and easy.
I served sparkling cider in place of beer, and used gold party plates from the dollar store. While we ate, we watched this video:
Oh my, the books available on Ancient Egypt are many. Some of my favorites are from Usborne Books. Most of the ones I have are no longer available from Usborne, but you can likely find them on eBay or Thrift Books. Start with a Google search “ebay usborne books egypt” and you’ll see some really great ones.
Now is a good time to start reading a bit of historical fiction about Egypt. This can be spread over a few weeks, if needed, because the lessons will be moving in and out of Egypt through Lesson 24.
Suggestions include The Golden Goblet, Mara, Daughter of the Nile, and The Cat of Bubastes. Teaching Children With Books has a nice list of more Egypt chapter books to read. Pick one as a read-aloud, or assign different books to your children. You could also download one on Audible and listen as you work on a quiet activity.
- Make your own papyrus
- Make a pop-up with the Great Pyramids and the Sphynx of Giza
- Learn to play the ancient Egyptian game Senet
- Print out this free “hidden images” coloring page for younger kids
- Draw Pharaoh
- Print this free Name Hieroglyphics page for younger kids
- Print this free Ancient Egypt word search
- Ancient history paper dolls are so fun and so cool! These are free to print. Download the “Paper Men Ancient History” set and /or the “Paper Dolls of Ancient History” set and color the costumes for Egypt. Save the rest for future lessons.
- Get this free set of printable Ancient Egyptian Cards for deeper play/study
As I said, all Egypt activities can be done over the next 10 lessons or so, when you want to do something fun.
Lesson 12: The Minoan Civilization
In this lesson we are introduce to the early inhabitants of the Island of Crete. I used Google Earth again to pull up this island in the Mediterranean, and then we read the MOH lesson together. The kids did their notebooking exercises and copywork:
The people were named “Minoans” after one of their rulers, King Minos. The greatest palace of the Minoans was in the capital of Knossos. It had ivory bathtubs, running water for the toilets, and beautifully detailed frescoes. A fresco is a special painting on a wall, made by applying paint to wet plaster.
Legend says that King Minos built a huge labyrinth, or maze, in which he housed a monster named a Minotaur. This creature was supposedly part man and part bull.
With an actual Minotaur in the story, the kids perked up, because they all enjoy reading Greek Myths. I’ll just say beware of reading too much into this story because it’s a little bit…um…x-rated. If you’re comfortable with teens reading about a a human mating with a bull to produce the Minotaur, go for it.
After reading the lesson, we watched this video tour of some of the Minoan Wall Paintings:
We didn’t do many other activities for this lesson.
To finish up, we added these events to our timelines, did the mapwork in the Companion Guide, my 9 & 12 year olds added the Egyptians and Minoans sections to their labpooks (folder books), and we did the Week 4 quiz.
Be sure to check out all the great book suggestions and activitiy ideas in the Mystery of History Companion Guide! Follow the entire course with us at the main Mystery of History Volume 1 page here.
Do you have some fun ideas for these lessons? Comment below!