Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ancient History, Week 3

First Farmers, First Towns

This week was a continuation of last week's study of stone age cave dwellers. Since Tessa didn't do anything particularly picture-worthy, I decided to use this space to show and explain how we define the dictionary words from History Odyssey.

Even though Tessa is working at the first grade level in most subjects, her coordination and hand muscle strength is closer to that of a typical kindergartner. I knew that having her copy entire dictionary definitions at her age would suck the life out of history for both of us, so I use the free version of ZB FontsOnlinePlus to create fill-in-the-blank copywork sheets. I also make enlargements of corresponding dictionary pages at 200 percent on a copy machine.

First, I have Tessa copy the dictionary word, which I already have printed on her copywork sheet. Then, we look up the word together in a children's dictionary and read its definition. (We use Merriam-Webster Children's Dictionary, which we like, but I wish the definitions were a little shorter and simpler. Dictionaries with shorter and simpler definitions do not seem to have the majority of the words used in History Odyssey.) Next, I pull out the copy of the dictionary page that I enlarged to 200 percent. We read the definition again on this sheet and compare it to the copywork sheet. Tessa underlines the missing words on the enlargement of the dictionary page. Finally, she fills in the blanks on her copywork sheet using the underlined words.

This week's dictionary word was "town." Defining the word also served as Tessa's handwriting lesson for the day.
This week's dictionary word was "town." Defining the word also served as Tessa's handwriting lesson for the day.

  • Read Usborne: Ancient World by Fiona Chandler (pages 4-5).
  • Completed corresponding Blue House School ancient world worksheets. 
  • Completed HO map work for Lesson 2, Main Lesson Part 1 and Part 2.

Stories from the Stone Age: Daily Bread is a nice documentary created by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It may be viewed for free via YouTube. I downloaded it from YouTube user AllHistories who uploaded it in fifteen ten-minute segments. The first four segments show how the Natufian people evolved from nomads at the end of the last Ice Age to the world's first farmers. Although this series is child-friendly (at least the parts we viewed), I did edit out the first five minutes of part three. It shows a burial scene. It's not particularly gruesome, but Tessa doesn't always deal well with human actors playing dead. Had the deceased not had blood on his head, I probably would have left it in. There is also a human skeleton in part one, but she didn't have a problem with that.

If you're like me and have major problems streaming videos from the internet, check out It can be used to save videos to your hard drive where they can later be played without interruption. After doing this, I transferred and then played them on our Kindle Fire.

  • Looked up and defined HO dictionary word for Lesson 2, Main Lesson Part 2.
  • Read Usborne: Ancient World by Fiona Chandler (pages 16-17).
  • Completed corresponding Blue House School ancient world worksheets.

* HO = History Odyssey

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