Monday, February 20, 2017

REVIEW: HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece by Home School in the Woods

After our first experience with this series studying Ancient Egypt, we were very much looking forward to reviewing HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece by Home School in the Woods.

WHAT IS IT?:

This in-depth study of Ancient Greece is part of the HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study series. 

There are currently four studies in the series.  Aside from Ancient Greece, you may also choose from Ancient Egypt, The Middle Ages, and the Renaissance & Reformation.  In addition, a new study is set to be released in 2018 that focuses on Ancient Rome.

This history study is great for kids who enjoy hands-on learning.  It includes opportunities for creative writing, over a dozen lapbook projects, craft cards for a dozen 3-D projects, a file folder game, a scrapbook timeline, eight dramatized audio tours, and more!

The study includes 25 “stops” that can be completed in 8-12 weeks if you are doing a focused unit study of the material, or over a longer period of time if you are using it as supplemental material.

This versatile study of Ancient Greece is available as a downloadable product for just $33.95, or on a CD for just $34.95.

Take a look at a video of what Project Passport is all about and view a sample lesson from the Ancient Greece history study.  For a specific list of the topics covered in this study, check out the Scope & Sequence.  This study is recommended for students in grades 3-8.

The main supplies needed for the printable elements are white and colored printer paper, white and colored cardstock to go in your printer, scissors, and quality glue sticks!

 

OUR EXPERIENCE:

I can’t say enough about the quality of the materials in the Project Passport series, as well as from Home School in the Woods in general.  Everything is so thoughtfully created, and the finished product is truly a keepsake for years to come.

This history study of Ancient Greece is no different!  As my 12-year old daughter, Haylee, and I printed and assembled the various scrapbook items in the study, we shared them with the rest of the family.  My husband was so impressed with how everything turns out so nicely, and I think it’s really cool the way so many elements are highly interactive.  It definitely adds to the interest level for the kids.

Since we’re currently studying a different time period in history for school, we decided to use Fridays (our days off from school) to work on this study of Ancient Greece.  Haylee chose it because she loves everything about the Olympic games, which ties right in with this study!  We chose to complete one stop per week, which means this study will last us 25 weeks.  If you’re doing a more focused study of the time period, you can certainly complete it more quickly by working on it more than once a week as we did.  But each stop seemed to take us about a solid hour or slightly more of work time, and we pre-printed everything for 5 weeks of study in advance.  If you are prepping materials as you go, it will take a bit longer than that.

There’s a printable travel itinerary that helps us stay on track with each stop along the way.  It outlines each assignment and gives step-by-step instructions for both the printing and assembling of the items.  It also give additional tidbits of related information from time to time.  We began each stop by reading aloud about 3 pages of historical information pertaining to our stop for the week, which is broken out neatly into topic areas.  Then we moved on to the assignments on the travel itinerary for that stop.

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Our first stop involved a lot of initial setup, so that took longer than the subsequent stops.  Because we have worked on the Ancient Egypt study in the past, we already had a passport and luggage created.  One of the neat things about this series is that once those items are made, you can add your passport stamps and journal entries to them every time you complete another Project Passport history study.  We also created a teacher’s binder for my read-aloud information and itineraries, and I also stored all of the printed materials (which I made up ahead of time) behind each stop’s information in there.  Then we made Haylee’s Scrapbook of Sights.  This is where all of the completed keepsakes are stored.  Think of this as the student’s binder.  We created the timeline and placed it in the scrapbook, as well as some initial work on the first two printable maps of Aegean Civilizations and the Greek World.  We also read an overview of the country of Greece, its earliest days, and its civilizations.

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At our second stop, we learned about additional people groups and the Dark Age.  We added additional timeline figures (which I printed on sticker paper for easy placement on the timeline), added more titles to our maps, and created a Postcard Rack to go in the scrapbook.  This rack would hold all of the postcards that Haylee would read and decorate throughout the study.  We also created the keepsake newspaper called the Greek Weekly, and Haylee wrote her first two articles for that.  We stored it in the pocket of her scrapbook, as it will be added to many times in future stops.  We also created an interactive family tree booklet detailing information about Helen and His Sons.  This was our first lapbook element, which is stored in a ziploc baggie until all of the elements of the lapbook are finished and we’re ready to assemble it.

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Our third stop focused on the Archaic Period.  Here, we learned about the formation of city-states and Greek colonization, with a focus on Corinth and Thebes.  Personally, I found this fascinating and very timely, because our adult bible study class at church is currently studying Corinthians!  I must admit that it gave me greater understanding of the culture of the Corinthian people, and I shared some of my newfound perspective with my fellow church members.  This stop involved adding more timeline figures (including Haylee’s beloved Olympic Games!), completing an ad and an article for the newspaper, doing more map work, and then creating a really cool set of Greek columns in the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian architectural styles for comparison.  There columns were 3-dimensional but stored nicely in the scrapbook, and we thought they were really neat!

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At the fourth stop, we learned about Greek leadership, from kings and oligarchies to tyrannies and democracies.  We learned about the relationships between the Greek city-states and their colonies, and how it eventually led to the demise of the era of city-states.  We added some timeline figures, made another postcard, and created an awesome and interactive 3-D page about the various types of government in Greece.  Each element had an image that “popped up” when you opened the flap for each type of government, and it gave a concise summary of what that government entailed.  That turned out pretty cool!

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Our fifth and final stop during the review period had us learning all about Athens.  We read about the fall of its kings, its laws, the rise of tyrants, its democracy, and the Golden Age of Athens.  We added more timeline figures, did an article and an advertisement for the newspaper, decorated another postcard, did more map work, and then spent most of our time creating an extensive scrapbook page on the grandeur of Athens.  It included 12 interactive elements about the finer developments in Athens, such as its philosophers, its art and architecture, its notable people of government, its drama, its trade, and its navy.  Each element on the page was a matchbook that opened to reveal important information on each topic, all on one nicely presented and concise information page.

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This is as far as we got during the review period, but we’ve already learned a lot! The whole time we were adding completed pages to the scrapbook, I kept thinking to myself what a wonderful teaching tool that even the final product will be for my younger son when he begins studying ancient history!  All the facts and summaries, the timeline, and the maps will all be in the completed scrapbook and will not only be a keepsake for Haylee, but will also be a wonderful learning resource for her brother!  And that works out perfectly, because he’s not creative the way my daughter is, and he wouldn’t enjoy the assembly of the parts, but he would definitely benefit from perusing the completed scrapbook!  It’s a much more interesting way to learn than just reading a textbook, for sure.

This is such a flexible teaching tool.  My daughter enjoys coloring and decorating things, but not so much the cutting and assembling.  So knowing that ahead of time, I was able to do a lot of the prep work and leave the artistic things for her to do.  If you have a more hands-on child who enjoys putting things together, then there will be even more for them to do.  But however it works out, this is a great project to work on together. 

There is a LOT of information to be absorbed through this study.  The text portion of each stop conveys a lot of important facts, and then the hands-on assignments help solidify the learning in a meaningful way.  I can definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a unique and in-depth unit study on Ancient Greece!  And included in the materials is a list of additional resources that you can use to add even more to the study if you so desire.

Take a look at what other Crew members had to say about this and the other Project Passport history studies from Home School in the Woods by clicking the banner below.