Monday, February 22, 2016

Awesome History II: the Middle Ages, Rome to Revolution

Happy Awesome History Students
For our first Awesome History we used Story of the World, but I didn't much like the second book in the series (heavy handed Protestant treatment of the Reformation). 

That left me with a quandary.  I needed a book that gave a good neutral overview of the historical time period, suitable for a wide age range, and a fun read aloud.

The winner is: A Child's History of the World by Virgil M. Hillyer!

Its even more of an "overview" than Story of the World (the entire story fits in one book), but it hits all my requirements, right down to being fun to read! The idea is that you can give your older kids extra information as you go, while still maintaining the flow which shows how the eras and events are interconnected.

In our case, we are reading three short chapters a week and going from Constantine and the fall of Rome, all the way to the events which started the American Revolution. That gives me the option of doing a  third Awesome History series as either American History or World History.

This week we did chapters 39-41, Constantine through Attila the Hun.

 Our active activity was an epic Nerf battle
between Romans and Barbarians.

It's a good thing we've been practicing!

Our art activity was these "In Hoc Signo Vinces" crosses. 

Constantine, when he was fighting to become emperor, the night before a crucial battle dreamed that he saw a cross in the sky with the words "In This Sign You Will Conquer."

When he awoke, he had all his soldiers paint a cross on their shields,and he won the battle and his crown.  He then legalized Christianity!

Our back grounds are very wet water color sprinkled with coarse salt which gives a starry effect as it dries.  We actually dried them in the oven so that we could finish the project.  Watercolor paper gives the best effect but it works even on copy paper.

The cross is just strips of construction paper, pasted in position.  I had contemplated writing "In Hoc Signo Vinces" in gold marker, but I liked it as is, and I figured leaving it plain allowed this double as a Lenten decoration!

Our snack activity was making these cross hot pretzels- yummy and fun!

We often have hot pretzels, so this was super easy for us.

If you ever want to make hot pretzels, it's just bread dough, dipped in a basic solution (baking soda in our case, industrial pretzels are dipped in lye), and sprinkled with salt.

And baked.  We definitely bake ours!

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