History Links: Unit Six – Ancient Greece

Unit Studies for Catholic Families.
Jennifer Alles
Barbara Little
Kim Staggenborg
Wooly Lamb Publishing
Number of pages: 
83 pages
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Unit Studies, or integrated curriculum, present a wonderful opportunity to study one topic in depth while taking side-trips to study related topics. The History Links units have been prepared to help Catholic families study a broad range of subjects, over all grade levels, organized by historical time period, from a Catholic point of view. That doesn't sound too easy to do, but the authors have made it so.

This unit on Ancient Greece is not a structured, day-to-day lesson plan. Rather, it is organized to guide you to develop your own daily plans and longer term assignments. The book begins with traditional Catholic prayers and patriotic hymns derived from Greek that can be learned during the unit and used for memorization, dictation, copywork or spelling. Next is a lengthy list of topics that will be studied and a listing of specific books, church documents, videos, and internet sites. These lists will help you to gather materials for your students to use during the study of Ancient Greece. The "preparation" section ends with vocabulary and spelling lists and a timeline.

The bulk of the unit is organized in outline style, with many, many suggestions of things to do as you explore Ancient Greece. Each of the topic headings and activity suggestions includes background teaching information, which I think is one of the best features of the program. The activity suggestions are coded with an age recommendation and a subject classification. For example, some activities are best-suited for preschoolers or elementary students, while others are best for middle school students or high school students. Each page also includes ideas for including babies and toddlers in the activities! Main subjects covered include religion, language arts, literature, research skills, critical thinking, and geography. Some suggestions also include study in foreign language, math, science, citizenship, architecture, art, crafts, drama, music, and physical education.

The authors recommend spending approximately 2 months on this unit, but there are so many things to do that you could easily spend much longer on this time period. I think that these courses are wonderful all by themselves, but they would also be very useful as a supplement. If you are enrolled with a formal curriculum such as that of Kolbe Academy or the Angelicum Academy, you could use History Links to add some fun projects and a Catholic perspective to the courses. History Links really are family-centered education, making learning fun and memorable.

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