Saturday, October 1, 2016

Story of the World: Vol 1: Chap 1: Sect. 2: The First Nomads Become Farmers

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Like I did in previous Story of the World lessons, I helped my son pay attention to the reading by asking questions and borrowing pictures from other resources for him to look at while I read.  I also broke up the section into parts to read on multiple days so there wasn't too much reading on any day.  Today I thought I'd show, paragraph by paragraph, how we did that.

DAY 1:  Paragraphs 1-7
Note, the paragraph are a little different in Original vs. Revised- there's also some slightly substantive changes between the two which you can read more about here.

Paragraph 1 - 3 (Original 1-2)
Before reading I had my son look at the map of the fertile crescent from the activity book, and then we found that area on a world map.  As we read paragraph 1-2 I had him trace the rivers and color the oceans on the fertile crescent map.

While the activity book has great maps, if you want a WORLD MAP that has all the major features mentioned in the book (rivers, mountains), Map Treck: Ancient Times has a good one, which I believe is included in their free sample pages (it simplifies some of the continuant outlines, BUT I can deal with that so long as they have ALL THE MAJOR RIVERS mentioned in Story of the World...which I believe they do.)

Paragraph 4 -5 (Original 3)
While reading we looked at the picture from this webpage of a Mesopotamian farming village  (the picture is large enough to print full page, but if you're concerned about copyright, you can sit in front of the computer or look at it through your i-pod or phone) .  I asked my son to point out the canals.

Paragraph 6 (Original 4)
We skipped this paragraph.  In stead we looked at the activity page with the picture of the Shaduf  and I explained briefly in my own words how they used these to water their crops (in the revised version this is also an illustration at the end of the chapter).

Paragraph 7 - 8 (Original 5 - 6)
We looked at pages about country life in  DK Eyewitness Books: Mesopotamia  (pg 18 - 19) while we read this section.  We talked a little bit about the houses pictured, and the types of food they ate.

Paragraph 9 - 10 (Original 7)
We looked at the picture of a walled city on page 48-49 of Stone Age People while we read this section.   I explained that the main picture was of a walled city in Greece, not the Fertile Crescent.  That page actually had a picture of the ruins of Jericho so I made sure to point that out.  You can also find pictures of the ruins of Jericho here

That's where we stopped for the day.

DK Eyewitness Books: Mesopotamia

Day 2
We read the continued story of Tarak (paragraph 8 on) this time without any need for supplemental illustrations.  It had one and that was enough (surprisingly).  We were using the older version though, which illustrations of the children playing in the river for this part of the chapter.  While overall I like the pictures in the Revised version better, in this Chapter I think the older version's illustrations are more engaging.  The newer version replaces the illustrations of Tarak's story with a picture of a man using a shaduf (it's the same picture that is in the activity book I showed my son earlier). The farmer with the shaduf is a useful illustration, and maybe more polished artistically, but, at least with my son, there was more of a connection with the pictures of Tarak from the older version.

Activity Ideas

I tried to get my child interested in making a shaduf, but he really didn't want to.  If your kids are interested, here's some examples of small models, or you could go big like this family did, which I think would be both more fun (and with larger, heavier buckets of water, I think would illustrate better why this simple machine was so useful).

Another activity which would go well with this would be to plant a small garden, and talk about what people need to be able to cultivate plants.  Think about what you would need to do to plant a garden if you didn't have modern conveniences like running water.

Supplemental Books Used

More Resources

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