Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ancient Civilizations: Greece Part II History

The year has gotten away from me. It's time to wrap up final plans for seventh grade, and I realized I've not yet documented all of sixth grade. I will do my best to show what we covered in during our second semester, beginning with history.

Greek History. Hmmmm, what fun! Most of our stories came from Kovac's Ancient Greece . Each day I would deliver a story. Using the 3 day rhythm, we would review on day 2 and develop the ideas through artwork on day 3. But this semester, instead of focusing on painting or drawing, I had the boy write, write, write.

I realized about mid-way through the year that I had been rather lax on the writing skills. My goal was to get the child to write at least one paragraph, coherently and completely on his own. I started with having him write his ideas down. Then he formed them into complete sentences, then arranged them into a paragraph. Sounds simple, but for a boy that doesn't care for writing (Can't we just draw this story?") it was fairly exhausting!

 The "big" project was to write a comparison essay, using narrative. He chose to compare Sparta to Athens using the stories of two characters from the Kovac's book to illustrate the differences. (Solon and Lycurgas). The major struggle during this project was the Boy wanting to do it his way, rather than following my directions.

Doesn't look so intimidating, but this was a two week process!

 At one point he made two lists of characteristics, one for each city, handed it to me and said, "I've finished comparing." My response, "Hmm, yes, you did compare the two cities, but I would like you to put these characteristics in story form. Not list form." And his, "Well, I like my way better. "  This is when I had to put on my teacher face and get firm about completing the assignment, not changing the assignment to suit his wants. This time, anyway. It took two weeks of writing and rewriting, working through the draft process, but he finally completed it.  And was so proud of his accomplishment when he had.

During his free time, the Boy read some library books about Ancient Greece, including Black Ships Before Troy, Rosemary Sutcliff. One we thoroughly enjoyed was Wise Guy:The Life and Philosophy of Socrates. The Boy spent the next few weeks tossing out Socratic quotes. (Where were those nosy homeschool quizzers that week? No....they only quiz on stuff we haven't covered yet!) 

We transitioned into our studies of Rome by reading aloud the Aenid, closing our books on the study of Ancient Greece.

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