Our adventures around the world has lead us to Europe. One of the most exciting places to visit was Greece. The oldest was so intrigued that we went ahead and made a whole unit out of it. Welcome to Greece!
Our fabulous librarians put together an amazing around-the-world day that lined up perfectly with our Europe unit.We were lucky enough to get Greece on our ticket, which is really what set off the oldest’s interest in the country.
The library event inspired us to look more deeply into Greece. We read a few Greek myths, which he loved, and talked about continuing learning about ancient history next year. He is excited about it! I’m so happy that we had the extra time to dig into Greece, dabble in a bit of mythology, and revisit the Olympics. Build Your Library has been a perfect fit for us this year, and I’m glad we’ll be continuing with Ancients for 1st grade.
Magic Tree House Book #16, Hour of the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne is an exciting adventure to ancient Greece with Jack and Annie. Our Magic Tree House obsession continues with the non-fiction companion book, Ancient Greece and the Olympics. The Fact Trackers are chock full of factual information introduced in an engaging way. They expand on the real information in the Magic Tree House books, and it gives us a chance to talk about what parts are fact and what parts are fiction. He calls Hour of the Olympics one of the “more real” books – as opposed to the “more magical” ones.
Some of the great non-fiction books we found at our library include Greece by Madeline Donaldson, Food and Recipes of Greece by Theresa M. Beatty, and Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths. These few books were a great resource for an introduction to Greece culture and mythology.
Every Friday is movie night in our house, and the whole family enjoyed the Disney movie Hercules. My guys are a little young for Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but that could be a fun addition to this unit.
We also loved browsing through the NBC Olympics 2018 website. We watched the 2016 summer Olympics together and talked about Greece a little then. This time around I could introduce the oldest to some favorite winter events that we will see next year.
For more European Unit resources, playlists, and movies see this post.
We checked out Art Around the World: Loo Loo, Boo, and More Art You Can Do from the library which introduced Greek mosaics. I hadn’t planned on this particular activity, but when he saw it he made the connection to the art in the Greece books and had to make it Right Away!
To make the mosaic, I simply cut strips of construction paper into about 1/2 in squares. He glued them onto the black paper with school glue. The book’s examples were of mosaics of Greek gods, but the oldest went abstract with his. I think it turned out just lovely. Fridge material, for sure!
My hands-down favorite part of this unit was our Greek food night. We sampled gyros, Greek salad, pitas, tzatziki sauce, and olives. The oldest LOVED the gyro salad. He couldn’t get enough. He asked what type of meat it was, and I told him “lamb.” For the rest of the meal repeated again and again, “Mmmmmm sheep!” every time he took a bite.