Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stonehenge

Today, in our The Mystery of History lesson (Lesson 10, Volume 1), we learned about Stonehenge.  (I just love this curriculum because it is so hands-on and I learn so much, too!)
While we read, I let her hold the small Stonehenge model from our Safari Ltd. World Landmarks Toob.  (I picked this up at Hobby Lobby from their clearance section.  They are also available at the company's site and on Amazon.  We will be using it a lot this year.)
After we read about Stonehenge in our text, we learned more about it in our The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History, which I supplement with a lot because of the great color photos and drawings.
Here is one of the photos of Stonhenge from this book.
And here is a great diagram showing how the work on Stonehenge was done.  We learned that the vertical rocks are called sarsens and the horizontal ones along the top are called lintels.
 Once our reading was done, we watched this great little video on Stonehenge at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7322444.stm.  (I wish I could have linked it somehow, but I was having trouble.)  Then, I had her narrate what she had learned before we got into our projects.

The first activity we did was the one suggested in our text, creating a miniature Stonehenge using small stones on a plate.  I picked up some craft stones at Dollar Tree and decided we could hot glue them onto a paper plate.  I had intended to pick up some green paper plates and forgot, so in a pinch, we added a green circle cut out of construction paper onto the bottom of a white paper plate.  (The crafter in me just couldn't do white.)
 Then, we set to work finding stones that could stand upright like the sarsens.
We adhered the stones with hot glue.  It worked really well!
Maggie's little Stonehenge!
After we made the one out of stones, I thought it would be fun to actually mold our own rocks for another Stonehenge model, like the one I saw at     http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/People/miniaturestonehenge/miniaturestonehenge.html.  On that site, they have a great recipe for sand dough that you can use, but once I saw this texture clay at Michael's with a stone finish, I was sold.  (I am all for saving a step!)
We got right to work, shaping our stones.  This texture clay was awesome (easy and clean) to work with.
In the works!
Adding the last lintel ...
It turned out so good!
 Later, we did two more activities from our text.  First, we discussed how much more difficult it would have been to construct something of this size without modern tools and equipment.  How did they even know where to dig the holes to ensure a perfect circle?  I challenged her to draw some perfect circles.
After she was done trying, we noted how it is nearly impossible to draw a perfect circle without some tool or stencil.  This brought us to our next project ...
... trying to figure out how they might have marked perfect circles for building.  We took a jump rope outside and Maggie stood in one place (only rotating her body) while I walked with the other end of the jump rope, pulled taut, in a complete circle around her. 
Then, we took some thistle seed and she made the circle (with me now standing in the middle) to mark our circle.
She went backwards, too, to make the circle darker with the seed.  This was neat.  In the end, we were able to make a guess as to how some of these ancient people might have marked the circles needed at Stonehenge.
Tomorrow, we start our study of Ancient Egypt.  I can't wait!

2 comments:

  1. Hi! I thought of you guys this morning when I saw this on Google's homepage: http://www.google.com/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/treks/pyramids-of-giza/. It would be fun to do a virtual flyover of the pyramids!

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    1. Hey, thanks, Mary Lee! We will watch it! We start learning about them today! :D

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