Ancient history is a fascinating time period to study. Pharaohs, mind-blowing architecture, mythology, language, warriors, breathtaking art, etc.
Instead of just reading about these past civilizations, let your tweens/teens interact with history through hands-on activities. They’ll not only learn more, but they’ll find the subject of history much less boring. Plus, through some of these projects, they’ll discover how much of our world today actually came from these empires.
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Make Ancient History Interactive for Teens with These Projects
The engineering that emerged from the ancient period is astounding. Let your middle schooler try their hand at recreating some of the more popular building projects from the time period.
Your kids probably built a pyramid or other famous ancient landmarks when they were younger, but middle school is a great time to revisit this activity. This time, ask your student to build something using any materials they’d like. Like the road, they could even make these edible. Here are some 3D pyramid model project ideas and an edible ancient temple.
Encourage them to challenge themselves while being creative.
Art is a vital part of world history. So, by letting your teens recreate some of the ancient art styles, you’ll help them gain a better understanding of these civilizations.
Much of the art from ancient Egypt is found in tombs, where they told stories, helped loved ones find their way to the afterlife, and showed symbols of daily life as well as important religious deities. Have your teens recreate their favorite symbol on a relief tile. By using a foam tray and Plaster of Paris, it’s easy to make something they’ll be proud of.
If they’d rather carve something, using a knife, they can cut detailed symbols into potatoes and use them as stamps to create a mural or an Egyptian cartouch.
Crafts aren’t just for elementary school. In fact, they’re a wonderful way to get middle school kids engrossed in history. Just be sure that the projects are challenging enough for them and that they have plenty of time to work on them so they are able to learn new skills and do their best work.
Teens often enjoy working on mixed media projects because of the variety of techniques involved. This unique and stunning Egyptian portrait is a great example of mixed media.
What’s a study of ancient times without learning about mummies? Let your kids experience what was involved in the mummification process by letting them mummify an action figure or even a whole chicken.
If your teen doesn’t want to get that messy, simulate the process by soaking apples in a variety of known fresheners to see which one works best.
Prepare a Feast
Take some time to prepare some of the foods that were common back in ancient times. Here are some ideas for Roman and Greek feasts. With older kids, give them some experience in the kitchen by letting do the preparation.
If your middle schoolers want nothing to do with hands-on projects, but you want to include something interactive in their history studies, consider letting them build in Minecraft.
Skrafty has a self-paced class that goes along with Mystery of History Volume 1, covering the ancient civilizations. They can also Build Like an Egyptian or work on Greek Culture and Architecture.
What is your favorite hands-on activity to do when studying ancient history?
Follow along as we share hands-on projects for teens to do while they’re studying various time periods in history.