Experience Ancient History With These Hands-On Activities

Ancient history is a fascinating time period for middle school kids to study. Pharaohs, mind-blowing architecture, mythology, language, warriors, breathtaking art, etc.

Instead of just reading about these past civilizations in a textbook, let your older kids immerse themselves in the past through these ancient history hands-on activities. They’re the perfect addition to your middle school history lesson plans. Your teens will 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.

If you're studying Ancient history this year, it's crucial that you add some hands-on activities into your lesson plans. By getting out of the textbook, you'll show your teen just how exciting history can be. Check out these projects that your middle schooler will actually want to do. We had fun combining two of our favorites by building an edible Roman road. What's the first one you'll add to your list? #ancienthistory #historyisfun #homeschooling #tweens #teens #educationpossible #middleschool

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Make Ancient History Interactive for Teens with These Projects

Build Stuff

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.

Teens can see how complex Roman roads actually were by building one themselves. They can make their roads out of things like rocks and sand or out of edible materials.

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 3-D pyramid model project ideas and an edible ancient temple.

Encourage them to challenge themselves while being creative.

Create Art

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.

They can also make their own beautiful Ming vases, using oil pastels, white gesso, and toothpicks.

Would your teen appreciate working with chalk pastels? Here’s a wonderful Ancient history video art course that is perfect for older kids. They can work independently to create beautiful art and learn about history!

Ancient History Video Art Lessons

Get Crafty

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.

By using Paper-Mache, cardboard, and a balloon, they can design their own Greek vase. After it dries and hardens, kids can use acrylic paints to make their project look like authentic Greek pottery.

If you’d rather start with a kit, use one from Art in History, like this Greek Drinking Vessel. We worked on a Colonial Teapot kit when we studied early American history and loved it!

Mummify Something

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 a Greek feast. With older kids, give them some experience in the kitchen by letting do the preparation.


But My Teen Hates Messy Extra Activities

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.

Here are even more hands-on history projects for teens:

Ancient History Activity Resources

What is your favorite hands-on activity to do when studying ancient history?


Very few middle school kids want to sit down and only read about history from a dry textbook. They want to get their hands dirty, build stuff, and really get a sense of what it was like to live during the time periods they’re studying. Don't make history boring - use hands-on projects and activities to make history fun. A week of fun and interactive ideas for middle school history.

Megan Zechman
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my older children.
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman

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