Thursday, April 28, 2016

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Ancient History: Roman Road

One of our favorite subjects is history!  My kids especially love the projects we've been doing at a homeschool co-op every other week that tie into each week's theme.  We loved learning about ancient Rome and making these super cool Roman roads!

I love the huge age range of kiddos that fell in love with these roads: everyone from preschool to 5th grade had a great time making them and playing with them at home!

We are using the Story of the World Volume 1 and its associated activity book as a history curriculum.  Chapter 28, The Roman Empire, suggests making these ancient Roman road models to help learn and reinforce how the Romans built roads.

Our history group meets every two weeks at our wonderful host's home where everyone takes turns preparing different activities.  Our host prepared this one for the kids, and did such a wonderful job that I wanted to share it with you!  I'm sure you and your kiddos will want to make something similar!

Ancient Roman roads spanned thousands of miles and connected cities across the empire to the capital city.  They allowed armies to travel quickly and goods to be shipped easily.  And they were quite the scientific feat!  The ancient Romans definitely used ash to make their concrete, but they also had a lot of other layers!  Check these out:

Layer 1: A ditch or hole in the road (we used cardboard).

Layer 2: Sand (we glued sand to the board).

Layer 3: Small Stones (we used fishtank pebbles).

Layer 4: Concrete made from sand, soil, and volcanic ash (we used sand dough...see below!).

Layer 5: Paving stones (we used round rocks and marbles).

Aren't they pretty?!!  My kids have displayed their ancient Roman roads for two weeks now!  Everybody loves them!

Let's talk about Layer 4 for a moment.  We used Sand Dough (our host used the recipe in Story of the World), but you could also use an air drying clay (like Sculpey).  The sand dough recipe we used suggested 4 cups play sand, 2 cups cornstarch, 4 teaspoons cream of tarter, 3 cups hot water, and cooking them all over medium heat until stiff, then removing it and letting the dough cool for 15 minutes.  If it's still sticky, cook it longer and repeat the cooling!  Otherwise knead it slightly and store it in a zip lock baggie!

The ancient Romans had considerably less technology than we do, and the exact composition of their concrete is still a subject being explored by archaeologists and scientists!

Also, just so you know, this is NOT a sponsored post.  We use Story of the World and love it, so I thought I would share an activity we've done with it.  :)

I want to end with a STEM challenge for you and your kiddos! How could you build a model of an ancient Roman road? What layers would you use? What would you use for concrete? I'd love to see what you do!!

My own 5-year old has been experimenting with creating his own concrete bricks from ashes and other "natural" ingredients for weeks now!

What do you use for history?  Do your youngest kiddos study history too?  I'd love to hear from you!!

I'm sharing this as part of the Early Elementary Blogger's Transportation Day!  Check out these other transportation learning ideas:

Tracing Shapes With Hotwheels from Parenting Chaos
Monster Truck Math from Look! We're Learning!
Transportation Subtraction Cards from The Kindergarten Connection
Roman Numerals Matching Game: The Glorious Flight Storybook Go Along from School Time Snippets
Language Arts Story Trains from Schooling a Monkey
Ancient History: Roman Roads from Preschool Powol Packets

Happy Educating, Carla

I may share at any of these parties!

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