January is Ancient Greece Month!

This month will be devoted to the study of ancient Greece.  We will be reading and summarizing “The Story of the Greeks” by H.A. Guerber which is a history of Greece written in 1896.  Beginning with the legends of Jason, Theseus, and events surrounding the Trojan War, the narrative moves on to present the contrasting city-states of Sparta and Athens, the war against Persia, their conflicts with each other, the feats of Alexander the Great, and annexation by Rome. We will also be reading “The Black Ships of Troy, the story of The Iliad” by Rosemary Sutcliff.  Our challenge this month will be to write and perform a traditional Greek play based on this story.  The students will also be creating costumes and Greek masks for this end-of-the-month performance.  Our science projects this month will include making an ancient Greek water clock or clepsydra and investigating what makes objects float and static electricity as the Greeks did.  We will also make a diving bell and use a greek astrolabe to measure distance.  Our math studies will include the work of Pythagorus and his famous theorem.  We will continue our studies at The Met with our weekly class, Pause for Pegasus and the kids will spend time sketching a statue of their choice in the Greek galleries.  The students will also explore Greek architecture and become familiar with Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles.  Accompanying us through our foray into the world of Greek art will be cousin and artist extraordinaire Gregory Winters.  Later in the month, the flavors of Greek cooking will be experienced on a visit to Joan Macomber’s picturesque seaside home in Portsmouth, Rhode Island where we plan to sample family recipes, prepare authentic Greek dishes and see photos and hear stories of her recent trip to Greece.  Our wonderful month will conclude with a visit to The Classics Department at Harvard University where we will meet a very talented postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows named Jason Aftosmis to discuss ancient Greece and The Iliad. I know the month seems very full but we are always open to new ideas so please share.  Stay tuned for evidence of our exploits!

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