We strive to meet the interests and needs of our girls individually. When chatting with Miss L about what she wanted to take a look at for history this year, she said she wanted to study lost civilizations. When we went a little bit further in the discussion, I determined that this meant the civilizations that just kind of disappeared from a very long time ago. So, that is where our name came from. This does not include ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Rome, or Greece. Those are a different category for her.
So, what we did first was to list the group she knew about. Those were:
Cliff Dwellers in American SW
Then we listed out what she wanted to know about them. Here is the list of questions:
- Where did they live?
- What were their homes like?
- What did they eat?
- Do we know of any myths or legends surrounding this civilization?
- What is their lifestyle – agrarian? nomadic? village? hunter? gatherer?
- What type of climate did they live in? How did that affect their lives?
- Did they have a known family structure? Was there a patriarch? A matriarch?
- Find a map that includes the area(s) they lived and mark it with what you know, both from their time and present day.
- What did they wear? What was their clothing made of and look like?
- When did their civilization begin? When was its peak? When did it disappear?
- What are the theories of why the civilization disappeared?
- Are there any remaining important landmarks or ruins? What are they? Describe and/or draw them. Mark them on the map.
We found some websites and bookmarked those but our greatest reliance has been on physical resources from the library. We have checked out several books for each different group, though some of them overlap. I can list these out but it is really quite dependent on what you have access to. There are none that are just fantastically detailed, extremely helpful. What we have found is that there are several good bits of information in several different books but none are a complete resources. So, find what you can around you, use the internet, and enjoy the process.
Miss L is taking notes along the way. Then she is writing a report in a notebook on each individual civilization. She likes having all her research in one place and since she enjoys writing, this is perfect for her. And it was her choice.
This process has been interesting and, I hope, fun for her. I know she has learned quite a bit about different civilizations. It has been a good process and I hope this gives you some ideas about creating a study about something that has piqued your student’s interest.
Linked with the Homeschool Review Crew Homeschool Collection.
Tagged: geography, history, Middle School, research
oh… Are you going to have her publish her results online? I would SO love to see that. Would be rather cool. Sounds like a very neat study to do. Also gives me ideas on how I can get my lad to approach his studies next year on the world wars.
[…] Lost Civilizations Unit Study – Interest in ancient civilizations such as the Mayan or the Cliff Dwellers in the American Southwest drove the creation of this self-directed unit study. Intended to teach both research skills and writing skills while studying interesting peoples from the past, this unit is appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students. […]