Personally, I love history, even ancient history. Trying to make those subjects interesting to an eight-year-old, though, poses its own set of challenges. It can be tough to help kids to “see” the people and events so that they can understand what happened and why it has meaning for our modern world.
And that’s why I was so excited to have a chance to review the Project Passport unit study series from Home School in the Woods! Each unit focuses on a specific time period in ancient history and is chock-full with hands-on ancient history activities, lessons, and readings that make history exciting for kids!
Take a look at this fabulous history curriculum in our review! Plus, one reader will win all four of the current Project Passport History Unit Studies CDs! Read on to get the details and see how you can score these incredible products for yourself!
Disclosure: I received this product in exchange for this post and I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. (Affiliate links provided here for convenience. For more, see our Disclosure Policy.)
Preparing a Project Passport Hands-On History Unit Study
We had planned to cover ancient history with Pooh this year, so the unit studies from Home School in the Woods was a great fit! The newest unit study is Project Passport: Ancient Greece and it is AH. MAZING.
Here’s a quick look at just some of the resources in this fabulous unit. The CD contains all of the available downloads, printables, and instructions you’ll need to assemble the unit study. By the way, Project Passport unit studies are also available as digital downloads, with all of the same goodies.
Now here’s a look at how we got started putting our unit together!
Home School in the Woods has done a LOT of the work on this unit for you, so take advantage of every single download, instruction sheet, and PDF in the program. We printed the teacher’s guides, key’s and instructions for one binder. Then we started working on the “Scrapbook of Sights” for Pooh to complete as we went along.
At the beginning of the CD (or digital download), you’ll find a comprehensive Travel Itinerary, which gives you an overview of the entire unit. This is super helpful for scheduling your lessons.
There are also a lot of travel “tips” listed at the beginning. DO NOT SKIP THIS. This is a great reference sheet as you go along, especially if you’re a need-to-know-everything-at-the-start person (like yours truly).
I want to add a couple of caveats here:
- Project Passport is loaded and, I mean, loaded with printables. Invest in a reliable printer. (Here’s the one we use.)
- There is a lot of information to read through to see which activities to complete with each section of the unit. I have ADD, so I had to break each section down, highlight the action steps on each lesson, and then check off each printable as I printed it. That was the only way I could keep my activities organized.
Pooh and I started off by creating our “Scrapbook of Sights” – a visual memento binder of our “trip” through Ancient Greece.
I loved this activity so much, because it gave him a chance to keep up with little reminders of everything he learned through the unit. In fact, we’re still filling it up as we continue the program!
At the first “stop”, you and your child complete several activities that will be completed along the way. Two of these include the actual “passport” (as in “Project Passport”) and your “luggage”, which will collect your travel memories.
The passport is designed to be used as you travel through all of the Project Passport unit studies, including:
- Ancient Egypt
- Ancient Greece (which we’re showcasing in this post)
- The Middle Ages
- Renaissance and Reformation
- Ancient Rome (will be released in 2018)
As you finish each unit, your child gets to add a new “stamp” to his passport!
Now that we were all packed, it was time to head on our trip!
How to Use Project Passport Hands-On Ancient History Unit Studies
Whew! That was just the getting started part! See what I mean about this unit study being chock-full of activities?
Project Passport units are designed to last for six to twelve weeks of study. Really, though, I think you could stretch them out to a full school year (36 weeks), especially if you only cover history once or twice a week. These units are that comprehensive.
In our first “stop”, we talked about the origin of Ancient Greece. Pooh started adding to his “Snapshots in History” pages in the scrapbook.
We cut out character/place cards, colored them, and glued them in the scrapbook. At each “stop”, you collect a few of these.
We also began working on our maps of the Aegean Civilizations and the Ancient Greek World.
Coming along! (This is another activity that you add to as you go through the unit.)
A really cute part of Project Passport is receiving postcards from historical figures. Each postcard is written as if it came from a person in history, describing what they’re doing and where they’re at. Our first card came from Agamemnon and it briefly explained the origin of the Trojan War.
Pooh drew a ship sailing to Troy on the front of the postcard…
…and then added to it our Postcard Rack in our scrapbook.
At the beginning of each stop, you can print a guide text that serves as the basis for the unit. It’s really the “textbook” part of the unit. It’s good to read through this with the kids before you try the activities. Otherwise, they won’t have any context for what they’re learning.
A quick note here: Project Passport unit studies are not secular. The guide texts mention the Bible, Biblical characters, and God. We’re Christians, but we typically use secular homeschooling curriculum, and I didn’t expect those references. But, they’re very few and far between, so you can skip them if you want. I didn’t see any overtly religious information in the activities.
Another of the activities we’ll be building on is the “Greek Weekly” newspaper. At each stop, kids can write their own news stories about what’s happening in the Greek World. (Stories can be based on what they learned from the guide text.)
Hmmm….interesting stories in the paper today! (Just kidding, he’d only written one story so far.)
In our later “stops”, we collected more character cards and colored them.
And then pasted them in our Scrapbook, which was getting pretty full by this point.
And we got another postcard for our scrapbook too!
Project Passport also has a mega lapbook you can complete along the way. And what’s really nice is that kids are working their way into it through the unit. In this stop, Pooh worked on making matchbooks that each contained information about life in Ancient Athens.
Each matchbook contained information and pictures about an aspect of the city. We added the base page to our scrapbook and started assembling.
This activity alone could last a week. I mean, you’re studying about the cultural, political, social, and economic features of the city of Athens in ONE activity.
And we’re finished! (With that activity, that is. We easily have another nine weeks of activities in the unit.)
What you’ve seen in this review is just a few of the activities in three “stops” on the Project Passport: Ancient Greece unit study. Know how many stops there are altogether? 25. Now that’s a serious hands-on ancient history homeschool curriculum!
Stop by and pick up a Project Passport unit study yourself! If you want to go in chronological order, start with Ancient Egypt, then move on to Ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and Reformation. It will be an awesome history education for your kids!
Now: for the great giveaway news! One winner will receive all four Project Passport CDs – FREE! (If the winner lives outside the U.S., he or she will receive digital downloads instead of CDs.) Enter for your chance to win using the Giveaway Tools widget below!
Find out more about the entire Project Passport product line by following Home School in the Woods on social media!
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For more ideas to teach hands-on history to your kids, follow my Living History for Kids Pinterest board!