Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ancient Greece and Reading Socrates

History is one of our favorite subjects and, after studying Mesopotamian Empires last year, we have jumped head first into Ancient Greece. 

In preparation, we read dozens of Greek myths last year, and forty of Aesop's Fables. In studying the Persians, Lu had a quick overview of the more important events leading up to the Battle of Thermopylae, and we watched the movie. So we had a good head start.

Our History lessons include reading, writing, timelining, and watching documentaries like (our favorite series) Engineering an Empire. We read from websites like and Mr. Donn's Social Studies Site, as well as from Dorling Kindersley's graphic-full Ancient Greece.

After reading, Lu answers questions in his notebook, like:
What were the Pelopennesian Wars? Or:
Mention some differences between Athens and Sparta.

Our studies eventually brought us to the great thinkers
of Ancient Greece...

and then I remembered this book I had on the shelf:
 The Sapience and Chicanery of Socrates

And it's in Spanish!!!
which means that our History unit is running over into other subjects - 
and I LOVE that.

I'm not organized enough to MAKE that always happen, 
but sometimes it just magically does, and it's awesome.

Anyway, back to the book...
it's a collection of exchanges between Socrates
and his followers, friends, and enemies.

They are very funny.

Lu reads as Socrates (in bold print),
and I read as the other person.

 And the illustrations are great -

 I especially loved this one 
about putting anything you say through these three filters
before saying it:
Do you know it to be true? Is it a good thing?
Is it useful information?

When I took the book off the shelf, I thought we might just read a couple of pages, and that it would be too advanced for Lu, for now anyway. But I was WRONG. He is loving it, and it's pretty simple reading. I didn't see a translation of it to English, but if you can get your hands on some easy-reading Socrates for your kids, I highly recommend it.

After Socrates, we read about his student, Plato,
 and then Plato's student, Aristotle. 
Again, the magic happened...

The first chapter in our book 
of Great Scientists was, yup...

We read about his Earth-centered universe,
with crazy crystal spheres...

and his ideas of the four humors.

 And then Lu made a poster,

I mentioned to Lu that I didn't know what Socrates and the other Thinkers would Think about wearing jeans, but I complimented his more historically accurate depiction of Alexander the Great :)

We have a good time.


  1. That Socrates book looks awesome! I love when things magically come together like that and even more especially when it's utilizing resources you already own!

    1. Yes! Already having it on your bookshelf scores extra points! :)