It can be hard for your middle-schooler to relate to ancient civilizations. After all, they existed a long time ago, and life was so different then than it is today. One way to pique her interest is by having her make a treasure map of the ancient city of her choosing! This activity turns learning into an adventure as she uses her imagination to create the map. She'll also be learning all about the different features of the land, and she'll fine-tune her researching skills while she's at it!
What You Do:
- Start by having your child select an ancient city that she's interested in learning about. Some good choices include Babylon, Rome, Carthage, Athens, Alexandria, or Thebes.
- Have her do some background research on that city in the library or on the internet. Have her identify some key features to the area, such as bodies of water and famous buildings. Let her choose where among these landmarks she wants to bury her treasure. She may want to print out some pictures to use as a reference when she's making her map.
- Take the construction paper and and soak it in cool tea or coffee; then if you want to give it an extra weathered look, burn the edges with the lighter. Parents will need to assist with this.
- After the map has dried, have her design her map by incorporating the background information. Encourage her to be as detailed as she can.
- Finally, on another sheet of paper have her write clues to where her treasure is located. For example, behind the Coliseum or next to the Great Pyramid. Then, try and see if you can figure out where she hid it!
Don't leave history to the classroom - it can come alive anytime, anywhere, and give a great opportunity for creative play to boot. Let the power of the imagination bring these exotic locations, and their important histories, to life for your child.