Teaching Ancient Civilizations with Children’s Literature: Life and Times in Ancient Greece


Life and Times in Ancient Greece was written and edited by Andrew Charman. Illustrations are by Inklink Firenze. The book is a journey through life in Ancient Greece. One of the first pages is a table of contents which has the areas of interest divided into organized categories. I thought this would be helpful in the classroom, if the teacher wanted to just make a reference to one specific thing instead of reading the entire book. The section on clothing was one that I found interesting. There are detailed descriptions of the types of clothing for both men and women. The illustrations are great and would give the reader an accurate portrait of Ancient Greek fashion.  ” Greek women wore their chitons to their ankles and dyed them bright colors such as red, green or purple.” this is just an example of the wealth of facts that this book gives out. The book features a foldout map of Ancient Greece that has great pictures and gives the student a better of idea of the location of Ancient Greece. The map is also removable so if the teacher would like they could hang it in a classroom. The book also features a mini-quiz in the back of the book. Some of the questions could be taken a made into a fun trivia game at the end of the unit.  This book would be great for the older reader to read on their own but the pictures are so great that even children in kindergarten through second grade may be interested in having it read to them. The author also has other books on different ancient civilizations. This book and series would be a great addition to any classroom library.

Curriculum Connections
Life and Times in Ancient Greece would help a great book to help introduce Greece. It would fulfill 3.4a,b and c of the Ancient Greece portion of the SOL. The book could be a great tool for the students to refer to if asked to do a project on a specific aspect of daily life in Greece. This book could also be helpful to high school students in world history who are studying ancient civilizations because of all the facts in the book.

Additional Resources

  • Ancient Greece for Kids is a great website that could be used in the classroom in a center for the students to explore and learn more about Ancient Greece. The website also has information about other ancient civilizations like Rome. This would be great in a compare and contrast Ancient Greece to Ancient Rome activity.
  • Mr.Donn has been a resource that I have come across a lot for Social Studies. The page on Ancient Greece offers a lot of information and some lesson plan ideas. This would be a great resource to build a teacher’s background knowledge.
  • The BBC offers a page about Ancient Greece that would be another useful classroom center website. The page also has a link to another website specifically for teachers with lesson ideas. It is nice because it is in bold font asking “Are you a Teacher?”
  • Historylink102 is great website that has information on everything that is required in the teaching of the ancient civilizations in 3rd grade. Along with Ancient Greece there are links to several other ancient civilizations that could be helpful when comparing all of them before a major test or project. There is also a section on art that could be nice to show students different pieces of ancient art that are not in their textbooks.

Book: Life and Times in Ancient Greece
Author: Andrew Charman
Illustrator: Inklink Firenze
Publisher: Kingfisher
Publication Year:2007
Pages: 31
Grade Range: 2nd to 8th grades

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