Greece Country Study 2018-03-08T01:43:49+00:00

Welcome to Our Greece Country Study!

The Books:

Note:  I was able to find all of these books at our local library. Most local libraries can reserve books from other local libraries in your country and have them delivered to your library if they don’t have the books available. 

Spend time each morning, or during your family’s story time, reading the books listed below.

Just in case the Amazon book links didn’t load on your computer, here is a written book list:

Hour of the Olympics (Magic Tree House) – Pope Osborne
Ancient Greece and the Olympics (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker) Pope Osborne
The Adventures of Odysseus – Phillip
The Trojan Horse – Tutton
Theseus and the Minotaur – Hutton

Jason and the Golden Fleece – Fisher
The Twelve Labors of Hercules – Riordan
The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece – Manna
King Midas: A Golden Tale – Rayyan

Introduction to Greece:

To introduce your children to the wonders of Greece watch the video below with them.

Mapping Greece:

download (4)Mapmaking is such an exciting project for children. Not only is your child learning the geography of Greece in a much more memorable way than fill in the blank maps, but she is learning a historic art form. I find that my children truly learn and retain their geography when they create their own maps, as they are having a visual, kinesthetic, and artistic experience while learning the geography of the region. Here is how we approached mapping Greece:

Materials: A cutout of Greece for your child to trace (that you will make for your child by outlining the shape of Greece onto heavy paper and cutting it out), a piece of watercolor paper, watercolors, waterproof India ink pen, colored pencils, and an atlas or computer.

Look at your atlas with your children. Have them locate Greece on the map. Then name all the surrounding countries and have them repeat the names. Tell them that the capital city is Athens and find it on the map.

To Begin:

Lay the cutout of Greece on the heavy watercolor paper and have your children trace around it. Then add the island Crete. Have them outline it with their black waterproof India ink pen. Label Greece and label the capital city of Athens with a circle with a star inside. (Have your children add in as many of the smaller island they want to or can. It would be very difficult to add all of them. The important thing is simply that they know there are many Greek islands.)
Watercolor the land green and the waters blue.

Prominent Cities:

Click here for a reference map and label the most prominent cities of Greece.

Oceans and Seas:

Label the oceans and seas surrounding Greece with your India ink pen: the Aegean Sea, the Thracian Sea, the Sea of Crete, the Mediterranean Sea, the Ionian Sea.

Rivers:

Use this link to help your children draw and label the rivers of Greece on their maps.

Mountains:

Use this link to help your children locate the Pindos Mountains and label them on their maps.
Use this link to help your children locate Mount Olympus, the largest mountain in Greece, and label it on their map.

Wildlife Map of Greece:

download (3)Learning about the wildlife of the country you are studying is as equally important to learning about the geography and cultures, as hopefully we are raising a generation that will contribute to the well being of our planet, the protection of species, and the preservation of wildlife. There is no better way to contribute to that goal than to nurture in our children, from a young age, a respect and admiration for nature and wild life.
Materials- a cutout of Greece (same cutout used for the first map), a large piece of thick paper, (we always use watercolor paper so that these projects last), colored pencils, india ink pen, and either block crayons or watercolors.)

1. Watch the short video about the wildlife of Greece before beginning your maps.

2. Begin by having your children outline Greece on their paper. Then have them take a dark green colored pencil and trace over the outline.

3. Have them title their map, “Wildlife of Greece.”

4. Click here to learn about the mammals of Greece. If you click on the names of individual species, it will take you to a picture. Have your children pick their favorites and draw them on their maps and label them.

5. Click here to learn about birds of Greece. If you click on a species it will take you to a picture. Have your children pick their favorites and draw them on their maps and label them.

6. Click here to learn about the sea life around Greece and Crete. Have your children pick their favorites and draw them on their maps and label them.

7. Click here to learn about the flora (plants) in Greece. Have your children pick their favorites and draw them on their maps and label them.

8. Using watercolors, block crayons, or the side of a crayon, have your children color the ocean blue and the land green.

Flag of Greece:

download (2)Click here to see a flag of Greece and to read about the meaning of its design. Then have your children draw or watercolor their own flag of Greece.

The Greek Alphabet: Try to Write Your Name in Greek

Materials: A copy of the page to the left of the greek alphabet, a piece of paper, and either pencils or markers.

Explain to your children that the Greek language has a different alphabet than ours.

Look carefully at the Greek alphabet with your children and, together, pick the letters you both feel represent the phonics in your children’s names.

Then help them try to write their names in Greek. Greek is written from left to right. Your children might practice a few times and then make a colorful name plate to hang on their door and above their desk.

The Olympics:

13Read Hour of the Olympics and the companion Fact Tracker book.

Make an Olympic Torch:

Materials: Paper towel tube, tissue paper in fire colors ( orange, red, yellow), aluminum foil.

-Wrap your paper towel role in aluminum foil.

-Cut out lots of strips of tissue paper using all of the colors.  Gather them together and twist the bottom of all of the strips together. Wrap a piece of tape around the bottom.

-Then stuff the bottom of the tissue fire into the silver tube until it holds.

-Enjoy!

Make Olympic Medals:

Materials: 2 blocks of white oven bake Sculpey clay (one block should make 2 medals) or any other clay that you can bake or you can choose an air dry clay and let it dry overnight, toothpicks, ribbon or string, and silver, bronze, and gold paint.

Have your children roll a piece of clay into a small ball and the flatten it into a flat circle.

Then using a toothpick, engrave a 1st, into one, a 2nd into another, and a 3rd, into the last. These represent what place the medal is for.

Paint the 1st gold, the 2nd silver, and the 3rd bronze.

Save them for your Olympics game activity. (Advice: if you have more than one child you might want to make extra 1st place medals for when you create your home Olympic games as it might keep the activity happy rather than end in disappointment.)

Make an Olympic Leaf Crown:

If you live near trees, go on a walk and find a nice long twig with leaves still on it. Then show your children how to bend it into the shape of a circle the size of their head and then twist the stem/ twig around itself so it will stay in a circle.

Use this as your Olympic leaf crown.

Make Your Own Outdoor Olympics:

An exciting activity to bring the Olympics to life for your children is to create your own family Olympic games in your yard or if you don’t have a yard, at a local park.

You can begin with the opening ceremony somewhat shortened to the athletes (children) taking the Olympic oath, which we decided to make up (more or less about being a good and honest athlete). Then they can run with their torches and pretend to light the cauldron.

Then you and the kids can set up various Olympic inspired challenges as well as completely non-related races and challenges. Ideas include javelin throw, discus throwing using a frisbee, 100 yard dash, sack races, egg and spoon races, etc.

At the end of all the fun, gather your children for the awards ceremony. Present them with their medals that you all previously made together from the activity above, and then for extra fun, place the leaf crown on each of their heads. (Then take a picture)

Make a Lego Parthenon:

Click here to read all about the Parthenon. You might even want to print that page and allow your children to read it if they are old enough to read.

Then gather your children around your lego bin and begin working on your own lego Parthenon. You can make it as large or small as you want depending on the size of your Lego collection.

Cooking a Traditional Greek Meal: Moussaka

As I have mentioned before, cooking day is, by far, my children’s favorite country study activity. You might feel daunted by the idea of cooking with your children, but once you all share in this activity a few times, it becomes so wonderful and enjoyable. My children are always so proud of the meals they cook.

Moussaka:

Moussaka is a very traditional Greek dish with minced meat, tomatoes, eggplant, bechamel sauce, and oregano. It is delicious! This was definitely a dish we will be cooking again.

For a wonderful Moussaka recipe, click here.

Greek Salad:

For our Greek salad we used:

2 cucumbers
4 roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion (sliced long)
sliced black olives
feta cheese
3 Tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Slice up the cucumbers and tomatoes
2. Mix in the sliced olives
3. Slice up the onion and toss it in
4. Crumble the feta over everything
5. Mix in the olive oil and lemon juice
6. Add salt and pepper to taste

To add a little to the table, we sliced up some pita bread and put out a few small bowls of Greek olives.

Baking a Blueberry Greek Yogurt Cake:

download (2)This Greek Blueberry Yogurt Cake was so delicious. Click here for the recipe and enjoy!

Traditional Greek Music and Dance:

Spend time with your children watching the following videos of Greek folk dance and music. We listened to greek music throughout the duration of our country study and thoroughly enjoyed having it play on our cooking days. Becoming familiar with the music and dance of a culture truly brings that culture into one’s heart.

Greek Folk Dance

Greek Folk Dance: Sirtaki

Greek Folk Dance: Zorba

Syrtaki Music

Greek Traditional Songs