I don't know about you, but I love books and resources that enhance
our study of history, and particularly resources that touch on
subjects that perhaps aren't widely covered otherwise. Even better
are resources that offer hands-on activities to ignite a spark
of interest in my kids. Seven Wonders of the World: Discover
Amazing Monuments to Civilization is one such resource.
Author Carmella Van Vleet presents both the seven wonders of the
ancient world and the seven wonders of the modern world, and she
does so in an interesting and engaging way. With drawings to illustrate
the monuments and the cultures who built them, Seven Wonders
of the World is a book that any interested student might be
seen poring over, particularly because they know they can get their
hands dirty after reading about the projects.
These are really good projects too, requiring mostly items you'll
have on hand already. Students learn to marbleize paper after reading
about the Temple of Artemis, which was made of marble. They can
make hanging gardens out of used milk jugs, take trick photos (the
statue of Zeus was created with the illusion of looking taller
than it actually was), and make a model of the Colosseum. They'll
also make a hand sculpture to illustrate the Christ the Redeemer
Statue, an inlaid design plaque for the Taj Mahal, millet porridge
to taste after studying the Great Wall of China, a chac mool (small
stone statue) for Chichen Itza, a facade of Petra, an etching that
illustrates what we think the Colossus of Rhodes looked like, a
frieze like those at Halicarnassus, an ionic column bank like those
at the Temple of Artemis (the bank of the Ephesians), and a royal
ship puzzle to remember the Great Pyramid.
Many of the activities illustrate scientific principles as well.
Students can make a cloud in an empty 2-liter bottle (clouds abound
over modern wonder Machu Picchu) or discover the softening properties
of vinegar on a chicken bone (because architect Phideus had a secret
method of softening ivory when he made the statue of Zeus). You'll
also find lots of interesting sidebars, fun trivia, a comprehensive
glossary of terms, and an excellent resource list.
We own a lot (and I mean a lot!) of books written to enhance our
studies of history and science, and while some look really promising
on the cover, they can contain very little actual information or
doable projects. Seven Wonders of the World: Discover Amazing
Monuments to Civilization delivers what it promises: fun,
interesting, creative ways to discover the amazing monuments to
civilization, both ancient and modern. This is a supplementary
history and cultural resource worth owning.