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Mystery of History Vol. II Activity Pak Review by Jennifer Harrision
7849 Elm Leaf Dr
Germantown, TN 38138

The Mystery of History and have teamed up to create this CD-ROM full of crafts and coloring pages designed by the talented Jean Henrich. The CD features 8 craft projects, in handy PDF format, from around the world during the Middle Ages and a collection of beautiful coloring pages. The projects included correspond to the Mystery of History Volume II lessons and use full color photos and instructions to assist students in the following crafts:

  • medieval siege tower
  • faux metal Indian bell
  • Islamic tile
  • Byzantine icon
  • Viking Runestone
  • Maori Plaque or Pendant
  • Japanese Sagemono
  • Mesoamerican Clay Stamps

The craft projects are a bit advanced and some may require special purchases from a craft store. The supply list might seem a bit intimidating, but if your family enjoys crafts like these, you might have the supplies already on-hand. The projects are more fitting for older students and may still require adult assistance. I don't think younger students would be able to participate very much, though they can help with small touches and will still be able to enjoy the coloring pages. Though challenging, the finished projects are impressive. The completed projects are equivalent to a half-credit in art for High School Students.

The spectacular coloring pages can be enjoyed by all ages. These are works of art in and of themselves. The coloring pages include several categories, including Byzantine, India, Islamic, and Medieval coloring pages.

These pages also contain advice on displaying the artwork and including creative media options rather than just colored pencils or crayons. Each coloring page contains a brief description of the artwork and how it is suited to the historical time period being studied. The pieces are authentic to their context and not your typical coloring book pages.

The CD-ROM is reasonably priced at $14.95. When you consider that the coloring pages are reproducible and can be used by all of your students, the coloring pages alone would be worth it. The craft projects are well presented and interesting, making it all the more worth the price. Though it is nice to have, it is not by any means necessary. Students can still have an enriching history class using only Mystery of History Volume II. But if you have hands-on students, it would be a fun addition to your lessons.

Product Review by Jennifer Harrison, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2011