Books About Ancient Greece and Rome

We use “spine” books when we study History to give us a sense of the overall chronology of events in an era.  When studying Ancient History, we use Child’s History of the World by V.M. Hillyer, Story of the World: Volume One by Susan Wise Bauer along with Usborne World History (which isn’t as much a spine book as a fun addition with pictures and little descriptive boxes of text on each page to augment information about different events or aspects of the era).   Besides our spine texts, I like to use literature set in the given era along with some other books which are lighter reading, but still add another view into the era.  Here is a list of the books we use as we study Ancient Greece and Rome.  

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Explore Ancient Greece!: 25 Great Projects, Activities, Experiments (Explore Your World)
We’ll study the homes, food, playtime, clothing, arts and entertainment, and other aspects of Ancient Greek culture through some hands-on activities which will go along with our reading in this era.  

Explore Ancient Rome!: 25 Great Projects, Activities, Experiements (Explore Your World)
This book is by the same author as the book above.  The aspect of including hands-on projects makes learning about Ancient cultures fun – especially for my sanguine child who likes all things to be as fun as can be.  He really learns better with a bit of kinesthetic activity built in.  Not everything can be taught this way {nor should it as he needs to learn to acquire knowledge in all sorts of ways, not just his preferred way}.  Still, when I can add in fun and something hands-on, I do.

Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome (Hands-On History)
This is another hands-on book with activities such as making a star gazer; chiseling a clay tablet; weaving Roman sandals; making a Greek mosaic; creating Roman jewelry; throwing Greek pottery; and casting a vote in a Roman-style election.  The narrative parts of this book are informative and highlight how the Greek and Roman cultures have influenced our modern world.

Ancient Greece (True Books: Ancient Civilizations)
I love the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon and ChristianBook.  I looked at this book and thought the simple, but engaging way it was written would help my son gain much about Greek life that other books we are reading might not.

Adventures in Ancient Greece (Good Times Travel Agency)
Twins and their younger sister go into a shop where they enter a book (hoping to go to the next Olympic Games) and end up in Ancient Greece.  The Good Times Travel Agency – always a place where you travel in time – sends these kids on wild adventures.  To get out of the book, they have to “read” their way through it, which involves them getting into all sorts of scrapes and learning about the culture along the way.  We read the Good Times book for Ancient China and now I’ll look for any others in any era we study.  

Alexander the Great (Young Reading Level 3)
The life of Alexander the Great is told in an understandable style.  Children will be able to relate to the characters in this book.  They will grasp the details of Alexander’s childhood and rise to power.  This book is short enough that we can read a chapter a day (3-5 pages) and finish the book in 2-3 weeks.

Julius Caesar (Young Reading – Series 3)
This biography of Julius Caesar will help children get a more complete feel for the life of this important historical person.  I like finding biographies to accompany any historical era for two reasons.  First of all, children relate to people.  Secondly, many details about an era are shown in context within a story.  Children pick up on those details without us telling them to do so.

Besides these books, I’ve linked to some websites that have a lot of good information about life in Ancient Greece and Rome:

I hope all these links and resources are a blessing to you as you study with your younger elementary aged children.  Any of the books I listed could also be given to elementary aged children who can read on their own as supplements to your core curriculum as you study this era.  You may also want to look at books we read in our study of Ancient China.  Or check out other books we are enjoying on our “What We Are Reading” page.

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