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Archive for July, 2012

The Mauryan Empire of India

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012


Asoka was the most famous Mauryan king. Asoka stopped fighting with an army after he saw the suffering of the people he attacked. He followed the Buddha’s religion. Asoka made a law against being cruel to animals, and he became a vegetarian so that no animals would have to be killed for his food.

Jakata Tales

There is a story about a hare who said he would give his life to any traveler who came by and asked for food. The moral is that people should behave generously.

SOTW, Chapter 31
17 May 2012


Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Sam loved Buddha by Demi

10 May 2012


Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Siddhartha was an Indian prince of King Suddhodana. His life in the palace was grand. Servants brought food in bed while poets read to him. When Siddhartha went out into the city for the first time, he saw an old man leaning on two sticks. “Who is that?” he asked the chariot driver.

“That is an old beggar. He needs the sticks to help him walk. Soon he will die.”

Siddhartha left the palace dressed as a beggar to find out how to stop this mysterious death. Suddenly Siddhartha understood. Everyone, no matter how poor or sick, could find happiness by leading a good life. His followers called him The Buddha.

SOTW, Chapter 30
8 May 2012

The Castes of Ancient India

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

The story about how life began was this: the gods of Ancient India made people, land and sky out of a huge man with 1000 heads, 1000 legs and 2000 eyes. They made five different types of people from this man: 1) priests, 2) warriors, 3) farmers and traders, 4) servants, and 5) the untouchables. If you were born in a priest caste, you had to be a priest when you grew up. If you were a warrior you had to be a warrior. But if you were born into an untouchable family, you had to do the dirtiest work in the city–picking up trash and cleaning fields–ugh!

SOTW, Chapter 30
1 May 2012

The Aryans of India

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Life on the Ganges

The new people who came into India were called the Aryans. They lived by the Ganges river. They grew crops to feed themselves. They worshipped the Ganges, and, like the Nile, it flooded every year.

The gods they worshipped were called Ganga and Shiva. Shiva was the god of life. Ganga was the goddess of water. Their religion was called Hinduism.

SOTW, Chapter 30
24 April 2012

The Punic Wars

Friday, July 27th, 2012

The Punic Wars were the battles between Rome and Carthage. They fought because each one wanted to trade with the same islands and didn’t want the other one to be in the way. The wars lasted 100 years.

One Roman general named Claudius thought he should bring sacred chickens on board his boat. He thought he could tell the future by watching the chickens eat. But the chickens became seasick and wouldn’t eat. Finally Claudius ordered his men to throw the chickens overboard. In battle, the Romans were losing and Claudius thought that the gods were fighting against him and his people because he had thrown the chickens overboard.

Hannibal was a Carthaginian general who thought he could defeat the Romans by riding an especially war-trained elephants.

SOTW, Chapter 29
17 April 2012


Friday, July 27th, 2012

Gladiators are people who fight for sport. The sport in Rome was fighting because all the Romans were bloodthirsty. Some people thought that Romans being bloodthirsty was wrong, so they wrote a tale about a man who refused to kill another man in the arena.

SOTW, Chapter 28
10 April 2012

A Roman Bath for Dorbies

Friday, July 27th, 2012

There was even a slave girl to wash and scrub the Roman Dorbies with olive oil.

Dorbie Roman bath


Books about Ancient Rome

Friday, July 27th, 2012

The Romans by Roy Burrell: we read about aqueducts and baths, the Colosseum and gladiators.

Roman Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean: “The Stolen Wives” about the Sabine women was Sam’s favorite

The Roman Builders

Friday, July 27th, 2012

The Romans built roads, baths, buildings and aqueducts. The aqueducts brought water from streams 30 miles away! They had to build roads because they conquered all of Italy and they needed to get from place to place.

They invented concrete to use for the roads and buildings. They made the concrete by mixing volcanic ash, water and lime.

There are ruins of what the Romans built in Italy and other places.

SOTW, Chapter 28
5 April 2012