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African map project – al Idrisi and Ptolemy’s maps

By |2018-04-21T11:56:45+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, Science|

African map project: Al-Idrisi's map of the world (1100s AD) Check out this copy of al-Idrisi's map of the world, created in the 1100s AD. Can you find the Black Sea? The Caspian Sea? The Mediterranean Sea? Where is China on this map? Where is Spain? A copy of Ptolemy's map of the world How is al-Idrisi's map [...]

Hume project – European philosophy

By |2018-04-08T11:14:26+00:00August 6th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

David Hume, the European philosopher So David Hume died of cancer in 1776 AD, just as Americans were writing the Declaration of Independence. Hume's ideas had a huge effect on the Declaration of Independence, but he would probably have disagreed with Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers on some points too. What might Hume have [...]

Persephone project – Greek mythology

By |2018-04-23T09:49:49+00:00July 13th, 2017|Greeks, History, Religion|

Persephone project: Hades kidnaps Persephone (Greek painting from the Hellenistic period) Put on a play for your class, or make a short film about Persephone, or write a book or a song about Persephone. Send it to us here at (or send us a link to the YouTube video), and we'll put [...]

Listening to foreign languages project

By |2018-04-23T09:15:12+00:00July 11th, 2017|Greeks, People|

A Greek image of a Persian "barbarian" (now in Berlin) To get an idea of why the Greeks thought foreigners were all barbarians speaking nonsense, try listening to some videos of people speaking languages you don't understand. Here, for example, is someone speaking Greek. Speaking modern Greek On the other hand, here is [...]

Where did figs come from? History of figs

By |2018-01-03T23:44:12+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Africa, Food|

Some raw figs Wild fig trees first grew in Africa and West Asia and South Asia and around the Mediterranean Sea beginning probably about a hundred million years ago, in the time of the dinosaurs. Many primates eat figs, and people have been eating wild figs since there first were people. People loved [...]

Sugar cane and candy – food history projects

By |2017-06-22T02:24:43+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Food, India|

Buy some real sugar cane from Amazon! Here are three ideas for sugar projects: -Taste some sugar cane or sugar cane juice: You can order raw sugar cane from Amazon and then try chewing the sticks to get out the sweet juice the way people did in ancient India. Do you like the [...]

How to make guacamole – Food project

By |2017-06-22T01:40:24+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Central America, Food|

Avocados mashed into guacamole To make guacamole the way the Aztecs did, take one ripe avocado and cut it in half. Use a knife or a fork to pry out the seed. Scoop out the yellow fruit into a bowl (or a stone mortar like the one in the picture) and mash it [...]