Ancient Athens (Explore Ancient Worlds)

Written by Amie Jane Leavitt

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Pack your robe and sandals! We’re going to ancient Greece. We begin with detailed impressions of a festival during The Golden Age, which kids can locate on the timeline. The reader gets a wonderful overview of what a festival would look like through a kid’s eyes and great sensory descriptions of all the activities, right down to what the food was like. From parades to sporting events to theater, the Athenians knew how to celebrate.

The next chapter reveals the geography of the region and the formation of 1,500 different city-states. Athens was one of the largest and most productive of the city-states. Chapter three gives more details of what everyday life in ancient Athens, including the structures of homes and clothing. The Golden Age is again highlighted in chapter four, with emphasis on trade, architecture, and art. The final chapter points out the structures that survive to modern day. Each chapter in turn provides more information as sidebars on topics such as Athena, the great philosophers, sculpture, and the Greek alphabet. Finally, the author provides information on making masks and several recipes so that children can experience ancient Athens first hand, with a little help.

This is a very good reference for fifth grade. The glossary is complete and specific enough to help comprehension. The references provide multiple opportunities for further study. Also, included are a table of contents, timeline, chapter notes, and index. The many photos, drawings, and maps allow the reader to form a thorough impression of Greek life. Reading activities could include organizing a Greek festival or further study of the various topics presented.

  • Ancient AthensTitle: Ancient Athens
  • Author: Amie Jane Leavitt
  • Publisher: Mitchell Lane, 2012
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Hardcover, 48 pages
  • ISBN: 9781612282756
  • Genre: Nonfiction, Culture of ancient Greece
  • Lexile Score: 990L

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