Feb 2, 2016

7 Wonders of the World: A Homeschool or School Break Project

In any culture, there are certain things everyone is expected to know. In our culture, among those things are specific buildings or monuments, including "The 7 Wonders of the World." But don't worry; your kids will enjoy learning about these fascinating places! In fact, as a parent, I love this project, too. Not only does it allow my children to work on something together (rather than always working separately), but as my kids learn about these man made wonders, they also learn a bit about history and art, too. (And if you don't homeschool, this is still an excellent enrichment activity to do at home. A 7 Wonders of the World project would be a fantastic summer vacation experience!)

Seven Wonders of the World a Homeschool or School Break Project

Throughout history, there have been many "Wonders of the World" lists made, but when people mention the Wonders, they usually mean the list written by Greek poet Antipater, around 150 B.C. These Wonders were once a vital part of everyone's education, although many people today couldn't name even one. The Wonders are fascinating, though, and well worth knowing.

Then there's the modern "New 7 Wonders of the World," a list created (through public polling) by the New7Wonders Foundation based in Zurich, Switzerland. The list was announced in 2007, and covers more parts of the world than Antipater could have ever seen.

I'm also choosing to cover other famous places I think everyone should recognize at a glance - places like the Eiffel tower and the White House. If you desire, you might even want to cover The 7 Wonders of Nature, a list also created by the New7Wonders Foundation. But if all that seems overwhelming, start with the ancient wonders, and go from there.

Learning for Nearly Any Age
Learning about the Wonders can happen at almost any age, but I don't recommend it for kids younger than 7 simply because really young kids will have a difficult time truly appreciating the Wonders - how large they are/were, how incredible it is they were built at such an early period of history, etc. (However, if you want to include your preschooler in this project because your older kids are doing it, that's quite do-able. For each of the Wonders, I've listed one or more of the very best free coloring pages of each Wonder the Internet has to offer.)


Recommended Course

I recommend you work through one Wonder or site at a time. First, read a bit about it. I'm reading aloud The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World by Lynn Curlee, which I find perfect for my 7 and 10 year old; the illustrations are lovely and there is just enough text (but not too much) to keep the kids interested. If you want, however, you can use free Internet resources; most are geared toward teens and up, so you might need to pre-read and simply tell your younger kids about what you've read. You might also find this short page on the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World helpful, as well as this map showing where all the Ancient Wonders were. High schoolers, of course, can do their own research online or at the library.

My children are using the coloring pages I've linked to below to make a book about the Wonders. They simply write the name of the Wonder on top of the coloring page, then color the image. When they've gone through all the Wonders, they'll make a cover (this coloring page that puts all the ancient wonders together would be nice for that) and staple it all together in book form. My 10 year old is also writing a bit about each Wonder on a separate piece of paper. Young kids can trace a sentence or two about the Wonders, and teens can write a page (or more) about each,

Other Ideas for Studying the Wonders of the World
Another idea is to have kids create a travel brochure for one or more Wonder. Maybe you could choose a Wonder and take a virtual vacation there, using satellite images or even just photos. (My kids were amazed by Google's satellite images of the Great Pyramid at Giza; they spent nearly an hour zooming in and out and seeing every detail.)

If you want to expand this project further, you could have the children choose a Wonder and:

* make a model or diorama of it,
* make a poster all about it,
* do an oral report about it,
* or film a travel commercial for it.

Customize the project to suit your children's interests and needs!


Resources for Learning about The Wonders of the World 

The 7 Ancient Wonders of the World

1. The Great Pyramid of Giza:
* The Great Pyramid at Giza coloring page
* National Geographic page about the Great Pyramid 
* 10 Interesting Facts about The Great Pyramid
* Google Street View: The Great Pyramid of Giza

 
2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
* The Hanging Gardens of Babylon coloring pages
* The history of the Gardens
* 12 Key Facts about the Gardens
* The Telegraph: "The Real Site" of the Gardens might have been Nineveh

3. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
* The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus coloring page (also here)
* History of the temple
* More about the temple
* See the site of the temple

4. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia coloring pages.
* History of the statue
* Fun Facts about the statue


5. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
* The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus coloring page.
* History of the Mausoleum
* More technical details of the Mausoleum

6. The Colossus of Rhodes
* The Colossus of Rhodes coloring page. (Also here.)
* History of The Colossus
* More info on The Colossus
* There is also a 1961 movie called The Colossus of Rhodes. (I have not seen it, so I recommend viewing it before letting your kids watch it.)

7. The Pharos (Lighthouse) at Alexandria
* The Pharos at Alexandria coloring pages.
* History of the Lighthouse
* 30 interesting facts about the Lighthouse


The New 7 Wonders of the World

1. The Great Wall of China
* The Great Wall of China coloring page. (Also here.)
* History Channel: The Great Wall of China (includes video documentaries)
* Photos and Facts about the Wall.
* Quick facts  
* Satellite view of the Wall 
* Video tour of the Wall.

2. Petra
* Petra coloring pages.
* National Geographic: Lost City of Petra Still Has Secrets 
* History of Petra (with some gorgeous photos) 
* American Museum of Natural History: Petra (with lots of articles)
* HD Video of Petra 

3. The Colosseum
* The Colosseum coloring page. (Also here.)
* History Channel: The Colosseum (includes video documentaries) 
* A short history of the Colosseum 
* See photos of what's underneath the Colosseum. 
* Google Street View of the Colosseum. 
* Video tour of the Colosseum.
* Torchlighters Video: Perpetua (an example of a Christian martyr in an area - although not the Colosseum specifically)

4. Chichén Itzá
Chichén Itzá coloring pages.
* National Geographic: Chichén Itzá
* Interesting Facts 
* Photos (click on the links on the left to see specific parts of the site)
* Satellite images
* HD Video Tour

5. Machu Picchu
* Machu Picchu coloring pages.
* National Geographic: Machu Picchu 
* History Channel: Machu Picchi (includes a video documentary)
* Fun Facts 
* Satellite view 
* Video tour


6. Taj Mahal
* Taj Mahal coloring page. (Also here.)
* History Channel: Taj Mahal (includes video documentary) 
* Official Taj Mahal website (includes photos, history, and more)
* Fun Facts
* Satellite view
* Video tour

7. Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer coloring page.
* Facts about the statue
* More facts
* Satellite view


Other Famous Landmarks to Know

* Big Ben coloring pages.

* Easter Island Statues (Moai) coloring pages.

* Eiffel Tower coloring page. (Also here.)

* Empire State Building coloring pages.

* Golden Gate Bridge coloring pages.

* The Great Sphinx coloring pages.

* Leaning Tower of Pisa coloring page.

* Mount Rushmore coloring page. (Also here.)

* Statue of Liberty coloring pages.

* St. Louis Arch coloring page. (Also here.)

* Stonehenge coloring pages.

* Sydney Opera House coloring page. (Also here.)

* Tower of London coloring pages.

* St. Basil's Cathedral coloring pages.

* The White House coloring page.

* The Pentagon coloring page.

* The Capital Building coloring pages.

* Washington Monument coloring pages.

* Lincoln Memorial coloring pages.


All images courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.


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