February 3, 2010

Ancient Roman Scrolls

We're planning to spend the next two weeks looking at ancient Rome. Thanks to my own education, I have a very fuzzy and uneasy feel for the difference between ancient Roman and ancient Greek culture. Well, I take that back...their cultures were vastly different and that's pretty easy to see, but their physical space seems to overlap somewhat, their mythology is crazy similar, and well, if you're going to have a ton of gods can't you go get some original ones? They are pretty much the same social club with new names. Am I right? So, I am hoping to clarify some things in my own mind as we study. Oh, and Coach Hamlet, if you ever read this, I am terribly sorry for not listening when you explained the difference!

Anyway, we found this fabulous book at the library that is all Roman crafts for kids. Today, because we were pressed for time between having new tires put on the van, a dentist appointment, and the oh, so fun girl's club (which was so great because it felt a little like a mom's club at the same time, so thank you, Nikki, for contributing to my mommy socialization), we started off with a nice simple project: Scroll making.

The kids had a ball with this one. Hannah Jane had just read that every copy of a book was hand written on a scroll in those days, and feeling the way she does about handwriting, she was baffled by this. So her scroll, of course, had to be a copy of a book. We decided that the paragraph about how all books were hand written on a scroll would be a pretty witty thing to write upon her scroll, and so it was.

Hunter, with no prompting, filled his scroll paper with H's and U's. This just thrilled me to the core because he resists learning to write his letters with all his might. But today it was his idea, and so he willy nilly filled up his paper with the two letters he has learned over the past couple of weeks. He even said, "I can't wait to show Daddy! He's going to be so proud!" But when Daddy got home and asked to see his scroll, Hunter, being the turkey that he is, said that he would only show it if Joe read him a book first. Then another book, and another. He never did show Joe the scroll.

Anyway, if you want to make one of your own, you can get the book or you can do it our way (which was much cheaper).

We got some foam sheets and some drinking straws a the dollar store, and we used copy paper and yarn that we already had at home. It will also help to have a hot glue gun on hand.

Start by halving the paper lengthwise so that you get a long skinny sheet. While your kid writes on their scroll paper, cut 2 small circles from the foam and cut a straw to a length that is slightly longer than the width of the paper. Or, if you have older students, you can let them do ALL of the cutting and designing. With the age of my kids, we do a very pre-cut, assembl only required sort of thing for projects like these.

Fold the top of the paper over the straw and glue it in place. Cut a slit in the center of each foam circle and push each end of the straw through the slits in the foam.

Push a loop of yarn through one of the slits in the opposite direction of the straw so that the yarn loop hangs from the opposite the paper. This is how you will remove the scroll from its sheath. Put a dab of hot glue where the straw meets with the circles and the yarn to make sure that they don't easily slip off.

Now take a new foam sheet and run a strip of hot glue along one edge and bend it around, gluing the opposite edge to the glued edge, forming a cylinder.

Now just roll your scroll paper around the star and slide the scroll into the sheath! Viola!

And of course you shouldn't be surprised when your younger students think it makes a better telescope or sword than a scroll!

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