Personally, I love these activity guides. They’re well done, tell a good story, give a lot of good details, and offer some really neat projects to accompany the study.
This study is especially interesting, as it focuses on a period of history that is normally not covered in any great depth – that of the ancient Israelites, the Phoenicians, and the Philistines. Several important aspects of each of these three civilizations are studied, including their history, architecture, clothing, language and writing, work, food, and religion. A nice timeline is included at the beginning, featuring a strip for each individual civilization, so you can see what was going on in each of the other countries at the same time.
An introduction gives you the basics on the land you will be studying, as well as the time period – from 1200 B.C. to 538 B.C. Then we jump into the Israelite section. Much information as to Israelite history is drawn from the Bible, although, since the book is from a secular publisher, it is not taken to be infallible evidence. Much archaeological evidence is cited for the history of each civilization as well, which is fascinating, and sparks some neat projects! Each topic is discussed in each civilization on several pages, in a highly readable and interesting style packed with pictures such as artifacts and preserved buildings.
Interesting related facts are frequently included off to the side. As mentioned above, the activities are great, and enough of them are included so you can pick and choose to suit your time and interests. For instance, in the Israelite section, you may construct a model pillared house, complete with some spare furniture, write in the ancient Israelite alphabet on a smashed pot, make your own stamp seal, create a model terrace farm, carry water on your head, stomp some grapes into juice, cook up an ancient Israelite meal, and making a blessing scroll. That’s not all; I’m sure the kids will also really get into making a costume for each civilization, including headwear and other accessories, such as jewelry. Including an activity guide like this in your history studies will definitely add some spice – and a lot of fun!