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Odyssey Online

Found in: social studies, 3-5, 6-8

Odyssey Online provides resources and activities for students to explore the people and cultures of ancient civilizations. Designed for the elementary and middle school student, this resource allows for fun, self-directed exploration and could be a useful supplement for your social studies curriculum.   

Topics such as people, mythology, daily life, writing, religion, etc., are covered in six geographic/era-specific categories:

Under Ancient Egypt, the entry on Writing distinguishes hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic writing and links to supporting text on the Rosetta Stone. The interactive Papyrus Puzzler Game? explains that hieroglyphs can be read from right to left or left to right, the direction determined by visual clues. Students are then asked to look at a fragment from the "Book of the Dead" to determine in which direction to read the text.

Under Africa, the entry on Daily Life discusses ritual in everyday life and features a collection of five artifacts from court life in a Cameroon Grasslands kingdom. Clicking the image of an artifact (click an image for more information) provides text explaining its role, images of associated or similar artifacts, and highlighted terms which link to additional information. The Animal Matching Game!  asks students to drag an artifact and matching animal to their respective areas to learn more about the animal’s significance in the culture.

Complementary websites and books for further research are provided as well.  There is even a link to audio files that supply pronunciation guidance.


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