A Child’s History of the World by V. M. Hillyer (Part 1, HBL B)

Fast and Easy Extension Activities for A Child’s History of the World (copyright 2014) (Part 1, HBL B)

Here are more crafts, projects, videos, art projects, songs, and more to go with A Child’s History of the World, used in Sonlight and Bookshark’s HBL/Core B programs.


(affiliate links)

There is a workbook/study guide that goes with this book. The original version has gone out of print, at least last time I checked, but it is available on other sites, often in PDF format for purchase.  

There is also an audiobook version of this book. I think it’s the latest edition (it says 2019), so I’m not aware of any major changes. 

A CHILD'S HISTORY OF THE WORLD: Hillyer, Virgil M.: 9788882870287: Books: Amazon.com

Chapter 4:

Sumerian/Mesopotamian Music from the era


A lovely rendition of a very old song from the Hurrians, who lived in the fertile crescent. The song was recorded in cuneiform on a clay tablet, but was dedicated to one of their goddesses; but gives a great idea of the music from this region during this time period. 


Mesopotamian reader (approx grade 3 level)

You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Sumerian Slave (Book)


Cook Like a Sumerian


Dress like a Mesopotamian (and other activities) 


Chapter 5: 

Indus River Civilization Video (3 minutes)


Yellow River Valley (3 minutes) (does make brief mention of flooding causing deaths)


Chapter 6: 

How Egyptian hieroglyphics work (and how we got our alphabet from it) (4.5 minutes)


Rosetta Stone video (3 minutes)


Lots of Links for an Egyptian virtual tour. I have not checked out all the links, nor did we watch all the videos, but we did like the ones we did watch.  Videos include nature videos and books read aloud about Egypt. It also includes a link to the hieroglyphs and what they stand for. 


You could make your own Rosetta Stone using either clay or sugar cookie dough (or another type of dough that does not rise much). Since presumably most of your students neither write in hieroglyphics nor ancient Greek, they could write in two other languages instead.  Demotic script, used on the middle portion of the Rosetta Stone, is a different type of Egyptian script, a little bit like using manuscript printing vs. cursive in English. The child would choose something to write, then write it in three different languages or scripts. Perhaps they might wish to write their name, in which case they might write it in hieroglyphics at the top, cursive in the middle, and print at the bottom.  


Picture taken from https://www.archaeological.org/pdfs/education/rosetta/Teachers+v.2.pdf


Chapter 7:

Egypt song


Video about pyramids (10 minutes)


Virtual Tour of the Inside of the Pyramid (you have to use the arrows at the top of the screen to look around). It’s very confusing. I found it worked best to turn around right away, so I wasn’t moving backward, then look for the words and follow the instructions to look up and down.  (3.5 minutes)


A Family Visits Two Egyptian Temples (6 minutes)

Chapter 8: 

Ted-Ed Talks about Assyria (5 minutes)


A quick look at the various empires in Mesopotamia (4 minutes)


Fun information about solar eclipses in history (6 minutes)

Chapter 9:

If you haven’t watched the movies Prince of Egypt, or Joseph, King of Dreams in a while, those would work well here.  Both are available on many sites, including for rent on Amazon Prime Video.  

Chapter 10: 

A look into Greek Mythology and Gods (warning) (8.5 minutes)


Hercules movie (again, warning) (available on Disney Plus or to rent on Amazon Prime for $3.99)

Chapter 11: 

The Odyssey Cartoon (46 minutes)

Chapter 12: 

VeggieTales: Dave and the Giant Pickle (full movie)


Superbook: Solomon-In All His Glory (full episode)

Chapter 13: 

How We Got Our Alphabet (6 minutes)

Chapter 14: 

Horrible Histories: Spartan Education (watch with caution, does reference beating children) (2 minutes)

Horrible Histories: School (1 minute)


Horrible Histories: Spartan Soldiers (2 minutes)

Chapter 15: 

Greek Olympics activities

Chapter 16: 

Story of Romulus and Remus (6 minutes)

Chapter 17: 

There is a decided dearth of exciting, short videos about ancient Assyria, but this one covered many of the topics.  The Babylon Empire (10 minutes). 


A little bit of the Biblical history of Sennacherib for those who are interested (5.5 minutes)

Chapter 18: 

Hanging Gardens (2.5 minutes)


Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible (6.5 minutes)


Craft for the Hanging Gardens 

Chapter 19:  

King Croesus (5 minutes)


King Cyrus and the Bible (2 minutes)

Chapter 20: 

Caste Systems in Ancient India (4 minutes)


Ancient India Song (4 minutes) 


Chapter 21:

Confucius (5 minutes)


Chapter 22: 

Cleisthenes (10.5 minutes) 

Ancient Greek Government (types of government) (5.5 minutes)

Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (5 minutes) 

Chapter 23: 

Cincinnatus (2 minutes)

Chapter 24: 

Persians and Greeks (11.5 minutes) 

Chapter 25: 

Videos and an activity

Chapter 26:

Video mentioned in Chapter 25’s activity (22 minutes) (This one has more sensitive content). 

Chapter 27: 

A Day in the Life of an Athenian Architect (5.5 minutes) 

Life in Ancient Athens (7 minutes) 

Chapter 28: 

Brief History of the Peloponnesian War (3 minutes) 

Chapter 29: 

Demosthenes (9 minutes) 

Chapter 30: 

A look at Alexander the Great (5 minutes) 

Chapter 31:

Naval Battle of Ecnomus (14.25 minutes) 

Chapter 32: 

Hannibal’s Army (2.5 minutes) 

Battle of Zama (12 minutes) (warning: this is a battle, so expect battle scenes. It is animated and one of the least gory battle scenes I could find, but do expect blood and fallen people). 

Chapter 33: 

Roman Engineering by Crash Course (I would use more Crash Course videos, but they often contain language issues and sensuality, such as boyfriends/girlfriend issues or body humor, so I try to avoid them for this age group. This one does have one issue, around the 6:41 mark, where another word for the F word is substituted (f-eaking) is used. But they usually hold a significant amount of information).  (12.5 minutes)

Roman Engineering and the Colosseum (3.5 minutes)

Chapter 34: 

Julius Caesar (4 minutes) 

Ancient Rome song (4 minutes) 

Chapter 35:

Augustus Caesar (10 minutes) 

Chapter 36: 

This chapter was really hard. I wanted to pick a movie about everything, but I was having a hard time picking one. I wanted one many people hadn’t seen, but also wasn’t too long.  In the end, I figured I would just post my search results and let you pick. 


There is also a 30-minute movie about Paul that’s animated and looks good, but I haven’t watched it yet.  

Chapter 37: 

I had a tough time finding something about Nero that didn’t discuss even worse things than the book does, but here is a scene from a proposed movie. For those with more sensitive children, I would advise prewatching the middle portion.  (5 minutes) 

Chapter 38: 

Marcus Aurelius (11 minutes) 

Chapter 39: 

Constantine (10 minutes) 

Chapter 40: 

The Germanic people (8 minutes) 

Chapter 41: 

Attila and the Huns (5 minutes) 

Chapter 42: 

Justinian Part 1 (8 minutes)

There are up to four parts in this series, so they are all similar if your child wants more. 


Chapters 43 and Up will be in a separate Part 2.

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