SmartHistory – Is the Collosseum a giant kitty litter box?

February 13, 2012

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Have you ever thought of the Collosseum being compared to a giant kitty litter box?

Well, that’s just what one of the SmartHistory historians does as she explains how the sandy arena in the Collosseum worked in Roman times:

“…imagine the colloseum as a gigantic donut.  You have the inside, that’s the arena.  Arena, originally in latin meant sand.  On the floor where gladiators were fighting, they used sand to absorb blood and body fluids, you know like a gigantic cat litter, if you think about it.”

A bit gory, I know, but right up the alley of my Percy Jackson-loving boys.

SmARTHistory (now merged with one of our favorites: KhanAcademy) really gets students engaged in learning art history.

One thing I really enjoyed is how the site gets historians together and has them talking excitedly about their favorite areas of expertise, with videos, rotating models, images, etc., to demonstrate their points.

Some great parts of the SmartHistory website:

  • A rich, multimedia, art history course offered for free.
  • Learn by Artist – Like this page on Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Also study by ‘Time Period‘ or a specific ‘Style‘ of art.
  • Many themed articles about art history from the Introduction to Art History, to overviews of time periods, and explanations of art media.
  • Great unit-study resource.
  • Much of the content offered as free SmartHistory Podcasts you can take with you, listen on the road, or even while you’re in a museum looking at the artwork itself.
  • They are publishing some nice travel apps like Rome: A First Look ($2.99) and Rome: A Closer Look ($4.99) that will walk you through Rome’s historical sites as you travel and visit them.

How do you teach art in your homeschool day?  I’d love to hear ideas and suggestions.  Take a moment to make a comment, if you would.


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