Mystery of History: Samson, Zhou, and Samuel

Mondays are for HomeschoolingBronze crockpots, cinnamon maps, muscles and minds were the topics of this week’s Mystery of History lesson in our homeschool co-op class of 1st and 2nd graders.

Beginning on our story time rug, we looked at library books about the Zhou (pronounced “Joe”) Dynasty comparing their cooking methods, long and slow in bronze cookware, to one of our own homes’ cooking methods – the crockpot!

Then we moved over to the table to spice up a map of China, which is where the Zhou Dynasty was located.

First, we pulled out the cinnamon.

Bucket of Cinnamon

Then we gathered our maps of China and glue bottles.

What do you get when you combine glue, cinnamon and a map?

Tracing the outline of China with glue …

This could get sticky!

… then we sprinkled the glue with cinnamon.

Cinnamon Meets Glue in China

Shake little, shake a little …

Shake carefully

And there it is!  Sweet-smelling cinnamon-ed China!  (Did you know some cinnamon actually comes from China?  I learned that in my Penzey’s catalog.  My favorite is their Vietnamese Extra Fancy, which I save for baking rather than mapping.)

Oooh, China smells so good!

Before you get sprinkling and shaking, it might be a good idea to lay a napkin or sheet of paper underneath the map.  Spillage may (probably will) occur.

Zhou Dynasty: Cinnamon Island in the Sea of Napkin

While the kiddos ran glue around China’s borders, I read a tale from China called “Tikki Tikki Tembo.”

Tikki Tikki Tembo

Oh!  And we can’t forget the muscle and mind!  We learned God uses both for His glory in the stories of Samson (muscle) and Samuel (mind).  He spoke through Samson in ways even the Philistines could understand – warrior power – and through Samuel by word power.

Samson and Samuel:  Ask your Sunday School dept for used materials!


Since fingers big and small ran through my little baggie of cinnamon in class, I didn’t think making cinnamon rolls would be a good use for the leftovers.  But I hated to through all that yummy scent away, so I put a pot of water on to boil and added a TBS or two of the cinnamon.  When it reached a boil, I turned down the heat and let it simmer on the stove.

Oooh, how good Zhou’s Place must’ve smelled with all that cinnamon simmering in their bronze crock pots!  

And oooh!  I like teaching (and learning!) history this way!

Bye for now!

REALITY CHECK: I didn’t really like history until I learned I could study it in a way that made sense to me.  Or I should say, made five senses to me.   Mmmmmm, I can still smell the cinnamon!


  1. You never cease to amaze and inspire me! Your young students are so blessed!

Leave a Reply