I originally had Jonah after Esther, but when I read the story I realized that that didn't make sense. If Jonah is warning the city of Nineveh about their wickedness and impending destruction, Ninevah can't have already been destroyed. According to V.M. Hillyer's A Child's History of the World (1951), Nineveh and the Assyrians are wiped out by the Babylonians and the Babylonians are, in turn, wiped out by the Medes and Persians. Since Esther lived in a time when the Jewish people were captives in Persia, that puts her story last. Since Daniel lived in the time when the Jewish people were captives in Babylonia (and he actually warned Belshazzar that the Medes and Persians were on their way), that puts his story in the middle.
A Child's History of the World is useful because it ties these stories in with what else was happening at the time. (Although I know that in third grade, you are just looking at the Old Testament as legends, we are doing them in sixth grade and so the ancient history is useful and age-appropriate). The chapters in between those I have listed below deal largely with Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, but also include Alexander the Great, etc.
chapter 9: The Wandering Jews
Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Saul
chapter 12: The Kings of the Jews
chapter 17: Kings with Corkscrew Curls
Assyrians, Nineveh, the fall of Nineveh
chapter 18: A City of Wonders and Wickedness
chapter 19: A Surprise Party
Belshazzar, the fall of Babylon, the Medes and Persians
chapter 35 is when he talks about Christ
- We liked the version by Peter Spier:
The Book of Jonah
It has a helpful map of the region in the back. For more maps and chronologies, you might also like The Timechart of Biblical History: Over 4000 Years in Charts, Maps, Lists and Chronologies.
- We liked the version by Michael McCarthy:
The Story of Daniel in the Lion's Den
I did use a section from Jakob Streit's book on day 2, when we did the review of the story, before the kids summarized it (pp.56-58 Belshazzar's Feast).
If you want one, there is a class play script for "Daniel, Servant of the Lord" in 25 Plays Inspired by Waldorf Teachers edited by David Mitchell, page 39. This is available online for FREE as a PDF.
- We loved the version by Mordecai Gerstein:
Queen Esther the Morning Star
There are other versions, and some of them are very pretty, but this one is the best for making the story clear to the children. We also made Purim Hamantaschen with Prune Filling which took the better part of a day (there was a lot of trial and error).
If you want one, there's a nice class play script for "Esther, Queen of Persia" on pp. 53-77 of Colin Price's book. This is available at the Songbird Press website.
I find it difficult to know where to place the story of Job (although I have read that some place him after the sons of Jacob and before Moses). If, however, you choose to do the story of Job, Jakob Streit has a wonderful retelling in his third book (We Will Build a Temple: The Path of Israel from King Solomon to John the Baptist).
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