Scavenger Hunt for Greek & Roman Architecture!

Greek & Roman Architecture Scavenger Hunt at

I love field trips! Kids love field trips! We learn SO much and I was amazed by this SIMPLE, low cost field trip and how much my son BLOSSOMED while we were out and about! This is definitely how my kids learn best AND enjoy learning: hands on, exploration, moving, OUTSIDE…any of those make learning experiences so much more rich!

Are you learning about Ancient Greece or Rome in your homeschool right now?? This is the perfect {and mostly free} field trip to learn about Greek & Roman architectural influences that can be found in your state and our country. Remember, the ROMAN ROADS also as you drive along…you can describe the process of how the Roman’s built the first paved roads!

There are 2 ways you can go about this scavenger hunt…without any planning time at all, you could hop in the car, drive around town and have kids point out any columns, arches, keystones, etc, that they see! I opted to go the google route because I figured there was a lot out there that I might never drive by if I didn’t know it was there. Make it fun! See who can spot the most columns on your trip. See who can find Corinthian columns first. Give a prize to the first person that can tell you the importance of the keystone.

You really can make this as in depth or low key as you want! I will tell you upfront, that for what we did, I spend 2-3 hours on google reading and searching for buildings in our area that had Greek and Roman architectural influences. I read a lot of history on Catholic parish pages to find out what their church design was based on. {Side note: these buildings are SO beautiful and the histories are so rich. I was so thankful for the churches that actually had a history of their building on their website!!} I clicked around a lot of dead links, but eventually found quite a few places in and around Knoxville, TN and Jefferson City that have some great things for us to see!!

Google Word Searches

These are the google searches I did to come up with the best results, just replace my town with yours!

  • Roman Architectural Influences in Knoxville, TN
  • Greek Architectural Influences in Knoxville, TN
  • Roman Catholic Churches in Knoxville, TN
  • Greek/Roman Architecture in East TN
  • amphitheaters in East TN
  • authentic Greek restaurants in Knoxville, TN

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Knoxville, TN 

St. John's Episcopal in Knoxville

This church building is so beautiful. Probably one of my favorites!

St. John's Episcopal in Knoxville

Amphitheater at World’s Fair Park in Knoxville, TN

This isn’t as pretty without the water filled in but this was an example of an amphitheater – which is what the Colosseum was in Rome.

Amphitheater at World's Fair Park in Knoxville, TN

As we drove through downtown Knoxville, we saw MANY examples of the keystones that the Romans invented!!

Finding Keystones in Downtown Knoxville

First Baptist Church, Knoxville, TN

Yes, I snapped this as we were driving!! ha!!

First Baptist Church Knoxville

Old City Hall, Knoxville, TN

This building was a city hall, TN school for the deaf, and is currently the Law Dept. at Liberty University’s extension in Knoxville.

Old City Hall Building Knoxville

St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Knoxville, TN

St. George Greek Orthodox Church Knoxville

Butler Hall at Carson Newman University

This is my Alma Mater! And this is the dorm I lived in! Woo-hoo!! Loved walking through campus with my kids!

Butler Hall at Carson Newman University

Swann Hall at Carson Newman University

Swann Hall at Carson Newman Univeristy

Henderson Humanities Building at Carson Newman University

Henderson Humanities at Carson Newman University

I can’t believe how many buildings had columns that we had never noticed before!! When we were looking at the columns, we would discuss whether they were Ionic, Corinthian or Doric. By the end of the day, my kids knew these types very well! I also had them draw each place that we stopped in their journals, they labeled them also.

Learning Types of Columns from Greek & Roman Architecture

Eat Greek  Food!

After we spent the morning looking at the architectural influences in Knoxville, I also searched for authentic Greek food in our area! We came up with several options, actually! We ended up deciding on Ephesus Grill, mostly because I loved the name and it had great ratings on Urban Spoon.

So, before you go on your scavenger hunt, google “greek food in my city” and see what you come up with!! You can also use the Urban Spoon app (or other ratings) to find out what is actually GOOD and AUTHENTIC.

Greek Food in Knoxville

Now, if you’re closer to Nashville, you have to visit the Parthenon!! Wish we were a bit closer!!

Ancient History links to explore:

Ijams Nature Center

ijams nature center

We are blessed in our area to have a fabulous nature center fairly close by! Last weekend David and I took the kids there…it’s FREE and it’s gorgeous! If you are headed to East TN anytime soon and looking for something FREE and EDUCATIONAL, I have just the spot for you. 🙂 It’s called Ijams Nature Center and it’s in Knoxville.

The indoor section is great, especially if you are a nature lover like myself! There are hands on things for the kids and a few animals in glass cages to take a peek at! We saw a snake in a cage, a snapping turtle, several fish and other turtles.



Every Saturday at 2pm they have a Creature Feature time where one of the Ijams workers shares a creature with visitors! When we were there, we got to see a 25 year old black rat snake that was between 6-7ft long! We listened to lots of details and learned a lot about this helpful snake.



IMG_2317 IMG_2316


There are also several trails to hike and walk that are beautiful! We chose the trail that went down by the river.






If you’re traveling to East Tennessee sometime, you should definitely take a stop at Ijams Nature Center! Fun, free AND educational!

Read more of my East Tennessee fun trip ideas here.

American History: Titanic

We are moving right along in our studies of American History this year!! We have enjoyed learning about cowboys, the Wright Brothers and now the Titanic!!

We have read a few books about the Titanic:
National Geographic Readers: Titanic
The Titanic: Lost and Found (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4)
Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #7: Titanic
Tonight on the Titanic
T is for Titanic: A Titanic Alphabet

We went to visit the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge!! 

We painted the Titanic with this wonderful art lesson

There are a few more Titanic ideas: titanic jeopardy, youtube videos, etc. on my American History pinterest board if you need more ideas!!

Wonderworks Museum {Pigeon Forge}

Hannah wanted to go to Wonder Works Museum for her birthday! Thankfully, once a year they have a homeschoolers discount and we were able to go and enjoy the day with a few friends!! I thought I would share a few pictures for those of you who will be visiting east TN and want some fun things to do!! There are other locations in Orlando, Panama City, Myrtle Beach, Syracuse and West Nyack.

Earth Quake simulator.

The pulley system.

Tornado simulator.

Finding our street on a huge google earth screen!

The climbing wall was great fun! The kids went back and did it over and over and over again!

Even daddy took a turn!

This was new from the last time we went a few years ago – a ropes course up in the ceilings/rafters of the museum!! It was awesome and the kids did this several times, too! 

Basketball time! (they have a baseball throwing station, too.)


FRIENDS!! The best part of the day was sharing Hannah’s birthday with her friends! 🙂

Check out my East Tennessee FUN collection of places and fun things to do if you are ever in the area! 🙂

Field Trip: Andrew Johnson Home {Greeneville, TN}

We recently were able to take a field trip over to Greeneville, Tennessee, which was the home of Andrew Johnson, our 17th president, for many years. There is much to see in this tiny town about our 17th president! I was glad we were able to go!

Since we are to the end of our Civil WarReconstruction studies and moving forward in our american history studies, it was the perfect time to drive over and see this part of our history that is about an hour from where we live!

Here are some pictures of the places we visited:

Here are the kids in front of Andrew Johnson’s early home
(before presidency)
Andrew Johnson’s family slaves
We learned that not all slave owners were cruel
The Johnson family slaves were almost like a part of their family
even taking the last name Johnson
Statue of Andrew Johnson in downtown Greeneville
In the visitor center Andrew Johnson’s original tailor shop is there
here is an iron he used – VERY heavy!!
At the visitor center (small museum)
the kids got to vote on Andrew Johnson’s impeachment
Casting our votes
These pictures are of the Johnson family’s home
when they returned from D.C. after the presidency
80% of the items in this home are original Johnson items
Mrs. Johnson was sick with tuberculosis
this chair is where she sat a lotof the time
this pot was her spitting pot when she coughed. 🙂
a room for their grandchildren
dining room
kitchen tools
The small kitchen and slave quarters



Next up on our American History tour: Thomas Edison!