Ancient Mesopotamia

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The lesson introduces students to the “Cradle of Civilization,” Mesopotamia, and presents an overview of this interesting civilization and era. The lesson begins with the geographical location of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The discovery of farming is then discussed, as well as the Sumerians. Relevant vocabulary like nomadic, hunters and gatherers, domesticated and ziggurat is included, among others. Babylon and Persia are briefly mentioned, as well as the invention of the wheel, writing and other early technologies. The lesson may be used in conjunction with other ancient civilizations lessons.

Ancient Mesopotamia Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Ancient Mesopotamia
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson introduces students to the “Cradle of Civilization,” Mesopotamia, and presents an overview of this interesting civilization and era. The lesson begins with the geographical location of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The discovery of farming is then discussed, as well as the Sumerians. Relevant vocabulary like nomadic, hunters and gatherers, domesticated and ziggurat is included, among others. Babylon and Persia are briefly mentioned, as well as the invention of the wheel, writing and other early technologies. The lesson may be used in conjunction with other ancient civilizations lessons.

Classroom Procedure:

  1. Display the following list: wheel, sailboat, plow, time, math, writing, farming.  Ask students to tell which one is most important for society and why?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students to guess what each have in common.  (All are inventions or discoveries of Mesopotamia.)
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Ancient Mesopotamia.
  4. Distribute Ancient Mesopotamia content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final questions for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity pages. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Encourage students to “think outside the box”.  Allow students time to discuss the inventions and the alternative discoveries or inventions.
  6. Once completed, conduct a class discussion allowing students to share their responses.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  9. In closing, ask students: What do you believe are the top three contributions of Ancient Mesopotamia?  Give reasons for your responses.  Which development would be most difficult to live without?
  10. Allow for responses and discussion.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.10

Class Sessions (45 minutes): 2-3 class sessions

Additional Resources: 

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Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Social Studies