- The Cradle of Civilization
Projects for Mrs. Desler's 6th Grade History Class
In the development of civilizations, Mesopotamia
is known for its "firsts": first writing system, first
wheels, first sail boats, first city-states, first written laws.
The ancient inhabitants of this area between the Tigris and Euphrates
Rivers have left us many clues about their contributions to civilization
as well as their everyday lives.
Your task is to research and recreate an
aspect of their life and times. Choose a topic from the list below
and begin the research cycle:
- Write a letter to the editor of the Babylonian
Times in response to one of Hammurabi's laws. In the
letter, clearly state the code number you wish to discuss, your
opinion of the code, and why you feel the way you do. If you
disagree with the code, you should offer suggestions for Hammurabi
to consider. Generally, it is recommended that one signs a letter
to the editor. However, when dealing with Hammurabi, that may
not always be advisable. He may add code 283 to his list which
could possibly be aimed at disrespectful citizens who disagree
with his divinely inspired judgments. (Adapted from P. Martin's
Hammurabi Teacher Page)
- Create a display on the development of
writing. Make sure your display is labeled.
- Construct a model of what a typical Sumerian
house might have looked like. Leave one wall open so we can have
an inside. On a 5" by 7" index card, discuss the architectural
- Create your own standard, in the style
of Ur. Your standard should reflect your family, school, and
home town. Use paints, colored pencils, bits of colored paper,
etc., to simulate mosaics.
- Create a model of a Sumerian irrigation
- Make a model of Babylon or Ur.
- Make a detailed, labeled chart of inventions
- Make an alphabet book of Mesopotamia.
Mrs. Desler has a separate handout for this task.
- Create a detailed, illustrated brochure
for a scribe school. Include daily life activities and accommodations
so potential students would know how to prepare for their educational
- Research the foods that were available
to the Mesopotamians. Prepare some samples to bring to class.
You may work by yourself or with a partner. Extra credit for
appropriate Mesopotamian meal-time music!
- Create a picture book/story book to explain
the roles of men and women in Mesopotamia. Go to A
Question of Status for directions. You may team up with another
classmate for this project.
Your grade will be based on our 4-Point
History Social Studies Rubric. Use of class research time
will also count!
Start with our History textbook; scan the books from Mrs. Desler's
Mesopotamia library (note: these books are for classroom use only);
explore CD ROMs; then move on to Internet sites. Some useful sites
The SCORE web site. Always a great starting
point for research! From the 6th grade page, click on Mesopotamia:
University of Pennsylvania Museum: http://www.upenn.edu/museum/Collections/royaltombs.html
Galleries of Ancient Art: http://www.dia.org/galleries/ancient/mesopotamia/mesopotamia.html
Timelines of the Ancient World: http://www.dc.infi.net/~gunther/tl001.html
University of Chicago Museum: http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/HIGH/OI_Museum_Mesopotamia.html
Emory University Museum: http://www.emory.edu/CARLOS/n.east.html
Women in Mesopotamia: http://home.earthlink.net/~womenwhist/lesson2.html
A Compilation of Mesopotamia Sites: http://www.mic.ki.se/Mesop.html
Hammurabi's Code of Law: http://www.pitt.edu/~novosel/hammurab.html
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