Social Hierarchy

Students investigate the concept of social hierarchy. They explore two sources identifying various social roles in Mesopotamian society, building understanding of that civilization’s social hierarchy.

Power and Responsibility

Rulers were at the top of the Mesopotamian social hierarchy. Students examine two sources to learn how Mesopotamian rulers gained and maintained power.

Daily Life

The social roles of individuals have a significant impact on the experiences of their daily lives. Students examine a text source to understand how power and responsibility were distributed in Mesopotamian culture, as well as various aspects of daily life.

Types of Government Literature Circles (Part 1 of 2)

Students explore various informational texts about types of government, using text features to orient themselves. They create a list of texts they would be interested in reading within a Literature Circle group and complete an Interest Card expressing their preferences.

Types of Government Literature Circles (Part 2 of 2)

Students work in predetermined Literature Circle groups to read and discuss a book of their choice about a type of government. This lesson can be repeated multiple times as desired.

Contemporary Connections

Students read an article that raises questions about social structure in a contemporary middle school setting. They apply concepts of social structure to a scenario outside of the government and political context, encouraging students to think about the concept in a more nuanced way.

Contemporary Connections (Digging Deeper)

Students participate in a Socratic Seminar to discuss the text read in the previous lesson. They consider how social structures today compare to the social structure of Mesopotamia, and whether or not social structures can be changed.

Reflecting on Social Structure (Checkpoint Assessment)

Through this Essential Question, students have explored the complexity of social structures in ancient Mesopotamia. This final lesson may be used as a checkpoint assessment of cumulative learning throughout this Essential Question. Here, students reflect their learning by completing a content check. Then, they analyze 2 different pieces of argumentative writing in response to the Essential Question: Is social structure necessary?

Ancient Mesopotamia

Essential Question

Is social structure necessary?

Students explore social structures, one of the defining characteristics of civilization. They use argumentative texts to examine Mesopotamia's social hierarchy and the rights, responsibilities, and ways of life connected to social roles.


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