Innovation Simulation

The shift from a hunter-gatherer way of life to agriculture brings many changes: food surplus, specialized roles, and larger populations. Students begin to explore how innovations allow for these changes, and how these changes drive new innovations as well. Students participate in a food surplus simulation.

The Rise of Cities

Students analyze two sources to gather information about the development of cities. First, they examine a video that explains how the development of agriculture led to more complex populations. Then, they read portions of an article about the first big city, Uruk.

The Mesopotamian Ziggurat

Students explore three different sources to learn more about the Mesopotamian ziggurat, an architectural achievement of Mesopotamian civilization. They draw connections between the ziggurat and three of the eight characteristics of civilization: art and architecture, cities, and belief systems.

Innovations Literature Circles (Part 1 of 2)

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

Innovations Literature Circles (Part 2 of 2)

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

Mesopotamian Innovations

Students read more about Mesopotamian innovations. Small groups read about one of nine innovations that developed in Sumarian civilization in order to make an Innovation Card that will be used to teach their classmates.

Reflecting on Innovation (Checkpoint Assessment)

Through this Essential Question, students have explored the way innovation drives civilization. This final lesson may be used as a checkpoint assessment of cumulative learning throughout this Essential Question. Here, students present the Innovation Cards they made in the previous lesson as a way to teach peers. Then they independently complete the Innovation Content Check, as an individual assessment.

Ancient Mesopotamia

Essential Question

How does innovation drive civilization?

Students learn how agriculture was a key factor leading to the rise of cities and complex populations. They explore a variety of sources to investigate characteristics of Mesopotamian civilization and draw evidence-based conclusions.


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