Monday, October 24, 2016

The Layers of Middle East History: Examining Mesopotamian Civilization




 Today's Essential Question  * How are ancient areas of the Middle East both different and similar to today? 


Back to the Past: Examining the Middle East's First Civilization  Last week, as a class we discussed the idea of "layers of history," in which its important when examining a geographic place to look at both its present and its past. In our previous lesson we examined the current crisis in Syria, a country in today's Middle East. Thousands of years before the present civil war in Syria, parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq made up a region known as Mesopotamia. Within Mesopotamia, in what is now southern Iraq, an area known as Sumer saw the birth of the world's very first civilization. 

Today, I want you to imagine that you are going back in time to investigate Mesopotamia's Sumerian civilization. With the same journalistic eye you used to to examine the crisis in modern Syria, your objective is to ask important questions and gather essential details about Sumer to help you better understand this geographic place from history. Ultimately, you will you use the information you compile to write an objective summary about Sumerian civilization, which you will then include as part of a "pinned story" within the historical layer of your Social Studies Events Map. My hope is that you we also begin to make some critical connections between what is happening in the Middle East today and what happened there at the dawn of civilization thousands of years ago. 

To begin, locate the document Noteaking and Summary Guide (Sumerian Civilization) in your Social Studies Google ClassroomAdd some Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why questions that you hope to find the answers to as you begin your investigation.

Video: The Rise of Sumerian Civilization  Now let's begin to find the answers to some of your guiding questions and gather the information you will need to write your summary on Sumerian civilization. Our first source of information will be the video featured below. 


Guided Reading: Mesopotamia's Civilization  Next, let's read together an excerpt from the Social Studies textbook about Mesopotamia's earliest civilization (pages 133-137). You will continue to take notes using your Noteaking and Summary Guide (Sumerian Civilization).

Homework  Complete the Noteaking and Summary Guide (Sumerian Civilization) by Friday, October 28