Lesson Plans 2016

Grades: 5-8

Trade in Timbuktu
Mary Bradshaw

This series of lessons about the ancient civilization of Timbuktu uses the SIOP model to engage English language learners in the social studies classroom.The lessons explore the principles of trade using the commodity of salt in Timbuktu while addressing both linguistic development and academic content for English Language Learners.

Say It Is SO, Joe! An Inquiry into the Story of Joseph
James Bratager

Using this lesson plan, students will examine shared stories from sacred texts: the bible, the Torah, and the Quar’an. Students will compare and contrast the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob and Rachel.

Eva K. Lewis

This lesson is a student-centered lesson based on discovery through inquiry and hands-on engagement. It is important for students to make connections and understand relationships among societies’ shared institutions, comparing and contrasting ancient societies to modern societies, and understand the role of resources and technology in the advancement of a society.

Earthquakes and Their Impact in History
Angelica Lozoya

This lesson is part of the unit: Forces that change the Earth. During this unit, students describe the historical development of evidence that supports plate tectonic theory, including contributing scientists. In this particular lesson, students will be able to describe the effects of geological events on ancient civilizations.

Laws of Hammurabi (Babylon - ca 1750 BCE)
Peter Senghas

Students will use a primary source (Laws of Hammurabi - ca 1750 BCE, Babylon) to understand the political, social, and religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Babylonians.  This lesson will provide opportunities for students to practice interpreting and analyzing primary sources while at the same time extending their knowledge of “post-Sumerian” Mesopotamia.

Building Understanding: Housing and Humanity
Rachel Rawlings

This lesson will help students explore, hypothesize, and explain how physical and social environments affect housing and cities both historically and today. In addition, students will have the opportunity to engage in STEAM education through the design and construction of a house using various materials.

Developing Narrative Description through Art
Heather Sobek

In this lesson, students will closely analyze a narrative painting, Agrippina Landing at Brundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus by Benjamin West, identifying the details of experiences, events, and/or characters as they are presented b the artist. Students will then write a version of the story told in the paining, with emphasis on the narrative technique of description.

Terror and Antiquity
Sarah M. Stolfi

This lesson will utilize inquiry-based instruction d evidence based writing to allow students to analyze and evaluate the impact of power and authority and cultural, social, and political processes in the study of early civilizations/antiquity. Students will explore the ways in which antiquities are a symbol of national and cultural identify for Iraqis and Syrians and the challenges with protecting these priceless artifacts.

Grades: 9-12

Ancient West African Cities: Benin City and Jenne-Jeno
Jenny E. Kline

This lesson will expose students to artifacts, architecture, art, and written sources in order to develop the skills of document and artifact analysis and provide information about the existence and diversity of early urban African communities.

An Inquiry Into the History and Culture of the Middle East
Hera Butt

In this lesson, students examine the complexities in trying to understand conflict in the Middle East. Through an inquiry activity, students will gain a deeper understanding of European interference in the regions (through the use of Gertrude Bell’s letters), the evolution and rise of ISIS (through videos and primary sources), and the historical and cultural influence of the Mosul museum.

The Ruins of an Early City in the Bronze Age: Great Zimbabwe
Virginia Hilyard

Of the more than 8,000 stone ruins in South Africa, Great Zimbabwe stands out as the most majestic and often mysterious in its origin and complexity as well as its beauty. This lesson allows students to explore these ruins which span a period of 300-400 years from the 11th century to their abandonment in the 15th century or during the Late Bronze Age.

Ancient Cities, Modern Inquiries: Contemporary Debates Focusing on Africa and the Middle East
Dawn Petry

The first unit in AP World History begins with an overview of peoples “Before Civilization.” Students examine food gathering and stone technology, the Agricultural Revolutions, and Life in Neolithic Communities before moving into the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley. In this lesson, students will examine settlement and life in ancient Mesopotamian cities.


Ancient African Cities
Carol Brutza

This lesson is part of a course of study in which students examine people’s past and current interactions in communities and institutions which influence their behaviors and beliefs. In this lesson students are asked to recognize the impact of human culture on complex nation-states, past and present; synthesize primary and secondary sources to broaden knowledge and create independent and collaborative work; and reflect on ethical issues pertaining to cultural identity.

Early Cities: Hierarchy vs. Heterarchy
Sarah Ceiglo

This lecture is designed to follow a general introduction to the world’s first cities. Through the instruction, students will be able to define “city” and other key terms as well as use both primary and secondary sources to describe aspects of the governments and social orders in the early cities of Mesopotamia, the Niger River Valley, and the Indus Valley. (Download PDF of Power Point)

Exploring Issues of National Identify: patriotism and Nationalism as Agents of Cohesion and Divide
Diana R. Hossain

Using the resource, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, by Chris Hedges, war correspondent, students will study the issue of national identity as it relates to war and peace. Definitions and examples of national identify, nationalism, and patriotism will provide ideas for oral and written discourse and enable students to better understand the positive and negative nuances associated with national identity.

This lesson is part of a larger course that works with students to develop their reflective and critical thinking skills. In this particular lesson, students will examine the role that antiquities play in our lives and whether we have a responsibility to preserve and protect symbols of our past.