Mesopotamia

A WebQuest for 6th Grade World History

 

Introduction | Tasks | Evaluation | Credits

 

 


Introduction

 

You are an archaeological historian and are about to embark on a fantastic journey into the past to discover the mysteries of ancient Mesopotamia. Your goal is to achieve an understanding of what life was like, what the culture consisted of, how the government developed, details about the religious beliefs, the development of trade, the development of specialization and social classes, and how the first written language looked. You will discover that much of what we in the twenty-first century take for granted in our civilization has roots in the Mesopotamia of 5000 years ago. You will be asked to explore a number of web sites and find specific information that you will use to perform a number of tasks that you will adapt into a finished project to be turned in. You will also  be directed to a variety of web sites and will be asked to complete a variety of tasks.

Get started by going to the Tasks link and complete the tasks in order of 1 though 11.

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The Tasks

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Task 1 – Title Page

Create a title page

Include:

  • The title 'Mesopotamia'
  • 6th Grade Social Studies
  • Your name
  • September 2014

Do you best to decorate the cover page with images that remind you of Mesopotamia (you may add to this as you learn more about Mesopotamia).

 

Task 2 – Geography

Read about the geography of Mesopotamia. Write a one-half to one page, multipargraph report on the geography of Mesopotamia.  Include the following information in your report. 

 

1. Tell the meaning of the word "Mesopotamia" and the names of the rivers?

2. Tell about the source of the two rivers?

3. How did this land surrounding the rivers become fertile?

4. Describe what the land is like near the mouth of the two rivers and what it was used for.

5. Tell what the land is like that surrounds the fertile crescent.

6. Tell what this land was used for.

 

 


Task 3 – It Happened First in Mesopotamia

Go to It Happened First in Ancient Mesopotamia 

In this article are a number of “firsts” that Mesopotamians achieved. Select two of these and design a visual that depicts the achievements.  The visual must be drawn and colored.  Describe how each achievement could have been used during this time. Your visual should have labels, be colorful, and be accurate. Title this page “It Happened First in Ancient Mesopotamia”, and add it to your folder of information.

 

 

 

 

 

Task 4 – Cuneiform

Read the story about the development of writing from the British Museum.

Answer the following questions on a sheet of copy paper. Be sure to restate the question with your answer so that it makes sense to someone who hasn't read the questions. Please put this heading“Cuneiform” at the top of your page.

1. What time period did people start to record the amounts of different crops?
2. Draw the symbol for barley.
3. What was usually next to the barley sign?
4. What is the Sumerian word for fig cakes?
5. Beside business and trade, what was cuneiform used for?
6. Cuneiform script was used to write what other languages?
7. Draw the sign for the ox c.600.

Add this to your folder.

 

Task 5 – Gods and Demons

Go to http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk/gods/explore/exp_set.html 

Read  Gods and Demons of Ancient Mesopotamia

Create a page titled “Gods and Demons of Ancient Mesopotamia”  and list the following gods and goddesses names: Enki, Gula, Isthar, Ninurta, and Anu.  Explain who they were and what their power was.  Add this to your folder of information with the cover page.

 

 

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Task 6 – The Code of Hammurabi

Go to the Code of Hammurabi page.

Create a page titled “The Code of Hammurabi”.  On the Code of Hammurabi page are the laws of Hammurabi as translated from cuneiform. Select four laws and write them out.  After each law, explain in your own words what the law means in today’s world. Do you know if there are simliar laws we have today.

Also go to the page “Hammurabi Situations”. These are situations Hammurabi faced.  Decide what you think to be a fair way to deal with the problem. You may complete 5 out of the 8 Problems for full credit.

Title these two pages “The Code of Hammurabi” and include them in your folder.    

 

 

Task 7 – Vocabulary Exercises

Read the important vocabulary. These terms are important to your understanding of ancient Mesopotamia. You will want to copy and paste these words to a Word document for studying purposes. Spend some time learning these terms and what they mean.  Include these words in your packet.  Label the page for your packet “Ancient Mesopotamia“ (printable vocabulary).

Click on Vocabulary Exercises and complete the exercise shown.  Create a page labeled “Vocabulary Exercises” for your packet.  

 

Task 8 – Ziggurats

Click on this link, ziggurats, to research at the British Museum.  Write a one page, multipargraph report on ziggurats.  Include the following information -

1. Explain what a ziggurat is.

2. How and why they were built

3. How did the building function in the culture. How did it affect daily life?

4. Famous ziggurats

On another page draw and label the parts of a ziggurat.  Play the challenge game.  At the bottom of your ziggurat drawing, explain what you learned when you played the challengegame.

Title these TWO pages “Ziggurats” and include them in your packet.

 

Task 9 – Astronomer

Go research astronomers at the British Museum.  Write a one page, multiparagraph report on the astronomers in Mesopotamia.  Include the following information:
1. Who is Aplum?
2. What was Aplum’s job and what did he learn from his job?
3. Why was his job important to Babylonians?
4. What did Aplum need to do to add a month to the calendar?
5. Did the King accept the extra month?

Each paragraph should have a topic sentence.

Play the challenge game after you have finished your report.

Title this page “Astronomers” and include them in your packet.

 

Task 10 – Ancient Sumerian Society

Go research the ancient Sumerian society.  Write a one page, multiparagraph report on their society.  Include the following information:
1. Description of their Daily Life
2. Description of the social classes – Describe each class.  
      *This section could be several paragraphs.
3. Describe their religion. 

Each paragraph should have a topic sentence.

Below is a list of research sites.

Classes of People

Sumerian Society

Daily Life

Daily Life 2

Religion

Social Classes

Title this section, “Ancient Sumerian Society” and include it in your packet.

 

 

Task 11 – Draw a map

Use the map of ancient Mesopotamia on page 17 and the current map on pages R18-R19 in your social studies textbook.

Do your best to redraw the current map (don’t trace). Redraw the outlines of the current nations that occupy the area and label them. Label the major rivers, lakes, mountains, and other major geographical places, including oceans and seas. Label the capital cities of the nations with a star next to them.

Using a colored pencil, outline and fill in the area that used to be ancient Mesopotamia over the modern day map. Label the civilizations that were there. Label the major cities of these civilizations with a dot next to them.

Color in the oceans and other water sources with blue. Make the land area green.

Label this “The Middle East, Then and Now” and include it with your packet. Include a key identifying the color used to indicate Mesopotamia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MESOPOTAMIA VOCABULARY

The following vocabulary terms will help you better understand ancient Mesopotamia. Some of the terms have links to explore.

TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES
The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers begin in eastern Turkey, flow in a southeast direction, converge in southeast Iraq, and empty in the Persian Gulf. In ancient times, the land between the twin rivers was called Mesopotamia which was the site of the world’s first civilization.
MESOPOTAMIA
Mesopotamia means “the land between the rivers” or “the land between the two rivers.” This was the site of the world’s first civilization, Sumer.
CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION
Mesopotamia is often referred to as the “cradle of civilization” because the world’s first civilization occurred there.
SUMER
Sumer was the world’s first civilization. It was located in the southern area of Mesopotamia where the twin rivers converged. The people who lived in this area were called Sumerians.
LEVEES
In order to control the destructive seasonal flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the ancient Sumerians constructed levees, or raised areas of earth, in order to hold back the flood waters.
IRRIGATE
The ancient Sumerians irrigated, or watered, their crops by using a system of irrigation canals. By devising such a irrigation system, the ancient Sumerians were able to successfully establish a permanent civilization
.
CITY-STATE
The ancient Sumerians organized themselves into competing city-states. A Sumerian city-state consisted of the city, the surrounding mud brick wall, and the surrounding farmland.
ZIGGURAT
The ziggurat was a temple. It was located in the center of each Sumerian city-state. It housed the city-state’s patron god. The term ziggurat means “mountain of god” or “hill of heaven.” Since the ziggurat was a sacred place, only priests could enter it.
CUNEIFORM
The ancient Sumerians created the world’s first writing system known as cuneiform. The term cuneiform means “wedge-shaped.” Sumerian writing is wedge-shaped because of the the type of instrument that was used to create it.
STYLUS
The ancient Sumerians used a stylus to write. A stylus is a wedge-shaped instrument made out of reed. The Sumerians wrote on wet clay tablets with a stylus.
EDUBBA
An edubba is a Sumerian school where young boys learned reading, writing, and arithmetic.
SCRIBE
After graduating from a Sumerian school, a young man became a scribe, or a writer.
PRIEST-KING
In early ancient Sumerian history, the powerful priests were also the kings of the city-states.
GILGAMESH
Gilgamesh is one of ancient Mesopotamia’s most legendary historical figures. He was a heroical priest-king from the Sumerian city-state of Uruk.
EMPIRE
An empire is a collection of kingdoms under the power of one powerful ruler.
SARGON I
Around 2300 B.C., Sargon I created the world’s first empire in the area of ancient Mesopotamia. Since he was from the northern reaches of Mesopotamia known as Akkad, the world’s first empire was Akkadian.
HAMMURABI OF BABYLON
About 1800 B.C., the Amorites moved into Mesopotamia. They established their own city-states, and Hammurabi was the king of Babylon. He conquered the Akkadians and ruled all of Mesopotamia. His reign is often described as the “Golden Age of Babylon”because he established many new reforms.
   
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

Plague
http://www.medieval-life.net/black_death.htm
http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/plague.htm
http://www.mrdowling.com/703-plague.html
http://www.britainexpress.com/History/medieval/black-death.htm

 

http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/history/highmiddle/john.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta

 

Literature

http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/literature/index.htm

 

Battle of Hastings
http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/bayeux.htm
http://tayci.tripod.com/hastings.html
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/hastings.htm
http://library.thinkquest.org/10949/fief/medsiege.html

 

Weapons
http://members.aol.com/dargolyt/TheForge/THEFORGE.HTM
http://kevin.lps.org/Middle_ages/castles/weapons/knight.html

 

http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/games/index.htm

 

Art
http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/art/index.htm

 

 

Music
Food
http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/food/index.htm
http://www.medieval-life.net/food.htm
http://www.medieval-life.net/famines.htm
http://www.britainexpress.com/History/Feudalism_and_Medieval_life.htm
http://www.medieval-weddings.net/weddings_feasts.htm
http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/17991/1259
http://www.castles-of-britain.com/castlesf.htm

 

Crime/Punishment
http://www.camelotintl.com/village/crime.html
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_law_and_order.htm
http://www.camelotintl.com/tower_site/index.html

 

Entertainment
http://www.medieval-life.net/troubadours.htm
http://library.thinkquest.org/10949/fief/medentertain.html

 

Clothing
http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/clothing/index.htm
http://www.learner.org/exhibits/middleages/clothing.html
http://www.kyrene.k12.az.us/schools/brisas/sunda/ma/1adele.htm
http://www.medieval-life.net/clothing.htm

 

Religion
http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/religion/index.htm
http://www.learner.org/exhibits/middleages/religion.html
http://www.medieval-life.net/monks.htm
http://www.mrdowling.com/703-christendom.html
http://www.britainexpress.com/History/TheMedievalChurch.htm
http://www.camelotintl.com/village/church.html
http://www.britainexpress.com/History/medieval-monastery.htm
http://library.thinkquest.org/10949/fief/medgod.html

 

 

Holidays
http://www.medieval-life.net/festivals.htm

 

Health
http://www.medieval-life.net/bathing.htm
http://www.medieval-life.net/doctors.htm
http://www.medieval-life.net/medicine.htm
http://www.medieval-life.net/diseases.htm
http://www.learner.org/exhibits/middleages/health.html