In sixth-grade social studies, we learn about ancient civilizations. We start with what we know about the earliest discoveries of mankind and work to the Renaissance. We have a class textbook and will also use activities from The Big History Project. Our days will include reading, writing, taking notes, videos, group activities, and projects. Grades will come from quizzes, tests, presentations, and completed projects.
Origin Stories - What do various cultures believe about the people who first lived on our planet? We will divide into groups and study one belief and then present it to the class. Students will compare and contrast different stories.
Paleolithic Period - Students will learn about early diet, tools, how fire was used, and cave art.
Collective Learning - How did life change when people started teaching each other and building on what others did? Students will look at how domesticated animals affected humans and create a poster to "sell" the idea of owning an animal.
Neolithic Period - During the Neolithic time agriculture became widespread and horses became popular. How have horses impacted your life?
City-States - Life further evolved when humans started gathering in small cities. Students will create a plan for a city, considering the needs of water, farming, convenience, and protection.
Law and Order - Students will learn how our early ancestors maintained civility while we consider Hammurabi's code, the earliest laws known.
River Valleys - The first four great cities were Mesopotamia, the Indus River Valley, Ancient China, and Egypt. These cultures will be compared and contrasted. Students will create a travel brochure for the civilization of their choice.
The Silk Road -We will learn about the hardships and benefits involved in trading goods and ideas on a global scale as we discover places along the silk road. We will play a trading game to find how easy or hard it is to get goods as well as unwanted diseases. Students will read and discuss parts of the Silk Road journey while preparing to create a journal of a participant from their own creation.
World Religions - The world is full of different ideas, some we can realte to and others that are very different. Students will spend time reading about where they came from and what is at the heart of the beliefs they teach. Students will create notes on a "Graffiti Sheet" that they will be able to use during assessments.