Mesopotamia (The Land Between the Rivers)
WideHorizon Education Resources
Students find, in their study of Mesopotamia, the: a) first civilization; b) first written script; c) first law code; d) first number system; e) first recorded hero.
In the WER Unit Mesopotamia students find a wealth of activities, stories, dramas, and assignments that brings the Sumerian cities, and the later cities of Babylonia and Assyria, alive in the classroom.
First Civilization: Using the WER Unit Mesopotamia students, through their study of the work of the archaeologist Leonard Woolley, discover the first civilization. They learn about Woolley’s discoveries in the Royal Tombs of Ur, and then, taking on the role of private eye or detective, they piece together the evidence. In this way they create a profile of Sumerian culture. Working with the evidence found, they will also solve the mystery of what happened during the burial of the monarchs in that far off time.
First Written Script – There is evidence that a form of written language was in use in Mesopotamia as early as 3000 B.C.E. The Mesopotamians wrote by making impressions on clay tablets. The script is now called cuneiform.
Until this script was deciphered our knowledge of Mesopotamia was limited. The great breakthrough came when Henry Creswick Rawlinson discovered an inscription, carved in three languages, on the rocks of Behistun. The writing had been carved in stone by the Persian King Darius to mark a victorious battle.
Students read the exciting tale of how Rawlinson, helped by a local boy, scaled the treacherous cliffs to get close enough to copy the inscriptions. Because of his daring and determination the script was recorded, and thanks to his knowledge and perseverance it was deciphered.
First Law Code – Examine the WER unit and find an innovative way to study Hammurabi’s Law Code. An experiental approach enables students to gain an understanding of the Law Code and its importance to the development of law and government. The approach involves the heart, head and hands and ensures involvement of all students.
First Number System In Module 3, Lesson 2 students learn the cuneiform numerals and the number system with its base of 60. They solve problems such as this one about a merchant traveling to Babylon with his wagons piled high with goods. On his journey he calls at various farms, buying and selling.
Do your students know that Mesopotamia had some of the richest and most extensive mythology of any ancient civilization? Do they know that Mesopotamia had the first hero of recorded mythology?
The WER Unit Mesopotamia retells part of the Gilgamesh epic, keeping the readability level within the students’ range. This enables them to use the story for a large variety of assignments. Students create a map of the Hero’s Journey. They take part in a dramatization of part of the story and are guided to write further scenes for the dramatization. They begin to learn the concept of a hero in mythology and are encouraged to apply what they learn to the present day, looking for modern day heroes.
WideHorizon Education Resources-Mesopotamia
Module 1: Geography and Early History
Module 2: Sumer
Module 3: Writing and Mythology
Module 4: Law and Religion
Module 5: Empires of Assyria and Babylonia
Example of content from Module 2 Lessons 1/2
Following on from a study of Leonard Woolley’s archaeological dig in the royal tombs at Ur, students examine a particular find, the board game, in more detail. By working with this beautiful board game students learn more about one aspect of life in Sumer. Rules for the game have not been discovered and so students are given the task of creating and devising rules for the game.
Language Arts: Students are required to create a set of rules for playing the board game.
Cooperative Learning: Students work cooperatively to produce the rules for the game.
Critical Thinking Skills: When writing such rules students have to think logically, and handle cause and effect.
Writing Skills: In writing rules the writer has to be very aware of audience, and organize the explanation into small and clearly expressed steps.
Mesopotamia (5 Modules) includes 11 stories with readability levels, 5 guided reading assignments, 2 dramas, 36 activity sheets, 5 assignments targeted for monitoring and assessment, 4 map activities, 29 illustrated information sheets, 17 blackline masters, 2 colored reproductions, 2 black and white reproductions, 22 teacher lesson guideline sheets, 5 monitoring and assessment guideline sheets.
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WideHorizon Education Resources (WER) Teaching Packs are designed to appeal to the heart, head and hands. Original material is the Mollet Learning Academy (MLA) Teaching Packs (written initially for New Zealand teachers). On request from USA teachers, monitoring and assessment procedures were added and renamed WER Teaching Packs to distinguish them from MLA Teaching Packs.
Early Humankind, Ancient Israelites, Ancient India, Ancient China – USA $59.95
Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Kush, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome USA $79.95
Early Humankind, Ancient Israelites, Ancient India, Ancient China – USA $199.95
Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Kush, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome
Set of Nine Starter Packs – USA $599.95
Set of Nine Classroom Packs – USA $1999.95
Set of 10 non-consumable SRBs – Prehistory, Israelites, India, China – USA $59.95
Set of 10 non-consumable SRBs – Egypt, Kush, Greece, Rome – USA $79.95
Set of 10 non-consumable SRBs – Mesopotamia – USA $89.95
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2) MLA is also involved in researching on an international basis, what works and what doesn’t work. Most of the research results can be seen at https://molletacademy.com/research-reports/ while a draft of a book The Task for New Zealand Education is at https://molletacademy.com/the-task-for-nz-education/
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1. The MLA approach to education believes in developing the creative and imaginative side of the student in harmony with the intellectual and cognitive. To achieve this, MLA Teaching Packs make stories and drama an integral part of the lessons and involve students through storytelling, art, simulations, drama, craft, discussion and creation of a personal record.
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