Mesopotamia GRAPES

Mesopotamia GRAPES
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Ancient Mesopotamia for Kids

Ancient Mesopotamia

Lesson Plans by Liane Hicks

Ancient Mesopotamia, “the land between the rivers” was the world’s first civilization. This region that lay along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in modern-day Iraq is also nicknamed the “Fertile Crescent” for its crescent moon shape and cultivable land. This fascinating civilization is where the world’s first city-states and empires began along with advances in irrigation, writing, art, architecture, astronomy, mathematics... even the invention of the wheel!


Ancient Mesopotamia

Storyboard Description

Using a G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart is helpful in categorizing important information when learning about Ancient Civilizations. It stands for: G: Geography (Location, Physical Features, Climate, Natural Resources) R: Religion A: Achievements (Art, Architecture, Inventions, Writing) P: Politics (Government) E: Economy (Jobs) S: Social Structure (hierarchy of power, roles of men, women and children) This G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart is for Ancient Mesopotamia. An extension would be to do a separate chart for each category to expand on the information.

Storyboard Text

  • ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA
  • GEOGRAPHY
  • G
  • RELIGION
  • R
  • ACHIEVEMENTS
  • A
  • POLITICS
  • P
  • ECONOMY
  • E
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE
  • S
  • ARTISANS, CRAFTSMEN, MERCHANTS, TRADERS, WOMEN OF NOBILITY
  • PRIESTS, SCRIBES, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
  • KINGS
  • Mesopotamia lies in modern day Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, and parts of Lebanon, Turkey, and Iran. It stretches from the Persian Gulf along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers to the Mediterranean Sea. The Zagros Mountains are to the north and east and Taurus Mountains to the northwest. The Syrian and Arabian Deserts lie to the south. It is called the Fertile Crescent and the Cradle of Civilization.
  • Ancient Mesopotamians practiced polytheism. They believed that natural disasters and other events were caused by the gods. Large temples called ziggurats were built to honor the gods. Each city-state had a patron god, which lived in the ziggurat at the center of the city. Priests communicated with the gods and had much power.
  • Mesopotamia made great advances in agriculture and irrigation, art, architecture, music, writing (cuneiform), the rule of law, astronomy, and math. They invented the 60 second minute, 60 minute hour, 12 month calendar based on constellations, 360 degree circle, and even invented the wheel!
  • Priests wielded power because they prayed to the gods who controlled natural disasters and other events. As city-states grew, kings like Gilgamesh of Uruk ruled with priests as high advisors. Akkadian King Sargon the Great conquered and unified city-states into an empire. Another famous king was Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon who built impressive monuments such as the Ishtar Gate.
  • The "Fertile Crescent" allowed for stable agriculture which produced a surplus food supply. People were able to do more than just work to survive, and could specialize and create such as artisans, craftsmen, merchants, and traders.
  • Kings held the most power. Priests, scribes, and government officials were in the upper class. Then the artisans, craftsmen, merchants, and traders. Women of nobility could be educated and be priestesses. The lower class included farmers, laborers, and women who worked in the home. Enslaved people were at the bottom with harsh lives and no rights.
  • FAMERS, LABORERS, WOMEN IN THE HOME OR WEAVERS
  • ENSLAVED PEOPLE
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