Category : Geography

Ancient Mesopotamia

Did you know Ancient Mesopotamia was located mostly in what is called Iraq in present day? There are also a few parts of Ancient Mesopotamia in present day Turkey, Syria and Iran. I love exploring Ancient civilizations with my kids. I think it’s great to look at the past in order to learn about things for our future.

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Like my other Ancient Civilization units, this unit has a letter from a boy back in Ancient Mesopotamia. In his letter it explains how his life was in Ancient Mesopotamia. There are also facts and discussion questions, crafts, coloring pages, writing activities and more. My favorite activity is where students can make a cuneiform tablet!

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Here’s an example of one of the activites. You can take these pieces and put all of the students’ artworks together and make a mosaic.

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If you’d like to look at more closely at my newest Ancient Civilization Unit click here: Ancient Mesopotamia.

Giveaway and Best Year Ever Bonus Sale!

I’m having a giveaway! I have one $10 TPT gift card to give away and I’m also giving away $50 worth of my products to one person. Use the rafflecopter to enter further down in this post to enter. Giveaway runs from now until midnight EST tonight (8/21/2016).

I’m also having another sale, but this time it’s one day only, so be quick! Everything is 28%, make sure to use the code OneDay to get the full percentage off!

Now’s the time to stock up on all of my interactive notebooks. I have Reading, Writing, Math and Social Studies Interactive Notebooks for Kindergarten through high school, so check them out here: Interactive Notebooks.

I also have some of them bundled by grade level to receive an even larger discount!

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Many interactive notebooks are just cut and paste definitions, but my interactive notebooks are truly interactive! Check them out here!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you all have a great school year!

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Four Ways to Spice Up Your Social Studies Lessons

I have to admit I liked the concept of social studies when I was little, but I didn’t like the lessons. It was just full of memorizing facts straight from a textbook. I found these four ways really will spice of your social studies or history lessons and get your students into learning.

1. Dress up like a character from history. This sounds like it could be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Throw on a tall hat when you teach about Abraham Lincoln. Wear something Hawaiian when you teach about Hawaii. You get the point. It just keeps your kids thinking about the topic and will help them remember more about it in the future.

2. Have a class history fair. Depending on what you are studying, be it Floriday history or American social studies, you can have a history fair for your class. This will allow the students to do some of the teaching and at the same time they will be gaining a lot of skills on presentation skills and putting together a presentation. I love it when students dress up in character and read a poem they wrote about the character. There are lots of options here from songs to poems, to poster boards to power point presentations.

3. Use an interactive social studies notebook. I’m a big believer in Interactive Notebooks, so why not use one to spice up your social studies lesson? It helps to get your students juices flowing!

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4. Have in-class group projects. One of my favorite things I did in social studies when I was little (one of the few things I did like) was create a shadow box of a Native American village. Me and my groupmates had to research it, design it and then create it. It really stuck in my head all of these years. Group projects help students learn cooperative skills and they have fun doing it!

Check out my Interactive Social Studies Notebook to spice up your lessons.

Passport to the World

A boy with some international flags

Open your students’ minds

If you want your students to grow to be accepting and understanding of others, it’s a good idea to teach them about different people, places, languages and cultures. Do it early in their educational careers, before they’ve started to form stereotypes or negative impressions about people of different races or religions.

If you’re completing a history unit, or even a math unit or a language unit, why not give it an international theme? It’s not hard to teach mathematics or science with an international twist – you can do so in conjunction with teaching your children how others live their lives in this huge world we share.

Explore the countries of the world

Here is a free student passport that you can give to your students at the beginning of the school year or semester when you are planning on studying different countries and cultures.

Instructions

  1. Download and print out, then photocopy and distribute a copy of the passport to all of the children in your class. Show your students how to assemble the passport to resemble a booklet.
  2. Have your students fill out the personal information on the first inside page of the passport – their names, genders, birthplaces and nationalities. They can glue or tape a picture of themselves into the passport or, if there are no photos of your students available, have them draw a picture of themselves in the photo box with crayons or colored pencils.
  3. Whenever you start to study a particular country or region, have your students choose a Visas page and draw an arrival stamp under the Entries column. Alternatively, if you have country-themed ink stamps, you can use those.
  4. Study the country of your choice. Have fun! Teach your students to respect the cultures of others, even if they are wildly different from their own.
  5. When you’ve finished studying your country, have your students create a departure stamp under the Departures column on the same page of the passport as they added their initial arrival stamp.

Language and culture activities

For third and fourth grade students, you can use this passport in conjuction with the free Mathbooking – France Journal math problems booklet, that features individual factoids about life in France with each question. For older students you can use this passport when playing the free Flags of the World matching game.

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Flags of the World Matching Game

Here’s a free download of a flag matching game for kids in sixth, seventh and eighth grades (during their final years of elementary school or in junior high school). It might also be used by high school students.

There are lots of countries in the world, and each one has its own special flag. This game gives but a taste of the various countries and their flags that exist throughout the globe – but it’s enough to help build an appreciation of geography and of the countries interspersed throughout the world and the flags that their peoples choose to represent them.

Cut out the flag cards and the country name cards, and then shuffle them up. Match the country name cards with their corresponding flag cards, and place them together under the correct continent where the countries can be found (North America, Europe, Asia, and so on). The continent cards in turn should be placed under their respective hemisphere cards (Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere).

Playing this game may require some studying beforehand – most students are unlikely to know all of the flags included in this game before playing. However, they might be able to guess at some – it might be fun to see how many they are able to get right before studying them! – and it will give them an impression of how vast the world is, how many different countries there are, and where on Earth they’re located. While you’re at it, you might also want to teach them a phrase or two of the languages found in the countries they’re learning about. Where different countries and their languages and cultures, there are lots of interesting things to teach and learn.

Have fun with it!