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Understanding Civilizations

7th Grade Social Studies

3 Part Lesson
Objective: Students will be able to articulate what the important elements for a
civilization are through interactive group work, and short response writing.
Essential Question: What characteristics of a civilization matter most? How do I
know when to classify something as a civilization?
Materials: Start again worksheets, marker, white board, timer
Standard 1 History
2. The historical eras, individuals, groups, ideas and themes within regions
of the Eastern Hemisphere and their relationships with one another.
c. Describe the foundation and development of key historical topics.
Topics to include but not limited to early civilizations, Greece, Rome,
ancient China and ancient African civilizations, and the Medieval
World incorporating the Crusades and Feudalism (DOK 1-2)
Standard 2 Geograhy
1. Use Geographic tools to gather data and make geographic inferences and
b. Describe the characteristics and distribution of physical systems,
cultural patterns and economic interdependence to make
predictions. Topics to include but not limited to environmental
issues and cultural diffusion (DOK 1-3)
d. Ask and answer questions after examining geographic sources
(DOK 1-3)
IB Criterion
Criterion A

Use a range of terminology in context

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of subject-specific content
and concepts, through descriptions, explanations and examples

Criterion D

summarize information to make valid, well-supported arguments

Scope and Sequence

Day 1
1. Planners (5 min)
2. Students will be divided into groups of three. In these groups students will be
given the Start Again worksheet
a. The worksheet will have 10 people listed with a job and name only
b. The following are the people: Farmer Joe, Teacher Sally, Doctor Dan,
Millionaire Alfred, Priest Larry, Architect Sarah, Mayor Linda, Artist
Oliver, Handyman Will, Author Jane (All people and their jobs represent
a characteristic of civilization.)
3. Students will discuss the expectations of discussion work (3 min)
a. Come back together as a class when asked
b. It is fine to disagree, but do so with kindness and respect
c. Do not talk over another group member, and make sure everyone has
a chance to talk
4. Students will help create the end of the world scenario, and will be told their
groups have been created to determine who will be the final five to start a
civilization (10 min)
5. In their groups students will discuss and pick their 5 people by looking solely
at their jobs. (4 min)
6. Share out (5 min)
7. Students will then listen as the resources of our civilization are described (9
a. Questions about resources from students (5 min)
8. Have your choices changed? Why or why not? Discuss (4 min)
9. Share out (5 min)
10.First people (5 min)
HW: None
Time: 55 min

Skill- Critical Thinking about Civilizations

Day 2 (10/5/16)
1. Planners/ Agenda (5 min)
a. Have your start again paper, planner, and a pencil out on your desk
written on the board.
2. Refresher What do we know so far about place? (5 min)
3. Refresher What do we know so far about the people? (5 min)
4. Refresher Group expectations (5 min)
5. Ask if students remember groups; have them move back to groups (1 min)
6. Remember choices (1 min)
7. Where do we stand vote (1 min)
8. Last people profiles (10 min)
9. Questions (5 min)
10.Discussion Have your people changed? Why or why not? What about the
environment, and the personalities, jobs, and resources of the people impact
your decision. (6)
11.Back to desks (1)
12.Silent writing (10 min)
HW: Finish Start Again Sheet
Time: 55 min

Day 3
1. Planners (5 min) Papers turned in to basket before the bell rings
2. 8 Characteristics of a civilization notes (20 min)
a. Cornell Notes
3. Connection to Start again activity (10 min)
a. Discussion (turn and talk groups of 4)
4. What characteristics have we seen so far in Mesopotamia? Class list (10)
5. KWL chart Mesopotamia characteristics of civilization (10)

HW: None
Time: 55 min

Historical thinking (connecting group work to Mesopotamia)