We had a successful and busy beginning of the second term for the school year. First, we identified important features and cities of the geography of Mesopotamia. Ancient Mesopotamia is basically where Iraq is today, and is called the “cradle of civilization.” Essentially this is where many believe western civilization began. The Mesopotamians gave us such inventions as the wheel, the plow, and even the 60-second minute. After looking at the geography of this area we started discussing how early settlements began. We will continue this discussion next week, and will then consider the rise of Sumerian city-states.
This is all new to sixth graders. Most of them have never thought about the development of civilizations. Our study of Mesopotamia helps us define the important characteristics that make up a civilization. These are characteristics we will use all year as we look at other cultures in Asia and the Americas.
**On another note, this week students will have a short turn around time for doing their homework. Thursday we will read together in class an article about the laws of the Babylonian king Hammurabi. Students will need to answer questions about the reading that night and return with it the next day for the assignment to be graded. This is a challenging assignment for many students, so I decided this year we will read and discuss the article together to help your student to successfully complete the questions about the reading.