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Rock-a-bye Baby: Mesopotamia, the Cradle of Civilization Instructional Issue •Disparity in social studies curriculum amongst teachers and between middle schools •No leadership until 2008 with curriculum leaders Data to Support Problem •Guideline with PA standards, but inconsistent timelines with topics: -5 Themes of Geography -Mesopotamians -Hebrews & Phoenicians -Egyptians -Greeks -Romans -Middle Ages -Renaissance Established Goals: World History – PA Standards 8.1.9 B Analyze and interpret historical sources. 8.1.9 D. Analyze and interpret historical research. 8.4.9 B. Analyze historical documents, material artifacts and historic sites important to world history before 1500. 8.4.9 C. Analyze how continuity and change throughout history has impacted belief systems and religions, commerce and industry, innovations, settlement patterns, social organization, transportation and roles of women before 1500 Enduring Understandings 1. Geography influences the evolution of a culture. 2. A complex culture, in which there are large numbers of human beings, share six common elements which constitutes a civilization: urban focus, distinct religious structure, political and military structures, social structure based on economic power, development of writing, significant forms of artistic and intellectual activity. 3. Leaders impact a culture and future cultures. 4. Ancient civilizations have affected our present day society. Essential Questions: •How did the geography of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers lead to the growth of the first recorded civilization known as Mesopotamia? •What caused the development of the writing system known as cuneiform? •How does Gilgamesh, the first epic ever written, reflect the political, social, and cultural climate of Mesopotamia? •What universal themes are revealed in Gilgamesh? •How do religion and government exercise authority over people? •What Mesopotamian contributions (in science, technology, and the arts) can be found in today’s culture? From Cuneiform to Computers & Collaboration “Even with the best teachers we have, most middle and high school kids say they’re bored 50-70 percent of the time.” -Students power down and turn off the lights of education, so . . . “Give students the opportunity to use technology in school -like blogs, interactive web pages, or YouTube - and connect them to the world.” Professional Development •Ongoing curriculum meetings to discuss strengths and weakness •Technology Training - Paid After-school Workshops -Discovery Streaming & Safari Montage -Creating a Classroom Wiki -Smart Airliner Training -NetTrekker Training -Web 2.0 Applications, like Google Earth Professional Development Mesopotamia - Assessment Technology History Literature Writing Art QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncomp resse d) de com press or are nee ded to s ee this picture. Professional Development •Evaluate during team meetings and plan for future units.