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The Sixth Grade Social Studies Program in the Lockport City School District is to present our students with
a variety of experiences utilizing the text book, maps, graphs, time lines, library research, and hands-on
activities to develop and enhance both social studies skills and literacy skills, all aligned with and an
extension of the NYS Standards.
Students in 6th grader will continue the study of early world history with an introduction of Early River
Early Man
 Hunter-gatherers – people who hunt animals and gather wild plants to provide for their needs
o Migration - movement from one place to the next
o Ice Age – a long cold-weather period when huge sheets of ice covered one-third of the Earth
o culture – way of life
o artifacts – a human made object, especially from long ago
o society – organized group of people living and working under an established set of rules and
 Early Farmers
o domesticate – to tame living things for people’s use
o economy – the way people use resources to meet their needs
o livestock – domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep and pigs
o nomads – people who move from place to place
o agriculture – the raising of domesticated plants and animals
o environment – surroundings
o maize – corn
o subsist – survive
Location (Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent)
 Fertile Crescent – Eastern shore of Mediterranean Sea, in Asia, shape of a crescent moon
 Mesopotamia – land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
 civilization – centralized society with developed forms of religion, ways of governing, and learning
New Inventions to protect against floods
 technology – the skills and knowledge to make products or meet goals
 dikes – to block water
 canals – to lead water back to river
Architecture and Religious Belief: the ziggurat
 large mud brick temple as tall as seven stories
 shrine stood at highest level
 constructed to please the gods
 was the center of activity in each city
Study Guide – 6 Social-Q1-V12008
The Role of Government
 government – an organized system that groups use to make laws and decisions
 city-state – includes city/village and farmland around it; each had own leader and government
 monarchy – one person had complete authority to rule in peacetime and lead soldiers in time of war
 purpose of government – to make and enforce laws needed to keep order
 surplus – extra supply
 surplus allowed for division of labor – some people working on other things
 able to barter/trade with others
Society/ Social Class
 Highest – kings, priests, leaders
 Middle – merchants, craft workers, managers
 Lower – unskilled workers, slaves
 Vocabulary:
o social classes – groups with different levels of importance
o merchants – people who bought and sold good for a living
o scribe – a person who wrote things for others
Innovations – new ways of doing things
 measurement of land – acre
 measurement of wheat and barley – quart
 cargo boats with sails
 writing – cuneiform or wedged shaped symbols
Causes of Conflict
 fought over farmland and water rights
 no natural boundaries separated city-states
 city states set up pillars to mark boarders, neighboring city-states knocked down pillars to claim new
 wars started over land disputes
 Vocabulary
o conquer – take over
o empire – conquered land of many people and places governed by one ruler
o emperor – ruler of the empire
 promoted trade
 built and maintained dikes and canals
 Code of Laws
o taxation – people pay taxes to support the government; all people had to pay their share
o Code of Hammurabi – “An eye for an eye”
o equal justice (fair treatment under the law) was introduced but limited to equality within each
social class
Israelites, Phoenicians, and Lydians
 Monotheism – belief in one God
 Abraham
 Ten Commandments - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all adopted them
 Development of the alphabet and coined money
Study Guide – 6 Social-Q1-V12008
Practice Questions:
Correct responses are marked with an asterisk (*)
1. The period of time after people first lived on the Earth but BEFORE people developed
a system of writing is called
a. civilization.
b. history.
c. pre-history.*
d. the Paleolithic Age.
2. As bands of early Paleolithic people grew in number, they had to
a. migrate to new areas to find food.*
b. learn how to domesticate the woolly mammoth.
c. invent new kinds of money.
d. create a legal system.
3. Which development of early people made it possible for them to settle in one place and develop villages?
a. farming and herding*
b. building fires
c. language
d. creating clothing from animal skins.
4. Which of the following locations was best for growing crops and raising livestock?
a. a desert
b. a forest
c. the tundra
d. a river valley*
5. The development of agriculture meant that
a. early people had to become nomads.
b. there was no longer a need to build fires.
c. crops could be grown in the desert.
d. people were no longer limited to only the food they could find or hunt.*
6. The first animal that was domesticated by early people was probably the
a. sheep
b. dog*
c. water buffalo
d. saber toothed tiger
7. Which of the following was the result of a food surplus in Mesopotamia?
a. warfare and violence decreased
b. a division of labor allowed different people to do different jobs in the city-state*
c. hunting and gathering was no longer allowed
d. Sumer broke up into independent city-states
8. Who among the following is most remembered for creating the first written collection of laws?
a. Solomon
b. Hammurabi*
c. Moses
d. Sargon
Study Guide – 6 Social-Q1-V12008
9. Cuneiform was
a. a grain crop grown in the Fertile Crescent
b. the highest rank of soldier in Sargon’s army
c. a system of writing used in Sumer*
d. the step-shaped Sumerian temple
10. Farmers in Sumer used canals to
a. prevent invasions by outsiders.
b. take their crops to the cities.
c. keep rivers within their banks.
d. drain floodwater off the land.*
Study Guide – 6 Social-Q1-V12008
Geography of Egypt and the Importance of the Nile River
 Vocabulary:
o desertification – the change of fertile land into desert
o delta – a triangle-shaped area of islands and marshes at the mouth of a river
o silt – fine bits of rock and soil
o cataract - waterfall
 The Nile River
o Provided water for people and animals
o The rich soil surrounding the Nile allowed early people to begin farming
o Overflowed its banks each year leaving behind fertile silt for farming
o Provided a way to travel / helped to unite Upper and Lower Egypt
 The Nile River’s effect on the development of the Egyptian civilization
o developed 365 day calendar to keep track of the flooding cycle
o developed a system of dams, dikes, and canals
o developed irrigation methods
o Religion
 turned to the gods for help with floods/droughts
 used stories about gods to explain events in nature
 Re/Amon-Re – created the world and other gods
 Osiris – taught people to farm
 The flood cycle contributed to the belief in life after death
The Dynasties of Egypt
 Vocabulary
o dynasty – series of rulers from the same family
o pharaoh – Egyptian king
o edict – command
o hieroglyphics – a system of writing in which pictures or symbols stand for sounds, whole
words or ideas
o papyrus – a paper-like material on which Egyptians wrote, made from reeds that grew in the
marshes of the Nile delta
o pyramid – burial place for the dead, often a pharaoh or leader
o peasant – a person who lives on and farms the land
o mummy – a preserved body
o obelisk – a large stone pillar
 Periods
o Early Period (Dynasties 1-3)
 believed Pharaoh was a god in human form
 Pharaoh decided almost everything about the people’s lives
 Left written records (hieroglyphics on papyrus) / Rosetta Stone (discover in 1798, allows
modern people to read hieroglyphics)
o The Old Kingdom – “Age of the Pyramids” (Dynasties 4-8)
 2625 B.C. – 2130 B.C.
 Built strong tombs to protect body for afterlife (mummy)
 Step pyramid
 Great pyramid at Giza
o The Middle Kingdom
 1980 B.C. – 1539 B.C.
Study Guide – 6 Social-Q1-V12008
Conquered much of Nubia to the south
Prisoners of war were used as slaves
Slaves had some rights (could own personal items, hold government jobs, earn
 Rise of the middle class (craft workers, scribes, merchants) – could own land
 Hyksos kings (dynasty 15) – introduced the horse-drawn chariot and composite bow
The New Kingdom
 1539 B.C. – 1075 B.C.
 Conquered lands from Syria to Nubia
 Hatshepsut – female pharaoh
 Amenhotep and Nefertiti – encouraged Egyptians to worship only one god, the Aton
 Tutankhamen
Kush Egypt’s Rival
 Vocabulary
o annex – to take over
o independence – complete freedom
o trading network – group of buyers and sellers
 Nubia
o people lived in bands, independent of each other, no king controlled all the bands
o civilization began to develop around 2000 B. C. / developed advanced technology
o came in contact with Egyptian during the Middle Kingdom / trade
o Egypt annexed northern Nubia, known as Wawat
 Kush
o regained independence by end of Middle Kingdom, lost it again during New Kingdom, and
eventually regained it
o Kerma – capital and trading center, later relocated to Napata
o By 750 B.C. took over Upper Egypt and eventually claimed pharaoh’s throne (Dynasty 25 –
Kushite Dynasty)
o After leaving Egypt, set up new capital at Moroë
o built temples and pyramids
o invented own alphabet and system of writing
o created a trading network
o made iron products
Practice Questions:
Correct responses are marked with an asterisk (*)
1. Which of the following did the ancient Egyptians call the “giver of life”?
a. the Kush
b. the pyramid
c. the pharaoh
d. the Nile River*
2. All power and authority in the government of Egypt belonged to the
a. middle class.
b. the pharaoh.*
c. the scribes.
d. the farmers and laborers.
Study Guide – 6 Social-Q1-V12008
3. Which of the following was a result of the annual flooding of the Nile River?
a. Invaders were able to attack Egypt by using boats along the river.
b. Famines were caused because crops could not be grown.
c. Cities were built far from the river in higher mountain areas.
d. New water and silt made the soil fertile and suitable for growing crops.*
4. Some lasting contributions of the Egyptians were
a. motorized tanks and cars.
b. the calendar, medicines and measurement using math.*
c. cuneiform writing, the wheel and the sailboat.
d. fire, stone tools, and the use of animals skins for clothing.
5. Egyptian hieroglyphics were
a. a system of writing in which pictures or symbols are used.*
b. a favorite food grown along the Nile River.
c. the names of the temples used to honor the many gods.
d. the wrapped, preserved bodies of the dead.
Study Guide – 6 Social-Q1-V12008