Ancient Civilizations has to be my favorite curriculum to teach. I find the ancient world fascinating, with all the different traditions, inventions, rituals, building structures, gods and goddesses. I could probably spend the whole year just focusing on Egypt alone, with its pyramids, their social hierarchy with pharaohs, and interesting process of mummification. I get excited knowing that the information about these civilizations that existed in 3000-1000 BC are still being uncovered by archaeologists today. I love sharing my excitement and enthusiasm about Ancient Civs! What I also love about ancient civilizations is that their unconventional and extravagant traditions and ideas allow for some AMAZING classroom projects! Here is my list of activities and projects I cover while studying ancient civilizations.
Anne from UseYourColouredPencils designed these magnificent masks with her students using cardboard, gold paint, and felt markers! They were showcased in a class assembly and were inspired by King Tutankhamun’s famous gold death mask. Discover the full project here.
Ancient Civilizations Lapbook
Lapbooks allow the students to have a broad overview of each Ancient Civilization studied. It is a fun, interactive way to review before an assessment and to always have as a study tool on hand. This specific resource is editable, so you can change the text in order to review what students are learning in the classroom. It can also be used as an extended learning activity for early finishers. Read more about this learning tool here.
Build a Colosseum Project
Rob from Lorwynd’s Thoughts assisted his third grade daughter in this school project. They used Styrofoam blocks that were pre-cut into rectangular blocks. They used toothpicks and glue to hold the shape and adhere the blocks together. This would make for a great collaborative group project! A great add-on to this activity would be a short summary of gladiatorial events that took place inside the Colosseum. You can read more about the class project here.
Cuneiform was the very first writing system used by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia. Using clay or model magic, students can learn some of the ancient script while carving symbols into their clay tablets. The earlier script used pictures and symbols to represent words or phrases. Over time, the pictures became shortened vertical and horizontal strokes. As a project, students can create a story and then design a type of Rosetta Stone to translate their message.
In this STEM Challenge, students must create their own symbols that represent each letter of the alphabet. They must create an answer key of their symbols that correlate with the letters A-Z. Using a sharp pencil as a stylus, students will carve their symbols into their tablet, creating a coded message.
Interactive notebooks are a great way to keep students organize and engaged throughout the ENTIRE school year! The Ancient Civilization series has a combination of written activities, coloring, drawing, and creating. It allows for students’ own ideas and interpretations rather than just filling in the blanks. They can be used alongside your school’s current curriculum as supplemental material or they can be stand alone resources as well!
If you are convinced your students would love creating an Ancient Civilizations interactive notebook throughout the year,check out this complete curriculum series. It contains over 704 pages of interactive learning material on Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, India, China, Greece, and Rome. Materials include interactive notebook covers for each of the seven units, reading passages, answer keys, critical thinking and analysis questions, foldables, flaps, timelines, graphic organizers, and more.
Reviews & Testimonials of the Ancient Civilizations Interactive Notebook Series:
Rose Meyers: “Thanks for such a wonderful product. This is my first year of using interactive notebooks in my classroom. My students absolutely love their grammar notebooks, so I am planning on using your notebook in Social Studies next year. I have been looking for a year long project for Social Studies that my students can take with them at the end of the year that will sum up their learning of ancient cultures. I think I just found it!”
Wendy G: “I am very excited about this product! Social Studies is my favorite subject to teach, but it can be hard to get the students engaged because it can be dry. I think that these interactive activities will help with that! I love that these activities are intended to be used alongside the school’s curriculum instead of as a total replacement. I also really appreciate that it has been created to allow the students to think, respond, and interact with the text rather than to just copy down the correct answers or fill in the blanks. I think this will revolutionize Social Studies in my 6th grade classroom this year! I can’t wait to try it out!”
Patty C: “This is a terrific resource with engaging activities. I am new to 6th grade Social Studies and was looking for something that could help me get started. This bundle was perfect!”
Nancy V: “I wish I had purchased this at the beginning of the year! I can’t wait to start my year off with this. I did two units with my students and even with 6th graders at the end of the year, they were engaged and on task. Thank you for a great product!”
Buyer: “Wonderful! I looked at several ancient history notebooking items and this was my favorite. It has a good mix of activities, some coloring, some writing in text. I especially like that it isn’t simply “copy the one correct answer in this space”, but allows for the students own ideas and interpretations. I am a homeschooler, teaching multiple grades, and I will be able to pick and choose activities based on each child’s interest and ability. :)”
Van T: “Wish I had bought this sooner! Looking forward to using it as an addition to the curriculum.”
Students must engineer a model of the Great Wall of China. On top of the guard towers, there must be a zipline apparatus where an object can travel from one tower to the next by using a pulley that attaches to a string.
Using a list of supplies and an information page, students must design either an erhu or ruan instrument. The instrument must be able to produce sound and the strings must produce a variety of pitches.
13 Cross-curricular STEM challenges for students who are studying Ancient Civilizations!
These resource has science, technology, engineering, and measurement activities to do with your upper elementary kids that will really enhance their learning! Discover these resources here!
This is a fast-motion screen capture of the Ancient Civilizations Interactive PowerPoint Series! These teaching resources are quite the virtual experience! The Ancient Civilizations PowerPoints can be used as powerful classroom presentations or students can click their way through them.
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Suzanne is a full time curriculum designer on Teachers Pay Teachers and the author of the blog TeachStudentSavvy.com. She is a California credentialed K-8 teacher and is committed to creating effective and engaging teaching resources for the elementary classroom. Suzanne lives in Northern California with her husband Matt and two dogs, Mochi and Mindy. As a curriculum designer, her goal is to provide educational tools that make teachers’ lives a bit easier and that students will love and enjoy using in the classroom. Be sure to visit her on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and at her TpT store!