Thursday, January 14, 2016


I feel like it's been a LONG time since I've written a genuine post here on the blog.  I've only written one since the new school year.

And we've done so much.  So much Mesopotamia.

Here are some things you can talk about at home to try to reinforce what we're learning:

We studied the Sumerians, and their development of Cuneiform.  They wrote by pressing a stylus into clay.  Then, they'd bake the clay tablets if they want to keep what they'd written.

We didn't use clay, but we did write in Cuneiform with Play-Doh:

We did a map, and discussed cities - especially Babylon and Nineveh.  I brought up the story of Jonah, and how Nineveh figures promenantly in the story.  Many, many students were familiar with it.

We've studied Hammurabi and his famous code of law.  This was written in Cuneiform - in clay tablets, but also in stone monoliths found throughout Mesopotamia.  We used this time to think back to our study of governments, and why we have laws, and why we punish.  

We read what is perhaps the oldest piece of literature available to the world: The Epic of Gilgamesh.  We didn't read the whole thing - just a little bit.  (You can check it out here.)  Today, students had to write an ending to the story.  They had to tell what they thought happened to Gilgamesh.

All this, and so much more.

Sometimes it's overwhelming to think of how much we do in my class.  ...And then I think about how many more classes the students have in a day.  They are learning a LOT.  I think everybody turned in their story endings, but if they didn't they may be accessed via google classroom.  If they've already turned them in, but want to change something, they may by unsubmitting in classroom, changing it, and then resubmitting.

As always, students may receive extra credit from reading and discussing my blog with an adult.  Adults, please ask them about some of the things they learned.  Maybe ask if they remember why we punish, or who Hammurabi was, or who invented Cuneiform...  When you're done, students, write a couple sentences about your discussion.

Thanks for reading.

Here's the Mesopotamians video again, if you're interested:

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