7th Graders Re-Create Ancient Civilizations

October 11, 2016

Students in seventh grade social studies are finishing the first quarter in an exciting unit project.   Students spent several weeks learning about the Mesopotamian civilizations of Ancient Sumer and Babylonia.   After exploring the characteristics of what makes up a civilization, students in Mrs. Risinger’s and Mr. Allen’s classes combined to create “civilizations in a shoebox” made out of cardboard, cardstock, and other materials.   Students worked cooperatively to construct cities and the various qualities that make up a civilization, including government, religion, technology and other characteristics.

 An alternate option students could pursue was creating a civilization electronically using the popular 3-D program known as Minecraft.   The project’s requirements were the same, except that each person had to create their own city—as opposed to working in a team.   There are a lot of middle school kids that really enjoy and understand the intricate details regarding Minecraft, and as educators, we’ve enjoyed watching the amazing worlds come to life as students walk us through the civilization they’ve created. 

 After four days of working in class, students presented their projects to the class and were evaluated based on their finished project, creativity, and students ability to reproduce the various characteristics of civilization.   The project wrapped up the first quarter grading for social studies.