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See My Point

Help students understand the size of history with an in-depth, interactive exploration of ancient cultures culminating in a visual debate between artifacts created by students shown on the “big wall”.

  • Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Present a wide variety of ancient cultures to the class; introduce lesser known ones such as Assyrians, Sumerians, Babylonians, and Shang Dynasty, as well as the more familiar ones from the Mediterranean and South/Central America areas. It is important to emphasize the multi-disciplinary approach that students need to take when doing their research to cover language arts, science, technology, social studies and visual arts.
    2. Students begin their comprehensive research to culminate in a museum exhibit. Their work must capitalize on the visual artifacts of their culture. Their written notes are merely a defense of their visual positions. For example, those studying the Babylonians need to understand the law code of Hammurabi but they may visually represent it in a 3-D sculpture of cuneiform pillar upon which the code is written.
    3. After their artifacts are created, students take photographs of their work. Project these photographs upon a wall (a big wall) as each civilization comes forward to challenge another. These photos act as the visual proofs for their debate of which ancient civilization had the most significant impact on our life today. Students may dress and take on characters from their culture becoming spokespeople for their culture.
  • Standards

    LA: integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

    LA: Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume and clear pronunciation.

    LA: Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Give examples and describe the importance of cultural units and diversity within and across groups.

    SS: Compare and contrast different stories or accounts about past events, people, places, or situations, identifying how they contribute to our understanding of the past.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Use knowledge of facts and concepts drawn from history, along with elements of historical inquiry, to form decision-making about and action-taking on public issues.

    VA: Creative thinking skills transfer to all aspects of life.

    VA: Students experience, analyze and interpret art and other aspects of the visual world.

    VA: Art communicates about and helps viewers understand the natural and constructed world.

    SS: Use knowledge of facts and concepts drawn from history, along with elements of historical inquiry, to form decision-making about and action-taking on public issues. SS: Use knowledge of facts and concepts drawn from history, along with elements of historical inquiry, to form decision-making about and action-taking on public issues.

  • Adaptations

    Before beginning this assignment, schedule a class trip to a museum of cultural artifacts. Have students notice the wide range of objects on display and how they tell a story of a group of people.

    Take a time snap-shot and on a landmass-only (no country borders) map fill in the ancient cultures. It is valuable for students to understand that there were not just Greeks, Romans and barbarians but many prosperous and powerful ancient civilizations throughout the world. Discuss how aware these cultures were of others.

    For ideas about how to make visual representations of cultural artifacts, visit www.crayola.com ’s many lesson plans and craft activities tied to ancient peoples.

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