Ancient Civilizations Round Robin Rise and Fall Activity by Miss Middle School Teacher
This is a GREAT way to wrap up any unit on an ancient civilization. This is a set of 11 "Rise and Fall" Signs each labeled with a different topic, such as: Taxes, Strong Military, Wealth, etc. Under the label there are 2 columns: "Rise" and "Fall"
I post these signs around the room and set students up in groups of 2-3 students. I place each group at a different sign. The group has 90 seconds to determine whether or not the topic contributed to rise of the civilization or the fall of it. Once students decide, they mark their initials under the column they've chosen (Rise or Fall) and write a brief sentence justifying their reasoning (this forces them to provide evidence...A major component of the CCSS!). After 90 seconds, I ring a bell and they move in a clockwise rotation to the next sign/topic. This continues until each group has had an opportunity to contribute to each sign.
This is a great activity to promote critical thinking! I encourage students to play devil's advocate and try to come up with an argument for the other side if they notice too many groups choosing one side. I also require that no 2 groups use the same reasoning. This makes their arguments much tougher to create, especially as they get to the end of the circle and several groups have already filled out the sheet.
We conclude with a discussion of what we observed, noticed, and believe. Students quickly realize that the same things that cause a civilization to rise, also can lead to its fall if abused or misused. My kids love it and it's a great anchor for each unit.