"GRAPES" as an acronym to help students organize the information they (and I!) read and learn in each chapter of our 6th grade ancient civilizations adventure was a LIFESAVER.
Over the years, I made this "research organizer" and 23-ish minute video to lay out for students the kinds of questions they will answer for each unit of study: Geography, Religion, Arts & Achievements, Politics, Economics and Social Structures (GRAPES).
You can just watch it yourself, so that you can recreate the lesson, OR you can show it directly to your students and have them follow along with the organizer to stay engaged and actively participating.
(You can break up the video over 2 or 3 days; I recommend you also download my free *Activate your GRAPES schema* worksheet so that students are connecting the information throughout the video to information they have already thought about.)
The document is a 4 page anchor document that I use to guide instruction and activities for every single unit. Students generate their research notes for each civilization and then can use their gathered information for our culminating activities: authentic feasts, museum talks for younger students, "travel shows" that they perform or film, unit exams and/or good old-fashioned posters showing what they know!
Here is the answer key as the students fill in the blanks:
arts and achievements
ARTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS: