Students examine five of Hammurabi's codes in order to form their own opinions about his "eye for an eye" judgements. Students share their opinions by writing a letter to the editor of "The Babylonian Times".
Five codes, a writing assignment sheet, and example friendly letter format are included.
I used these materials as a part of our 6th grade unit on Ancient Mesopotamia. I began by posing questions as to how students would handle the situations described in the five codes. This was done on large pieces of chart paper. Students traveled to the five different pieces of chart paper located around the room, working with their group to come up with a unanimous decision about how to handle the problems presented. My students wrote their decision on a post-it and stuck it to the chart paper (so that the paper could be used again in another section). The questions posed were:
1. What should be done if a construction worker built a house and that house collapsed and killed the homeowner?
2. What should be done if a son slaps his father?
3. What should be done if a man cannot repay his debts?
4. What should be done if one man brings an accusation against another man?
5. What should be done if a family adopts a child and then the birth parents decide they want the child back?
Students had a lot of great solutions to share and many engaging and productive debates occurred.
Students then looked at Hammurabi's rulings and formed opinions about them. They shared their opinions through their letter to "The Babylonian Times".
A class favorite!