Project Based History Bundle (grades 6-8)

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IF COMING UP WITH an interesting way to teach your 6-8 graders about ancient history is difficult for you, look no further. This Project Based History Bundle is a set of hands on activities for your collaborative groups that is enticing, challenging and fun. When you see your kids being actively engaged and truly enjoying their learning experience, it will help you to once again discover a joy of learning with them.

So many kids love to role play, which they’ll do in these lessons. For your What is it Like to Be an Archaeologist section, Students will break into groups of four and assume a specific role as they go on an imaginary archaeological expedition and find some broken up clay pots with strange markings. They’ll work as a team to assemble the fragments and draw conclusions about the symbols, and what these artifacts were used for.

My 6th graders had a ton of fun with this Sumerian Brick Building activity, called Become a Sumerian Brick Builder. After discussing the fact that the Sumerians were the first brick builders, which truly didn’t phase them, their assignment was to go home and build a brick out of mud just like these people of antiquity did. By bringing this lesson to life, they understood the difficulty in achieving this feat. They especially enjoyed bringing their bricks to school and building a class Ziggurat. Can you guess what their favorite part was? If you said, "knocking it down," you would have been correct.

Hammurabi’s Code of Law Debate goes hand in hand with what is happening in our world today. Controversy over certain laws, the second amendment, equal rights, health care, etc. Hammurabi’s laws are quite severe and kids have a great time debating whether or not they’re too harsh. This activity will help improve abstract thinking skills, public speaking, self image. They’ll also understand terms such as debate, argument, counter-claim, pro/con and so much more.

DON’T YOU JUST LOVE a mystery? My students did, they especially enjoyed being detectives and searching for clues surrounding Tutankhamen’s death in this project based lesson called, Was King Tut Murdered? A Web Quest, Trial & Persuasive Writing activity. This collaborative group project has them taking on different roles for the web quest and trial. Finally, they’ll be asked to write a persuasive essay.

The next activity is a Greek Theater Unit which includes a 17 slide Power Point Introduction to give your students useful background images and information to help understand vocabulary and concepts for completing the activity. In addition, the kiddos will learn why and how the first theater came about. Then they’ll work in collaborative groups to write and present plays in the style of the ancient Greeks. 

The final activity is called The Roman Empire: Web Quest and is just the right resource to help you enlighten your students with the wonder that was Rome. It’s a hands on, PBL activity for your collaborative groups that is enticing, challenging and fun. Students will choose one of seven areas to investigate and report back to the class what they’ve discovered. As part of their grade, they’ll be asked to write a diary entry of the Day in the Life of a Roman to be handed in and graded. If you also teach ELA, this written assignment can be used as a Social Studies and English grade.

So instead of just talking about ancient history, writing definitions, and answering questions, which will turn them off, they’ll have a good grasp of what they’re studying because they’ll be active rather than passive learners. Each activity includes a written assignment that students are required to complete on their own. So if you also teach ELA, this can be used as an Ancient History as well as a Language Arts grade.

We all know that many kids forget what they’ve been taught soon after they’ve had their test. I’m positive these hands on activities will leave a lasting impression and be something they'll remember even after they’ve left your classroom.

⎈ WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY about project based learning:⎈

⎈ PBL is an effective and enjoyable way to learn and gain better learning competencies required to be successful in school and life.

⎈ Many kids find education boring and meaningless, with PBL, they’re engaged and active rather than passive learners.

⎈ Common Core and other educational standards emphasize real world applications of knowledge and skills that help promote problem solving.

⎈ PBL helps students better understand the content and retain it longer than the traditional approach.

⎈ Collaborating with others helps build character.

♥WHAT TEACHERS ARE SAYING about these resources.♥

♥ "Just what I was looking for.” A buyer

♥ "Awesome resource, thank you." Krytal D

♥ “Fantastic!” Adam Domenico

♥ “Great resource, Thank You!” Brianne Rachel

♥ “This was great and very helpful. Thanks” Laura B.

♥ “Great project for both social studies and language arts!!!“ Telena R.


What is it Like to Be an Archaeologist

☺Complete Lesson Plans

☺History Rubric

☺Language Arts Rubric

☺Individual Student Rubrics

☺Student Assignment


☺Illustration & Description of Artifact

☺Definitions Answer Sheet

☺Contact Information

���Become a Sumerian Brick Builder

☺Lesson Plan

☺Grading Rubric

☺Student Handouts

☺Journal Page

☺Contact Information

Hammurabi's Code of Law Debate

☺Introduction & Objectives

☺General Lesson Plans

☺Group Roles

☺Copy of Debate Procedures

☺Expectations for Teacher & Students

☺Student Expectations Poster

☺Pro/Con Cards

☺Inscription On Hammurabi’s Stele Poster

☺Hammurabi’s Code of Law Handouts

☺Group Notes for Debate Preparation

☺Individual Notes During the Debate

☺Note Page for Rebuttal

☺Argumentative Writing Graphic Organizers

☺Rough Draft Worksheets

☺Final Draft Papers

☺Grading Rubric

☺Resources Used

☺Contact Information

➫ Was King Tut Murdered? Web Quest, Trial & Persuasive Writing

☺ Introduction & Objectives

☺ Web Quest & Trial Lesson Plans

☺ Group Roles 

☺ Court Room Photograph

☺ Diagram of Court Room

☺ Student Notes for Web Quest

☺ Web Links for Students to Use

☺ Student Instructions

☺ Terms to Define for Trial

☺ Student Expectations during Trial

☺ Note sheets for Jury, Prosecutors, Defense Lawyers

☺ Persuasive Graphic Organizers

☺ Rough Draft Worksheets

☺ Final Draft Papers

☺ Pre & Post Tests

☺ Answer sheets for Tests

☺ Grading Rubrics for Persuasive Writing, Jury, Judge, Bailiff,

Suspects, Lawyers, Medical Examiners, Archaeologists, Reporters,

Sketch Artists, History Professors, Historians

☺ Resources Used

☺ Contact Information

➫ Greek Theater Power Point Introduction

☺ 17 slides

☺ Background history of theater

☺ Structure of theater

☺ Earliest types of theater

☺ Vocabulary

☺ Comprehension questions

☺ Answer sheet

☺ Resources used

Greek Theater


☺Amount of time to complete project


☺Background information for the teacher

☺Lesson plan that includes an introduction and group roles

☺Student handout (to be read and discussed in class)

☺Student worksheets (vocabulary and pages for notes)

☺Grading rubric

☺Bibliography of resources used

☺Contact page

The Romans: Web Quest

☺Complete Lesson Plans

☺ Mini Ancient Rome History Booklet with Questions, Answers & Links

☺Student Assignment Sheets with/without disguises

☺ Images with Roman Dress

☺Information on Grading

☺Grading Rubric for Web Quest

☺Grading Rubric for Diary Entry Can Also be Used for ELA Grade

☺Assignment for Diary Entry

☺Graphic Organizers

☺Pre-Writing Pages

☺Handouts with Questions for Each Group

☺Pages for Notes

☺Handouts with Comprehensive Lists of Web Links

☺Diary Covers and Pages

☺Common Core Standards

I REMEMBER sitting in history class, as a student, and being bored out of my mind. The teacher just lectured and all I could do was look at the clock and wish that I was someplace else, ANYPLACE else! Needless to say I learned very little that year. I only began liking ancient history after I became a 6th grade teacher, years later, and vowed that I would make it come alive for my children. I didn't want them to go through what I did.  That negative experience gave me the impetus to use PBL learning in most of my teaching and I’m so glad I did.

☺THIS RESOURCE can be used for☺

☺ Gifted students

☺ Middle school

☺ High School

☺ World History classes/ELA classes

This is a growing bundle. I’ll be working on a Cuneiform and Egyptian Hieroglyphic writing resource as well as units on the Mayan, Inca and Aztec civilizations. So stay tuned, when I’m finished with them, if you've already purchased this, they'll be free.

☼ Lighting the path to knowledge with enticing and exciting activities that they'll remember long after they've left your classroom ☼

✔You may purchase these bundled resources individually✔

What Is It Like To Be An Archaeologist?

Project Based History/Literacy:Sumerian Brick Builders

Hammurabi Code of Law Debate

Was King Tut Murdered? Web Quest, Trial, Persuasive Writing.

Greek Theater Powerpoint Introduction

Project Based History/Literacy Greek Theater Unit (Complete Lesson Plan)( 6-8)

The Roman Empire:Webquest

•This is a zipped file make sure to click on 'extract the files' to get access to them.•

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Copyright©2016 Deann Marin (Socrates Lantern) All rights reserved by author. This product is to be used by the original purchaser only. Copying for more than one teacher or classroom, or for an entire department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view, uploaded to school or district websites, distributed via email, or submitted to file sharing sites. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Intended for single classroom and personal use only.


Total Pages
306 pages
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


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