Middle School Students love to create and what better way to understand the way civilizations and societies through time have been structured, than by creating one yourself!
This project will take about 6 hours in class or 3 in class and 4-6 hours as homework.
Use this as a formative or summative project after studying any ancient civilization. Students must consider how the leader is chosen, what type of religion the society practices, natural resources, trade, gender roles, social stratification, interactions between civilizations, as well as the effects of and the effects on the surrounding environment.
1) They will explain most of this in a free-choice written assignment. Most of my students chose to write simple exposition descriptions, although some were more creative, including a screenplay and an encyclopedia. Letting them have choice in the matter encourages them to write more and therefore think more.
2) The second part of the assignment is to create a map of their civilization. It must include the basic structures of a map, including the vertical perspective (birds-eye view), title, key, compass rose, symbols and labels. Physical features must be considered in the design of the buildings, roads, fields, and other human creations. Students can use any size of paper (I required it to be hand-drawn to level the playing field and ensure that everyone had the opportunity to truly engage with the production).
3) Finally, assess students using the rubric, broken into Social Structures, Geographic Structures, and Creativity.
Project Assignment sheet including
*Social Structures concepts, prioritized according to the rubric WITH sentence starters
*Geographic Structures concepts, prioritizing according to the rubric WITH sentence starters
*Grading Rubric: Shaded level 3 is the target score. 4 = exceeds expectations
*Sample student-created map and key (partial)
SCAFFOLDED FOR DIVERSE LEARNERS
ELL - illustrated vocabulary, sentence starters
Below Level - sentence starters, bolded key words, prioritized topics to focus on
Above Level - choice of product, choice of content
Reluctant Learners - choice of process (students can collaborate on neighboring civilizations who may trade, go to war, or have similar religions and traditions).