Lesson: The Emergence of Civilization



1. Divide the class so that individuals or small groups are working on the activities.

2. Direct the students to the Student Section of this lesson. Their instructions and links to online activities are provided there.

3. Activity 1: "The Articulate Object"

Note: This introduction to analyzing objects and learning to "read" them is provided in the Teacher Resource Site. You may want to have the students explore this online activity on learning with objects. Or you may want to lead a class activity with actual objects in your classroom. The online activities can be replicated "offline" with objects you bring from home, and may be more successful when students can handle the objects. We've used spoons, but other familiar objects could also work — cups, hats, shoes, etc.

4. Activity 2:

Note: After completing the activity, the students will present their exhibition to their classmates. They should consider the following questions.
  • Did your exhibition represent all of the elements of a civilization?
  • Are all of the elements of equal importance in evaluating the success of a civilization? Defend your position.
  • Which section of your exhibition would you have people visit first? In what order would you structure your exhibition? Why?
  • What additional artifacts or information would have been useful to you in creating your exhibition?
Classroom Extensions:

Print out pictures of objects from the Odyssey Online Middle School site from each object's label page. Place them on butcher or shelf paper to create a timeline of the emergence of early civilizations for your classroom.

Investigate more artifacts from the Near East/Mediterranean area at other museum web sites. See the "Hot Books/Cool Sites" section for students.

Investigate artifacts from Asia and the Americas from this same time period.

Emergence of Civilization Links:
Student Section

Return to Lesson Plan List

© Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University,
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and Dallas Museum of Art
For more information please contact odyssey@emory.edu.
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