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Grade 5: A Study of Rivers in Ancient Mesopotamia

Students studying ancient Mesopotamia learned how, by managing the flow of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, civilizations and governments began to form in that region of the world thousands of years ago. 
Fifth-grade historians recreated this key time by working together to "build" levees, channels, and reservoirs in their classroom. Levees protected crops from the unpredictable floods of the Tigris and Euphrates, while channels and reservoirs trapped valuable water and fertile silt for farming. The ability to farm and cultivate reliable food sources allowed permanent settlements to establish that were able to support a growing population in the region of modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. 

Students later enriched the lesson on ancient civilizations through discussion led by teacher Mike Willis and by responding to writing prompts.

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.