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National Geography Bee 2018

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According to our Social Studies Department's tradition, the couple of days after winter break are used to administer the qualifying rounds of the National Geography Bee sponsored by National GeographicMagazine, and held each year for students in grades 6-12.

Each Cluster at Pollard and High Rock will find a winner, and each grade level will have runoffs to determine a school representative for the regional championships. Eventually, students compete for the state championship, the winner of which will represent Massachusetts at the national competition in Washington, D.C.

The first rounds will be held in our cluster on the day after winter break. There are seven rounds, and each student has an opportunity to earn one point for a correct answer in each round.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Bee, the prizes, and previous years' winners, just check out this link:

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee/









Rock Out with the Mesopotamians!

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Check out this fun song from They Might Be Giants...



Also, you might be curious from the lyrics of the song:

Sargon was an Akkadian king who conquered all of the Sumerian city-states and created the world's first empire.

Hammurabi was a Babylonian king who created the world's first written set of laws for all to obey.

Ashurbanipal was an Assyrian king who ruled his empire from a huge palace in Nineveh. He collected a huge library of texts from ancient Mesopotamia.

Gilgamesh was the first epic hero in all of literature. The Sumerians wrote about his great deeds, including killing the Bull of Heaven and the guardian beast, Humbaba.



The Israelites

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent: The Israelites (Hebrews)

The Hebrews, also called the Israelites, were unique among ancient civilizations because of their monotheistic religion. Much of the information we have about the earliest history of the Hebrews comes from the Old Testament of the Bible. Modern Jews trace their religion and culture back to this ancient civilization.






Sources of information on the Hebrews/Israelites:
Harvard Semitic Museum
Wikipedia Entry
NYU Library Guide


The Phoenicians

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent:  The Phoenicians
The Phoenicians were known as the greatest sea traders on the Mediterranean, and left their legacy by creating the alphabet we still use today (with a few changes). From their bases in what is today Lebanon, the Phoenicians traveled the entire length of the Mediterranean, setting up far away colonies in places like Spain and North Africa. Their colony of Carthage actually challenges the powerful Roman Republic for dominance of the region in the third and fourth centuries B.C.

The Phoenicians built much of their wealth on selling a very special purple dye made from the shell of the murex, a snail-like creature. This dye was so valuable that in ancient Rome, only the emperor was allowed to wear all purple, and the noble families of Rome marked their togas with a purple stripe.





Sources for information about the Phoenicians:


Wikipedia Entry (a good starting point)
Ancient History Encyclopedia: Phoenicia
History World: Phoenicians
Histo…

The Assyrians

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent: The Assyrians

The Assyrians began their civilization in the ancient city-state of Assur over 3,000 years ago, and came to dominate the area of upper Mesopotamia that includes parts of modern day Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. The Assyrians were known by the Egyptians for being a fierce warrior race who knew nothing but bloodshed and destruction. Recent archaeology has shown that unlike the image in the Egyptians' propaganda, the Assyrians were actually an advanced civilization who excelled in the arts and the science of astronomy and mathematics.

The Assyrians were rivals of the Babylonians and the Egyptians, and produced strong kings with names like Shamshi-Adad and Tiglath Pileser I. Like the Babylonians, the Assyrians were powerful for a time, then declined, then returned as the "New" Assyrian Empire later. The modern country of Syria traces its name back to the ancient Assyrians.



Here are a few so…

The Babylonians

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent:  The Babylonians
Based in the ancient city-state of Babylon, the Babylonian empire stretched across the entire region of Mesopotamia and beyond at its height, around the year 1770 B.C. under its most famous ruler, Hammurabi. Hammurabi is most known for being a conqueror and a law-giver.

The Code of Hammurabi set out the concept of a punishment fitting the crime. He had his laws carved into stone and set in the center of the towns he ruled, so that all would know the laws. The thinking behind Hammurabi's laws can be summed up in the phrase, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." This means that if a man injures another by putting out his eye, then that man's eye will be put out as punishment.

The laws were more symbolic since most people in those days were unable to read and write, but Hammurabi created the concept of the rule of law, and the idea of fairness in the justice system.

The interesting thing about the Babylonian E…

The Persians

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent:  The Persians
The Persians lived in what is today called Iran. They built the largest land empire of the ancient world, and had a great capital city at Persepolis before its destruction by Alexander the Great. Some people know the Persians as the enemy in the movie 300, but there is so much more. The Persians' most famous leaders were Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, and Xerxes. At one time, the Persians took over the land of Egypt, and at another challenged the Greeks for domination of the lands east of the Mediterranean.


Sources of information on the Persians:
Wikipedia Entry
History for Kids: Persia









The Hittites

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent:  The Hittites
The Hittites were a fierce and mysterious people who lived in the central and eastern part of Anatolia, in the modern country of Turkey. The Hittites created a strong and important empire in the years between 1900 B.C. and 1100 B.C. (3,000 - 4,000 years ago), often battling or trading with the Egyptians, competing with the pharaoh Ramses the Great for domination over Palestine and the area of today's Syria.

The Hittites had their capital city at Hattusa, and were known in the ancient world for their skill in smelting and metal working, particularly using bronze and iron to make weapons.



Some great sources on the Hittites:

Wikipedia Entry
The British Museum
Archaeological Site of Hattusa














A Message about Greek Day

For Great Greek Day, many students will wear a chiton. Please watch the video to learn how to prepare your chiton...BUT REMEMBER--YOUR COSTUME WILL BE DIFFERENT ACCORDING TO YOUR CHARACTER and that's ok. Feel free to bring your costume into school and put it on during advisory.