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Mrs. Noonan

Salk Middle School: (516) 434-7350

Mrs. Noonan


Social Studies

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Social Studies
Integrated Social Studies/English Language Arts Curriculum
The Eastern Hemisphere
Essential Questions
How does culture provide an identity that influences how we view the world, make decisions, and seek solutions to problems?
How do prior civilizations contribute to the cultural elements of religion, art, music, architecture, science, mathematics, traditions, beliefs, and language to the modern world?
Do technological developments trigger turning points in history?
Does the past impact the present and inform the future?
How do human beings and the environment interact?
Unit 1: The Neolithic Revolution
Essential Question: Does society change as a consequence of human development or environmental change or both?
Supplemental Material
Clip from Raiders of the Lost Ark
Interactive webpage for Catal Hoyuk
Internet resources for research
Field Crews ona Dig: (change link TBA)
"Stone Age" Video: Describes the transition from the Paleolithic Age to the Neolithic Age
From Hunters and Gatherers to Farmers
Thinglink: (you have to subscribe)
Supplemental Material
Science Museum of Minnesota:
“Wall Painting Explained.” You Tube. This short clip show an archaeologists explaining pictures that appears on the walls of a recently excavated site at Catalhoyuk:
“Henry Explains Building 104” You Tube: Video shows an archaeologists excavating site.
Unit 2: River Valley Civilizations
Essential Questions:
1-Does geography determine history?
2-How are River Valley Civilizations similar and different?  
Barton, Alexandra. “Water in Crisis – The Middle East.” The Water Project. 
*Excellent article that focuses on an environmental problem shared by the countries of the region today.
SMART Board Activity  on Fertile Crescent
“Mesopotamian Geography and Sumerian Society” (1:08) and Agricultural Technology” (1:06). April 3, 2011. Discovery Education Streaming. Subscription required. “The fertile valley between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers provided an ideal location for the Sumerians to grow their own grain, vegetables, and fruit, and to raise livestock for meat and dairy products. The Sumerians protected their fields from flooding by building a system of levees along the riverbanks. They also developed an irrigation system to bring river water into their fields during periods of drought.”
“Mesopotamia: From Nomads to Farmers.” Discovery Education Streaming. 13 segments. Show Inventions and Innovations in Ancient Mesopotamia and Rise of the City-State. “Explore the agricultural practices and technological devices that led to the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia. Meet the nomadic people who became farmers. And see how they established city-states, developed specialized work skills, written language, technology, time-keeping and advanced organized religion.”
“Mesopotamia.” The British Museum. Contains readings. Artifacts, activities, and challenges for Assyria, Babylon, and Sumer.
“Hammurabi's Code of Laws.” Exploring Ancient World Cultures. 3 April 2011. Translated by L. W. King.
Character web. Download and duplicate for each student.
“Hammurabi and His Code of Laws.” Awesome Stories. 3 April 2011. Nine sections on the biography of Hammurabi and Babylonian civilization. If technology is not available for students, print out several sections and use as a jig saw.
“Hammurabi’s Code – Was It Just?” Mini Qs in World History. The DBQ Project. 425 Lee Street, Evanston Illinois 60202, 2013. This is from a large binder for purchase that includes how to teach doing a DBQ and 11 DBQs with background essays that span world history. If you wish to introduce writing a DBQ at this point, you might consider this resource. For a free resource that just has the Mini DBQ go to
“Bill of Rights.” KIDIPEDE. 3 April 2011. The Bill of Rights in student friendly prose.
“Indus Valley Civilization.” This two minute video presents from images from that time period and a few facts.
“Harappan (Indus Valley) Civilization | Harappa and Mohenjo Daro Excavations - Ancient Indian History.” YouTube. 4:42. This is a 3D animated documentary. Start the video at 1.22 and stop it frequently to discuss each point.
“Indus Valley.” The British Museum. This site includes background, a story, an exploration of Mohenjo Daro, and a challenge,
“India” Ancient Civilizations: Program 06: The End Is the Beginning. Discovery Education Streaming. 2:49.
This segment examines the economic and engineering sophistication of the ancient Indian city of Mohenjo Daro. It speculates that the reason for this society’s decline was environmental: the inhabitants abused the natural resources, resulting in drought and desertification.
“India's Place-Value Number System” segment in “Culture and Math: The Indus Valley.” 77. Discovery Education Streaming. As the culture of India entered into an age of mathematics in the third century B.C., early development of a decimal place-value system began. The ancient people of the Indus Valley learned to operate freely with zero and negative numbers, which was groundbreaking at the time.
“Mohenjo Daro and Harappa.” This reading provides a description of the early Indus Valley civilization and discusses possible reasons for its disappearance.
“Ancient Egypt: The Gift of the Nile (3000-30 B.C)” 3:33. Discovery Education Streaming. April 4, 2011. Subscription required.
The Nile River flows northward through Egypt, nourishing and protecting the civilization along its banks. This segment explores Upper and Lower Egypt, the Delta, and the Nile's relationship with the Sahara. The segment also explains how famers relied on the rich soil the Nile's flooding provided.
“Ancient Egypt_The Gift of the Nile.’ Vimeo. 28:21. This program was filmed on location in Egypt. Students learn about the geography of Egypt and how the Nile River provided the unifying element that gave rise to one of the greatest of the ancient civilizations.
“The Gift of the Nile.” “Geography Story.” The British Museum. An interactive story where the student must make decisions about exploring the geography of the Nile at every turn.
“The Egyptians – Pyramids.” History on the 4 April 2011. Pictures of merchants and skilled workers who constructed the pyramids.
“Trades.” The British Museum. Information about craftsmen. Explore the workshops.
“Pharaoh.” The British Museum. The life of the Pharaoh. Explore a wall relief.
“Egyptian Life.” The British Museum. Parallel stories of a day in the life of a nobleman and a farmer. Explore the world of a nobleman.
“Slavery: A Reading (included) or can be accessed on the computer at
“Gods and Goddesses.” The British Museum. 7 April 2011. Online Egyptian creation myth.
“The Afterlife.” Discovery Education Streaming. 5:41. Egyptians at first buried their dead. Later, in order to preserve the body for the afterlife, the used the process of mummification.
“Papyrus; The Invention of Paper.” Discovery Education Streaming. 8 April 2011. Viewed as sacred, the papyrus plant was used in many ways, but the most important was making paper. This innovation aided Egyptians in writing, art, and history. Most importantly, this innovation allowed Egyptians, as they were forming their government, to make and record laws, laws that helped advance the Egyptian civilization.
“Hieroglyphics.” Discovery Education Streaming. 8 April 2011.
This is a video clip that explains how the Egyptians invented writing.
“Rosetta Stone.” Egyptian Achievements PDF. • SMARTBoard Activity.
Unit 3: Classical Civilizations
Essential Questions:
1-How are classical civilizations similar and different? 
2-How does our modern world reflect the innovations of classical civilizations?
“The Qin Dynasty, 221 BC-206 BC: The First Emperor and the Great Wall of China.” Discovery Education. Time:2:29. “Under the Qin Dynasty, Chinese civilization was unified, and the Great Wall was built.”
People in Powerincluded sites for research (included)
“Bio Cube” ReadWriteThink. Instructions to create a bio cube.
“Board Builder” Discovery Education.
“Qin Dynasty and Han Dynasty.” Vimeo. (6:39) From Mr. Zoller’s Video Podcasts.
“The Qin Dynasty, 221 BC-206 BC: The First Emperor and the Great Wall of China.” Discovery Education. (02:29) “Under the Qin Dynasty, Chinese civilization was unified, and the Great Wall was built.”
“Qin Dynasty” School Tube. (7:09) Created by students at the Academy of Sacred Heart.
China’s Unified Empire.” Discovery Education. (4:39)
“China’s Unified Empire.” Discovery Education. (4:39) “In 221 BC, Chang became China's first emperor. He abolished feudalism, began construction on the Great Wall, and created a centralized government that became the model for later dynasties. During the 400-year Han Dynasty, writing and paper came into wide use, trade with other regions increased, and the idea of a unified China achieved wide acceptance.”
“The Han Dynasty.” School Tube. (5:10) Created by students at the Academy of Sacred Heart.
“Discovering Ancient Greece, Part II.” Discovery Education. (18:45) Select from many clips that include contributions, an in-depth look at Athens, Alexander the Great.
“Ancient Greece.” Teacher Tube. (9:46) A video tour of Ancient Greece
“Ancient Rome’s Influence.” Discovery Education. (5:05) “Rome was good at promoting itself through the spread and use of one language (Latin) and one currency. Rome invented cement that made buildings strong Rome believed that a city should have the key elements of temples, theaters, baths, roads, and outdoor public spaces.”
“A Tour through Ancient Rome 320 C.E.” Kahn Academy. WatchKnowLearn. (13:45) A thorough exploration of the ancient city.
“Ancient Greece.” The British Museum. There are many areas to explore: Athens, Sparta, Daily Life, Acropolis etc. The site is interactive and each area has a story, a place to explore, and a challenge.
“Confucius” Readworks. Non-fiction lower level reading with questions
“Ancient Rome and Byzantium Julius Caesar” Readworks. Non-fiction lower-level reading with questions.

“Daily Life” The British Museum. Contains an interactive site where students will explore daily life through a story, exploration of pottery, and a challenge.
Riordan, Rick. The Lightening Thief. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children, 2005. Fiction with connection of a contemporary boy to Greek Myths. One of the books on engagerny site.
PowerPoint: "Greek Architecture" (included) (Note: To assist students in the note taking process, print out slides 1-8, using the handout feature in Power Point with the lines next to the slide.) 
Unit 4: Comparative World Religions
Essential Questions:
1-How are world religions similar or different?
2-How does religion play a role in the world today?
“Jerusalem gets no rest from its Sabbath skirmishes.” Newsela. April 24, 2014.  Without payment, teachers are entitled to a limited number of articles.  The lexile level of each article can be changed to meet the differentiated reading needs of the students. Many articles have quizzes that are aligned with the Common Core. New articles constantly appear.
“Ancient shrine site shows evidence of when Buddha was born.”Newsela. December 4, 2013.
“Fearful Christians get little protection from Egypt’s new regime.” Newsela.  November 26, 2013.
Unit 5: The Mediterranean World
Essential Question: How did three distinct cultural regions develop and interact in the Mediterranean World following the collapse of the Roman Empire?
“Life in the Middle Ages” includes many interesting facts about all classes in Medieval Europe
“Serfs and Peasants in Medieval Times describes daily life for serfs
“Feudalism and Medieval Life” describes daily life, diet, and housing for all classes
“Feudal Life” includes wealth of information about daily life
Ducksters Middle Ages Includes information about classes, jobs, and daily life
"The Clergy: Religious Life." Discovery Education Streaming.
“Byzantine Empire Combines Cultures.” Discovery Education. 2:05. Constantinople, heart of the Byzantine Empire, flourished as a trading city and as the artistic capital of the Middle East. 
The Byzantine Empire: A very brief description of the Byzantine Empire. 
The Middle East: The Byzantine Empire – site contains lightly detailed information about the Byzantine Empire 
The Byzantine Empire – More detailed history of the empire
Akers, W.M. “An Empire Built on Paper.” ReadWorks.
The reading details the spread of paper to the Muslim Empire. The lexile level is 1180.
“The House of Wisdom.” GoHistoryGo.!house-of-wisdom/cjsr Answers the question: "What influence did the Abbasids and the House of Wisdom have on learning?"
“Islamic Spain.” GoHistoryGo.!cordoba-the-light-of-the-world/ckib Answers the question: "Why was Islamic Cordoba called the "Light of Medieval Europe"
“Five Islamic Inventions That Changed the World.” Lost Islamic History. Highlights the importance of coffee, algebra, universities, marching bands, and cameras
“How Islamic Inventors Changed the World.” The Independent. Discusses the inventor and significance of coffee, the camera, chess, flight, shampoo, the crankshaft, quilting, the pointed arch, and surgical instruments.
“Discovery Education Board Builder”
Akers, W.M. “An Empire Built on Paper.” ReadWorks.
The reading details the spread of paper to the Muslim Empire. The lexile level is 1180.
When Cultures Clash” PowerPoint
World History: Journey Across Time: The Early Ages
Use this web address to access your social studies textbook from home.  Excellent student resources including flash cards to help you review important vocabulary.