In the first week of Ancient History we covered the constitutive elements of civilization, the Mesopotamian region in general, the rise of Mesopotamian city-states, and an overview of Mesopotamian kingship and gods. The students were introduced to the Sumerian King List, one of the oldest written documents of ancient history. We read the SKL in class, students were asked to give their observations about the text, we discussed its importance for the period, and we dealt with interpretative difficulties. This sort of in-class, active engagement with primary sources (documents from the period under study) will be a focus throughout the year. Students will learn to be more careful readers and analyzers of historical texts, an essential skill in the discipline of history.
The students took a quiz on Friday. Friday quizzes will be a staple of the class. Quizzes will always be open-note, because open-note quizzes motivate students to take better notes both in class and at home.