Does anybody seriously remember ANYTHING from school about Mesopotamia? I know my history knowledge is particularly bad, but other than vague terms bouncing around my head such as “fertile crescent” and “cradle of civilization,” a week ago I honestly drew a blank when considering this period of ancient history. Ancient Egypt, pyramids, hieroglyphs, mummies…for some reason that sticks. Ancient Mesopotamia, ziggurats, cuneiform, city-states? Not so much.
I created these Montessori-inspired Ancient Mesopotamia definition cards as a way to give my 6 year old a foundation for this time period that I didn’t have. I’m honestly surprised by how well it’s working. He’s used the control cards to match the pictures to the terms one time, and they already seem to be sinking in. One night while he was going to sleep, he whispered that he wanted to tell me something. When I told him to hurry up and spit it out, he whispered, “a scribe is someone that writes things down.” Not what I was expecting, but okay! A different time he randomly announced while playing that in Ancient Mesopotamia they built houses out of mudbricks.
The full set includes the following vocabulary relevant to Ancient Mesopotamia:
- fertile crescent
- potter’s wheel
Now that we’re learning about Ancient Mesopotamia, I completely get why it’s important. It marks a complete change in the history of mankind (a change that was occurring other places as well, but arguably first in this Fertile Crescent region). For the first time, agriculture was allowing civilizations to form. Humans learned how to domesticate not only plants, but animals as well. Writing was developed. The wheel was invented. Human beings were coming together in large number and forming societies that loosely resemble what we’re familiar with today.
If you liked this post, you may also like my post on Ancient Mesopotamian Historical Figures. See my Ancient History page for a list of posts on other cultures such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date as this list of free resources grows.
Recommended Age Range: Kindergarten, Elementary
Time Required: ~30 minutes
Cost: Free printable, less than $2 to laminate
- Paper for printing Ancient Mesopotamia Definition cards and corresponding control cards. (Note that the last 2 pages of each document do not need to be printed as they just contain legal information regarding sharing and image sources.)
- 9 thermal laminating pouches
Supplies & Tools:
- Paper trimmer or scissors
- Print the Ancient Mesopotamia Definition cards and corresponding control cards.
- Laminate them using thermal laminating pouches (optional, could also use contact paper or not laminate them at all).
- Cut them out.
I plan to delve deeper into Ancient Mesopotamia at some point in the future and study some of the specific people, places, and events of importance. If you’d like to be notified by email when more free, printable material is available, please consider signing up for my newsletter to stay up to date.
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