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6th Grade: Western Civilizations: Ancient Greece
Big Idea
Civilizations develop and grow into large empires characterized by powerful centralized governments, advanced commerce and trade systems, and complex social hierarchies.

Scientific and cultural achievements of civilizations continue to impact the world today.

Citizenship, individual rights, and responsibilities (gender roles) are defined in different constitutions and governing systems.
Essential Questions
  • How does the government affect the people it is designed for?
  • How did Greece’s geography and nearness to the sea influence the development of trade and the growth of city-states?
  • How did differentiation of social class and gender play a role in the daily life and decision making in Ancient Greece?
  • What were the different forms of government tried by the Athenians before creating a democracy?

Describe the development of the following types of government and citizenship in ancient Greece and Rome
  • democracy
  • republics/ empires
Describe the importance of citizens being actively involved in the democratic process. (e.g., voting, student government, involvement in political decision making, analyzing issues, petitioning public officials).
Identify factors (e.g., river/coastal civilizations, trade that influence the location, distribution, and inter-relationships of economic activities over time in different regions.
Describe scientific and cultural advancements in ancient civilizations (e.g., networks of roads, aqueducts, art and architecture, literature and theatre, mathematics, philosophy).
Describe the structure of the following governments
  • theocracy
  • dictatorship
  • republic
  • monarchy
  • democracy
  • anarchy
Identify cultural norms that influence different social, political and economic activities of men and women.
Identify the roles and contributions of individuals in the following ancient civilizations
  • Greece (e.g., Sophocles, Euripides, Pericles, Homer)
  • Alexander the Great
  • Rome (e.g., Julius Caesar, Augustus)
  • China (e.g., Qin Shi Huan Di, Confucius)
  • Egypt (e.g., Hatshepsut, Ramses, Cleopatra)
Identify regions studied (i.e., Greece, Rome) using a variety of criteria, (e.g., climate, landforms, culture, vegetation).
Describe ways that human dependence on natural resources influences economic development, settlement, trade and migration.
Describe the impact of the Greek democracy on ancient Greeks and how it relates to current forms of government.
Explain why places and regions serve as cultural symbols (e.g., Jerusalem as a sacred place for Jews, Christians, and Muslims).
Compare how money, as opposed to barter, facilitates trade.
Discuss the character traits (e.g., respect, responsibility, fairness, involvement) that are important to the preservation and improvement of constitutional democracy in the United States
Describe the environmental, economic, cultural and political effects of human migrations and cultural diffusion on places and regions.
Explain how trade promoted economic growth throughout world regions.
  • Justify how Greek Mythology reflects the scientific knowledge at the time.
  • Distinguish between the city-states of Sparta and Athens.
  • Identify democratic concepts developed in Ancient Greece that served as a foundation for American constitutional democracy.
  • Describe traditional economies and elements of those economies that led to the rise of a merchant class and trading partners.
  • Measure the impact of key figures from ancient Greece.
  • Examine the impact of sea trade and compare it to land trade routes.
  • Justify how expanding too quickly can lead to a nation’s demise.
  • Inspect gender and social class roles in Ancient Greece and their importance in the daily life.
Content/Core Ideas
  • The Greek civilization experienced rapid growth, as well as decline.
  • Through trial and error and strong leadership, government that is effective for citizens will be established.
  • Many individuals in Ancient Greece have contributed to the success and failure of Greek civilization
  • There were large discrepancies in daily life and decision making depending on social class and gender role.
  • Ancient Greek culture was the foundation that future civilizations used when developing various aspects of their society.
Academic Vocabulary
  • dominant
  • policy
  • mythology
  • strategic
  • epic
  • acropolis
  • agora
  • oligarchy
  • aristocracy
  • democracy
  • barbarian
  • league
  • patron
  • tragedy
  • comedy
  • demagogue
  • academy
  • diffuse
  • expedition
  • legacy
  • scholar
  • architecture