Thursday Throw Down: It's All Greek to Me

Today I'm linking up with one of my blogging buddy's Erin at I'm Lovin Lit to share how I used my interactive notebooks in Social Studies.
Some of you may know that I am new to teaching Social Studies this year.  My school has 17,  sixth grade teachers.  Everyone teaches one 80 minute ELA block and three sections of a core course (Math, Science, Social Studies).  One of the teams obviously cannot be a team of 3.  WOOHOOO! That's me this year.  I have to teach 80 minutes of ELA, 2 math classes, and one social studies class.  We teach Ancient Civilizations in 6th grade, so my smarties and I have been wandering around the middle east for a few months.  We did a huge project on Ancient Egypt in November.  You can read about it in 4 parts starting {HERE}.  Now I'm on to Ancient Greece.  We used our interactive social studies notebooks to review two important city states: Athens, and Greece.  I always find my lessons go better when my students use their notebooks.
After reading about Athens in our social studies book we created two pocket files.  I used templates from Erin's Interactive Foldables.  We wrote down information gathered based on the Essential Question:  What made Athens an important city-state?  We did the same for Sparta.  I also brought in resource books for my smarties to add extra information that they had found.

Another source that I used to make the lesson more interactive was a video from Horrible Histories:  It's called Wife Swap: Athens/Sparta.  The BBC does a great job of showing the differences between these two city-states.  Check it out below.  It is a MUST for anyone teaching Ancient Greece.  My sixth graders thought it was pretty hysterical.

When we return from our winter break we will be learning a little more about the people of Ancient Greece, mythology, and the Olympics.  I will also be beginning a review in ELA of Greek root words.
I would love to hear what others do to teach Ancient Civilizations.  Drop me a line and share your ideas!


  1. I am going to have check out that video! Seventeen 6th grade teachers! That is a big school:). I love that you have an 80min block for ELA:).

  2. This looks super fun!! I don't teach ancient Greece but I can tell you have made it fun for your students!

    Collaboration Cuties

  3. I just sent that video to the teachers on my team. I love it! I've never heard of Horrible Histories, but I'm subscribed to the channel now! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I must share this video with our SS teacher. She will love it. BTW... I am the one 6th grade teacher in my school. I can NOT imagine being 1of17. WOW!

  5. I do teach Ancient Civilizations but I am waiting until I get all of your ideas before I start : )
    Love the video and thanks for notebook idea!

  6. I love the video. Seriously awesome! Just sent it to our history teacher.
    :) Erin
    I'm Lovin' Lit


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