Featured Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets for teaching ancient civilizations in your middle school classroom, courtesy of Junior Scholastic magazine

The Secret Jungle of the Maya

Deep inside a remote tropical rainforest are the ruins of the once-great Maya civilization. Technology is helping scientists learn more about the Maya.

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Maya Ruins Revealed
Cite textual evidence about the Maya’s accomplishments.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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The Richest Man in History

Who was the richest person in history? Experts say it was Mansa Musa, an early African emperor. Find out how he turned his massive stash of gold into one of the world’s biggest empires.

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Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Words to Know
Read definitions and example sentences for vocabulary words.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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What Happened at Pompeii?

Scientists are discovering how people lived and died in the ancient Roman city, buried for centuries under the ash of Mount Vesuvius.

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Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Fleeing Vesuvius
Answer questions based on a primary source excerpt.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Cleopatra: The Last Queen of Ancient Egypt

In 51 B.C., a new Egyptian ruler came to the throne—Cleopatra. Though she was only 18 years old, she was determined to restore her kingdom to glory.

Casting Call
Analyze the characters and plot of the play.
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Casting Call
Analyze the characters and plot of the play.
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What's the Story?
Determine the key ideas and details of the play.
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What's the Story?
Determine the key ideas and details of the play.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this play in your classroom
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this play in your classroom
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Quotes
 

“I will not be triumphed over.”

— Cleopatra VII

“I came, I saw, I conquered.”

— Julius Caesar

“The greatest joy a man can know is to conquer his enemies and drive them before him.”

— Genghis Khan, 1st Khagan of the Mongol Empire

“If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out.”

— Hammurabi, King of Babylon

Key Figures
 

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Hatshepsut

One of a tiny number of female pharaohs of Egypt who ruled from 1489 to 1469 B.C., Hatshepsut was one of the first great women to be recorded in history.

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Justinian I

Justinian I, or Justinian the Great, ruled the Byzantine Empire from 527 to 565. The defining achievements of his reign were the compilation and consolidation of the Roman legal code, known as Justinian’s code, and the construction of the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.

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Hammurabi

Hammurabi, a king of the first dynasty of Babylon, reigned from 1792 to 1750 B.C. He united Babylonia and left as his enduring monument the collection of legal pronouncements known as the “Code of Hammurabi.”

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Alexander the Great

Alexander III of Macedon, known as Alexander the Great, was the king of Macedon and a renowned military commander. By the time of his death at the age of 32, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to India.

Glossary

Terms and definitions that pertain to ancient civilizations

archaeologist

noun

a scientist who studies the remains of past human life

artifacts

noun, plural

objects, such as tools or weapons, that were made by people many years in the past

papyrus

noun

a thick paper-like material made from the pith of the papyrus plant, first known to have been used in ancient Egypt (at least as far back as the First Dynasty)

migrate

verb

to move from one area to another

empire

noun

a group of countries or regions that are controlled by one ruler or one government

city-state

noun

a state that has its own government and consists of a city and the area around it

DeAgostini/Getty Images (Hammurabi, Emperor Justinian, Pyramids); Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images (Alexander the Great); mareandmare/Shutterstock.com (Hatshepsut); Nido Huebl/Shutterstock.com (Pompeii); iStockPhoto/Getty Images (Mayan pyramid); Niklas Asker (Mansa Must illustration); Mike Heath (Pompeii illustration); Meg Hunt (Cleopatra illustration)