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Junior Scholastic Teaching Kits
Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine.
An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.
Featured Teaching Kits
Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets for teaching ancient civilizations in your middle school classroom, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine
Deep inside a remote tropical rainforest are the ruins of the once-great Maya civilization. Technology is helping scientists learn more about the Maya.
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.
Scientists are discovering how people lived and died in the ancient Roman city, buried for centuries under the ash of Mount Vesuvius.
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.
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“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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Supplemental resources for teaching about ancient history in your classroom
Ancient Maya 101 | National Geographic
Watch a video about the Maya's influence in mathematics, calendars, agricultural matters, and how the legacy of this ancient civilization endures through Maya people today.
Greek and Roman Art Collection
The Met Museum’s online collection of Greek and Roman art has more than 30,000 works, from the Neolithic period to the time of Rome’s conversion to Christianity.
Africa’s Great Civilizations
In a six-hour series from PBS, Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes a new look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century.
Terms and definitions that pertain to ancient civilizations
a scientist who studies the remains of past human life
objects, such as tools or weapons, that were made by people many years in the past
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)
to move from one area to another
a group of countries or regions that are controlled by one ruler or one government
a state that has its own government and consists of a city and the area around it
Explore Other Topics
Discover other free social studies topics and middle school teaching resources from Junior Scholastic magazine.
The Roles of the Presidency
From Commander in Chief to chief of state, the president has many critical roles.
The United States Constitution
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established our federal government and defined our government’s relationship with the states and citizens.
The Civil Rights Movement
Get to know Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Johns, the Little Rock Nine, and other pioneers of the civil rights movement.
Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality
Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.
The History and Heroes of World War II
An overview of World War II: why the U.S. got involved, what citizens did to fight back, and how people worldwide were affected
Real Teens of History
These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.
Social Studies Debate Kit
Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.
Mastering Media Literacy and Digital Literacy
In an increasingly digital world, being able to navigate technology skillfully and evaluate online resources for accuracy and trustworthiness is crucial.
Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.
Middle School Civics
An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.
The Civil War and Reconstruction
Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.
The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, built by people who left their homes to seek new lives and opportunities. However, Americans' feelings about immigrants are mixed.
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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)