Century global skills


Day 2: Religion and Epics



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Day 2: Religion and Epics

Do Now: Describe the life of a nomad.

1. Show students pictures/overheads of Pyramids, Ziggurats, Mayan Temples. Ask why they think ancient peoples built these huge structures.

2. Have students read in small groups information on Sumerian religion. Have students discuss within their groups similarities in Sumerian religion with activities in students daily life. Then discuss and list as a whole class.

3. Define “Epic, Myth, Legend”. Introduce the epic of Gilgamesh. Have students read sections aloud. Compare to Comic book heroes. Show how Sumerians used these tales to entertain. Here is a link to the full version of the Epic of Gilgamesh http://www.aina.org/books/eog/eog.pdf For a shorter version, go to pg. 70 in the Holt textbook.

4. After the class reads Gilgamesh as a whole, have students break back into their small groups to discuss the following questions based on the story.


  • What human emotion seems the seize Gilgamesh here? How can you tell?

  • What stops Humbaba in his tracks? What line supports this?

  • What effect does Humbaba hope his words will have on Gilgamesh? What details of the story support your answer?

  • In Sumerian culture, the gods’ powers were thought to be enormous. According to the story, what roles do gods play in people’s lives?

  • Violence was common in Sumerian society. How does the character of Gilgamesh suggest that Sumerian society could be violent?

5. Discuss the answers as a class.




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