The Lost City

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The Lost City
Overview: Using Atlantis as the hook, the teacher will introduce the skills needed to conduct research into three different ancient cultures: the Olmec of MesoAmerica, the Minoan of Crete, and Mesopotamia. The students will then do their own research on one of these cultures and use their information to write a persuasive essay convincing the reader to either accept or reject the culture as the lost Atlantis.
Big Ideas:

  • Notes should be short summaries of important or interesting information

  • Notes are different from quotes

  • Reliable information will appear in more than one source

  • Author/source and date can help determine reliable information

  • Organizing information makes it easier to work with it

  • Referencing work is important for reliability

  • Notes have a purpose

  • Organizing one’s thoughts is important before writing

  • Writing has a purpose

  • Audience is important when writing

  • Good ideas should be shared

Grade 7 Social Studies PLO’s:

  • apply critical thinking skills – including comparing, classifying, inferring, imagining, verifying, using analogies, identifying relationships, summarizing, and drawing conclusions – to a range of problems and issues

  • compile a body of information from a range of sources

  • defend a position on a contemporary or historical issue

  • analyse the concept of civilization as it applies to selected ancient cultures

  • analyse social roles within one or more ancient civilizations

  • describe the evolution and purpose of rules, laws, and government in ancient civilizations

  • describe various ways ancient peoples exchanged goods and services

  • assess ways technological innovations enabled ancient peoples to adapt to and modify their environments satisfy their needs, increase exploration and trade, develop their cultures

Lesson One: What do we know about the lost city of Atlantis?
Big Idea(s):

  • Notes should be short summaries of important or interesting information

  • Notes are different from quotes


  • Books about Atlantis

  • large piece of butcher paper

  • paper strips in two colours (white and yellow?)

  • twelve thick felt pens

  • rolls of masking tape for each group

  • overhead of excerpt from “The Fact or Fiction Files: Lost Civilizations”

Room Setup

  1. Seat students in groups at tables in the library. Assign each group a number. (If you have numbers from 1-6 it will work nicely for the next lesson.) On each table have books about Atlantis. The library is a good location for this lesson because you want the students to also have access to encyclopedias and computers as well. Post a large piece of butcher paper at the front with the question, “What do we know about the lost city of Atlantis?” in the middle.

  2. Have a stack of yellow coloured strips of paper on each table. Make sure each table has the same colour. Put two thick felt pens with the paper strips. The paper should be about 10cm high and approximately 30cm long, although these measurements are not meant to be exact and all pieces do not have to be the same size.

Instruction – 20 minutes

  1. Ask the students: “What do we know about the lost city of Atlantis? Has anyone ever heard of it?” As children suggest information, hand them white strips of paper to write their ideas onto. They should put their name at the bottom of the paper and post the paper on the butcher paper at the front

  2. Ask the students how else we could get an answer to the question on the butcher paper. Keep asking, “What else?” until they have listed several ideas.

  3. Ask the students how they would find the answer in a dictionary? How would they find it in an encyclopedia? How would they find it in a book? How would they find it on the Internet?

  4. Demonstrate what you want the students to do using a large dictionary that has the term “Atlantis” in it and copy the definition onto the strip, making sure to put quotation marks around your words. Then write down the title of the dictionary, the page number on which you found the answer and your group number at the top. Ask them why you are including the title and page of the resource. Post the paper strip.

  5. Demonstrate this a second time using an overhead of information from a book, (see resource page entitled, “Chapter Three: Atlantis: the lost continent”). Bring attention to the fact that you will not copy from a book, but will summarize the information. Discuss the difference between a quote and a note. Discuss the information with the students as you read, sharing your thinking about what was interesting and what might be important. Turn off the projector before writing your summary onto a paper strip. Share your thinking as you write. Remind them they only have a strip, not a page. If there is a lot of good information in a book, have them break the information into chunks that seem important and share them on separate strips.

Working Together – 20 minutes

  1. Read a second paragraph from the overhead together and have the students suggest what to write. Post the paper at the front.

  2. Read the next two paragraphs from the overhead together and have the students write their idea onto a paper. Have them hold up the paper when they are finished. Have individuals read out their idea and see how many others had similar ideas. Discuss which strips should go up to the paper at the front and why. (Do we need to repeat the same ideas? Did the student remember their source and group number?) Repeat this if you feel the students need another round together.

Group Work – 15 minutes

  1. Have them work in their groups to find the answer in the books. When they find an answer, have them write it on a strip of paper, put the resource title and page number at the bottom, add their group number to the top and post it on the butcher paper at the front. Each group should have people looking for facts, people recording facts, people putting tape on the facts, people running the facts to the board and people checking to make sure the facts are not repeated. (Note that it is okay to have the same fact from different sources, just not the same fact from the SAME book!) Depending on how large the group is, they may assign more than one person to each role. No one should be sitting idle.

Closure – 5 minutes

  1. Share the findings of the group as a class.

    1. Are any facts repeated?

    2. Are there contradictory facts?

    3. Make note of these things but have the students think about how to deal with these for next lesson.

Chapter Three

Atlantis: the lost continent

(excerpt from Dorothy and Tom Hoobler’s, “The Fact or Fiction Files: Lost Civilizations”)

Atlantis is more than a lost civilization. It is a lost continent, said to have existed almost 12 000 years ago in what is today the Atlantic Ocean. Virtually all that we know about Atlantis rests on two documents that were written by the Greek philosopher Plato around the year 350 B.C. Ever since that time, people have searched for traces of the real Atlantis.
The two dialogues in which Plato mentions Atlantis are called the Timaios and the Kritias. These titles are also the names of two of the people who are speaking in the dialogues. Others include Socrates and Hermokrates. As the Timaios begins, the four men are discussing the origins of the world. The character Kritias tells a story that was passed down from his own great-grandfather, who heard it from Solon, a Greek statesman.
Almost 250 years before Plato’s story was written down, Solon traveled to Egypt. He met a group of priests who told him of Atlantis. As you see, Plato’s account of Atlantis is already a story within a story within a story. Not the most reliable historical evidence!
The priests told Solon that Egypt had historical records that went back many thousands of years to the creation of the world. They said that Athens, the city-state in which Plato lived, had ruled a great empire, 9 000 years before his time. (That would have been around 11 600 years ago.)
But Athens had a rival. A second great empire, Atlantis, existed beyond “the Pillars of Hercules.” These were two mountains at the Strait of Gibraltar, the place where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. To Plato’s readers, this meant that Atlantis was somewhere in the Atlantic.
The island of Atlantis was very large – bigger than “Africa and Asia combined” – though Plato had no idea how large either of those continents really were. The Atlanteans were great seafarers. They had traveled westward through smaller islands, reaching the “opposite continent” on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Lesson Two: Finding Information about Atlantis

Big Idea:

  • Reliable information will appear in more than one source

  • Author/source and date can help determine reliable information


  • Internet, encyclopedias, videos with players (see attached resource page)

  • large piece of butcher paper

  • paper strips in three different colours (one for each resource; ie. Pink for Internet, light blue for encyclopedia and orange for video)

  • twelve thick felt pens

  • rolls of masking tape for each group

Room Setup

  1. Seat students in groups at tables/stations in the library. Have two stations for each resource (Internet, encyclopedia and video) Post the large piece of butcher paper at the front with the question, “What do we know about the lost city of Atlantis?” in the middle (the one you used last lesson).

  2. Try looking at your local library or district library centre for a video on Atlantis. Preview it first. It shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes long. If it is, the students will have to pause and the next group will have to watch the next segment. You can also use the computer as a source for videos. See the resources page attached.

  3. Have a stack of coloured strips of paper on each table. Make sure each of the three resource stations has a different colour today and all the colours are different from the one used last lesson. This is to help the students see which facts are from which source to prevent repetition. Put two thick felt pens with the paper strips.

  4. Regroup butcher paper facts from last class so that repeated facts or contradictory facts are grouped together.

Instruction – 10 minutes

  1. Review note taking procedures from last lesson. (Short note, summary of information read, most important or interesting, record title and page of source and group number) Explain that when using the Internet, they’ll have to give the website address instead of page number. A list of websites is provided for groups to use. Assign each group a different website to ensure a wider variety of information.

  2. Explain that groups will have a limited amount of time with the resource at their table. (10 minutes should be enough) In that time, they must work together to pull out facts and post them to the butcher paper. Remind them that it will be very important to watch for repeated facts today. Groups will only need to pay attention to the colour strips they are using at the time. For example, if they are note taking from encyclopedias, the colour strips may be light blue. They will have to check the light blue strips carefully to be sure they are not repeating facts already generated. It is all right to have a repeated fact from another colour or another book/website/video in the same colour and the class will address this later.

Group Work – 30 minutes

  1. Have the groups rotate through the three stations, changing every ten minutes.

Working together – 20 minutes

  1. Look at the facts together and locate facts that are repeated but have different colours. Regroup these in the same area of the paper.

  2. Notice if some of the facts give contradictory information. How will we decide which is the best information? Ideally you would like the students to suggest the following:

    1. Is one repeated from other sources?

    2. Is one more recent?

    3. Who are the authors of the facts? Is one author or source more reliable?

Atlantis Resources

Search your local library catalogue for book resources.
Internet Sites (The websites listed have varying degrees of reliability.)
National Geographic
The Unmuseum
Student Report
World Mysteries
Skeptic’s Dictionary

Videos Online

Atlantis Uncovered 44:57, Discovery Channel Feb. 2008
How Stuff Works Lost City of Atlantis 2:47, Discovery Channel. Plato’s Atlantis: 2:56, Discovery Channel
Metacafe You will want to download this one as some of the content on this site can be inappropriate for children.

Lesson Three: Organizing Information

Big Idea:

    • Organizing information makes it easier to work with it


    • Butcher paper with facts

    • Blank 11x17 sheet of paper for each group

    • Large chart entitled, “What do we know about the lost city of Atlantis?”

    • Assignment handout (see attached)

    • If you have one student who is a quick and neat writer, have them copy the facts from the butcher paper (repeated facts may be copied one time) onto the blank sheet attached. Photocopy these facts for each of the six groups.

    • New butcher paper with three columns: Inca, Minoan, Mesopotamia

Group Work – 20 minutes

  1. Hang the chart entitled, “What do we know about the lost city of Atlantis?” at the front of the room somewhere near the butcher paper with facts. Hand out blank 11 x 17 sheets to each group and have students decide which information from the butcher paper should be included on the new sheet.

    1. If the facts have been copied, the students can cut and paste them onto the new sheet. It allows them to play around with the categories more easily and will be quicker than handwriting it all again because several students can help with cutting.

  2. Does some information seem to go together better than others? Are there categories of information? Have the groups find these and sift the facts into categories as they record them. They can put the categories into columns and label them at the top.

Working Together – 20 minutes

  1. Have groups share their ideas with the class and work as a class to create a class list. There may be some debate over categories and which facts should sit in which category. Try to allow the students to sort this out amongst themselves while you facilitate.

    1. Start by writing the categories on the board so all categories are up and then narrow them to the ones everyone feels are the best. If you start with sharing the categories first, the class can debate that and make a decision so you can write the categories onto the new sheet.

    2. Once the categories are up, have a student help by moving the facts into the categories from the butcher paper.

  2. Ask the students why did we do this? Have the students suggest why organizing information is better. (makes it easier to find information and compare information may be some reasons) Ask them how else they could have gathered facts from the beginning to help? (created categories to separate the facts into is one idea)

Instruction – 15 minutes

  1. Hand out the assignment and discuss.

    1. What are the criteria?

    2. Who will research each civilization?

    3. Has anyone ever heard of any of these civilizations? Post facts on the butcher paper.

    4. Discuss why people thought each one might be the lost city of Atlantis.

      1. Olmec city of Tihuanaco was reputedly covered in gold and located on the North American continent. Atlantis was supposed to have been fabulously wealthy and was on a continent in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

      2. Minoans had a community on the island of Santorini in the Mediterranean. The island was a volcano which erupted, sinking the whole city beneath the waves. The timing is a bit off but the story sounds similar. Evidence also shows the people were a peaceful group and focused on art and beauty rather than war.

      3. Mesopotamia is an area of land assumed to have been where human civilizations first began. People such as the Babylonians, Sumerians and Assyrians had civilizations there. The dates of Atlantis match these civilizations better than any others. There was also a great flood discussed in their history. Could that have been the destruction of Atlantis?

The Lost City

The legend of Atlantis has stimulated curiosity and wonder for centuries. Did it really exist? Scholars have come up with many theories. Now it is your turn. Choose one of the civilizations below to research. Could it have been the lost Atlantis? You tell us.

Minoans (in particular, the island of Santorini)

Gather facts around the following:

  • Social roles (rich/poor, men/women, adults/children, what were their lives like?)

  • Art and architecture (What forms of art and architecture did they have? Do any still exist today?)

  • Government (What rules did they live by?)

  • Trade/economy (How did they earn money?)

  • General information

    • When/where the civilization existed

    • How it ended

You will need to use at least two different types of resource for your research; for example, video and encyclopedia. Watching two different videos does not count as using two different types of resource. You should have at least five resources in your bibliography.

Atlantis Facts Sheet

Lesson Four-Six: Researching the Civilizations

Big Idea:

  • Referencing work is important for reliability


  • Books on the three civilizations

  • Access to encyclopedias

  • Access to Internet and a list of reliable websites for each civilization (see attached sheet of resources)

  • Videos either from the library or downloaded from the Internet (see attached sheet of resources) and a way to play them

  • Note taking handout photocopied onto 11 x 17 on both sides (see attached)

  • Overhead of note taking handout

  • Overhead of Demonstration Paragraphs for note taking (see attached), overhead projector and pen.

  • Bibliography handout (see attached)

Room Setup:

    1. By having students research three different places and having them also access different resources at different times, you will create a way to have everyone able to access a resource at one time without having to share too much. Split the students into groups based on the civilization they have chosen to research and the resources you have available. You may also consider grouping weaker students with stronger students at a station.

    2. Set up computer stations for the Internet, video stations, a table for encyclopedias and a table for books. If you have the space, separate the civilizations onto separate tables. Remember that computers can also be used to play videos if you are using online ones.

Instruction – 20 minutes

  1. Demonstrate note taking using the overhead of the sheet. Fill in the categories together.

  2. Use the Demonstration Paragraphs overhead to read a paragraph about the Minoans from the book, “The Mystery of the Minoan Civilization”. Have students suggest which category the fact should be put into. Have students suggest what to write.

  3. Place a small blue coloured dot next to the fact. Explain this is to help you find this information later if you need to check it. Record the bibliographic information at the top of the page and place the same colour dot next to it. As soon as one uses a fact from a source, the source must be recorded. All facts from that source will be identified by the same colour dot.

    1. Discuss why you are recording the bibliographic information.

    2. Hand out the bibliography sheet to the students so they can help you record the information by looking at their sheet.

  4. Read the paragraph together from the Internet source. Add a new fact from the second source into whichever category the students feel it should be added. Place a different coloured dot (green) next to this fact and add the bibliographic information to the top of the page with a matching dot.

  5. Read the second paragraph from this Internet source. Note some information is the same. You don’t need to rewrite the information but if you record that it was repeated, it lends credibility to the fact. Place a green coloured dot next to your first blue dot note.

  6. Remind the students they should have at least 10 facts for each category but that the more extensive their facts, the richer their arguments will be.

Working Alone – 40 minutes

  1. Explain the stations around the room. Today they will work with one resource and next class they will move to a new resource.

  2. Hand out the note taking sheet and split the students into groups so they are spread fairly evenly around the room.

  3. Circulate to give assistance where needed.

Lesson Five and Six

  1. Have the students stay with one resource for the length of the session. If you have resources that are less likely to engage a student for the whole time, maybe combine them. For example, video and encyclopedia might be shared in a session as the video may be quite short or there may only be one.

  2. Alternatively, you could have students move between resources as needed. However, using books does not mean using one book. A student at the book station could read several different books in one session.

Olmec Resources
Search your local library catalogue for book resources.
Internet Sites (The websites listed have varying degrees of reliability.)
History for Kids
Cambridge University
Archaeology Online Magazine

Published by the Archaeological Institute of America

Eduplace Article comparing the Olmec with the Gupta

published by Houghton Mifflin


written by a team of educators and researchers

Written by a university student in Mexico who is researching Aztec history

Tribal Art Magazine
The Ancient Web

Scroll down the page to see the bit about Olmecs

Videos Online

How Stuff Works Discovery Atlantis: The Olmecs 2:46, Discovery Channel linking Olmec to Atlantis Discovery Atlantis: Olmec Heads 2:51, Discovery Channel Discovery Atlantis: Olmec Ships 2:45, Discovery Channel

Metacafe – these will need to be downloaded as the site often has inappropriate content 8:36, History Channel 5:20, BBC Learning
Minoan Resources
Search your local library catalogue for book resources.
Internet Sites (The websites listed have varying degrees of reliability.)


written by associate professor at State University of New York

Minoan Crete

written by Ian Swindale, an English teacher living on Crete

The Minoans

published by Washington State university

Minoan Palace

published by the Minnesota State University

Minoan Economy and Government
Minoan Civilization

Videos Online

Metacafe - these will need to be downloaded as the site often has inappropriate content
Ancient Mysteries – Minoans 5:00

How Stuff Works Thera and Atlantis 1:44, Discovery Channel linking Santorini to Atlantis. Thera and Atlantis 2:49, Discovery Channel linking Santorini to Atlantis.

Mesopotamia Resources

Search your local library catalogue for book resources.
Internet Sites (The websites listed have varying degrees of reliability.)

British Museum

Mesopotamia for Kids
Mr Dowling’s Mesopotamia
History Link 101
Kids Konnect
History for Kids
Cyber Sleuth

Videos Online

How Stuff Works Mesopotamia: Scribes and the Ruling Class 1:01, Mesopotamia: The Sumerian Story of the Great Flood 1:04
National Geographic 3:09
Metacafe – these will need to be downloaded as the site can contain inappropriate content

Civilisations – Mesopotamia 9:57

Civilisations – Mesopotamia 9:59
Ancient Mesopotamia (1976) 9:34





Reference 1:
Reference 2:






Demonstration Paragraphs

excerpt from “The Mystery of the Minoan Civilization” by Leonard Cottrell, p. 70.

The Ancient Egyptians, secure in their sheltered Nile Valley, must have known these trading vessels of the Cretans, who brought with them the characteristic products of their country: fine weapons of bronze inlaid with gold, splendid pottery of superb design, and beautifully painted objects which are seen being carried in procession to the Pharaoh or his chief representative, the Vizier, in certain well-known Egyptian tomb frescoes. The Egyptians liked to pretend, in the way they represented these processions of Minoan traders, that they were merely bringing tribute to the Pharaoh, like people under Egyptian control. But there is no doubt whatever that these Minoans came as traders and nothing more. They were representatives of an independent state as powerful in its heyday as Egypt herself. They were called by the Egyptians the “Keftiu” who live in “The Great Green Sea.”

Cottrell, Leonard. The Mystery of the Minoan Civilization. New York: The World Publishing Company, 1971.

Demonstration Paragraphs

Hooker, Richard. “The History of the Minoans.” Bureaucrats and Barbarians: the Minoans. Jun. 6, 1999. Washington State University. Dec. 30, 2009. <>
In order to facilitate trade, the Cretans and their Aegean relatives developed the most advanced navy that had ever been seen. While scholars earlier believed that Crete must have been a "thalossocracy," that is, a "sea power," that view has been seriously challenged. The Cretans probably did not develop a military navy, as did the Egyptians, but concentrated solely on trade and mercantilism. They did build what looks like warships, but it seems that these warships were most likely mercantile ships with the capability of defense against pirates.

   Their trade was extensive. The Egyptians were highly familiar with the Cretans, who even appear in Egyptian art. Cretan artifacts turn up all over Asia Minor, and they seem to have been involved in trade with the tribal clans living on the Greek mainland. All of this concentrated mercantile activity produced great wealth for the Cretans, which went into massive building projects, art, and technological development. The Cretans, for instance, seem to be the only people in the ancient world that would construct multi-room buiidings for a large part of society including even the poorest people. The common household in the ancient world, of course, was a single room (this would be the norm up until the 1600's in Europe. The Cretans were the first to build a plumbing system in their buildings (a technology that was forgotten when Cretan society collapsed). And Cretan society seems to be the first "leisure" society in existence, in which a large part of human activity focussed on leisure activities, such as sports. In fact, the Cretans seem to have been as sports addicted as modern Americans; the most popular sports were boxing and bull-jumping. Women actively participated in both of these sports. The immense concentration of wealth in such a small population led to an explosion of visual arts, as well. Unlike the bulk of the ancient world, the Minoans developed a visual culture that seems to have been solely oriented around visual pleasure, rather than visual utility, political, religious, or otherwise.

Creating a Bibliography
Book Citations:

Bibliographic citations for books vary. These examples can help you write your

bibliography for many types of book citations.

Book with one author:

The author is listed, last name first. The title is underlined. The city where the book is

published is listed followed by a colon: and the name of the publisher followed by a comma, and the year the book is published is then listed followed by a period. If the city of publication is unfamiliar, the name of the state or country is listed as well.

Eg. Higham, Cindy. Snowflakes for All Seasons. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 2004.

Book with two authors:

Note there is a hanging indent so the second line starts in a few spaces from the margin. This is true for all bibliographic listings.

Rhatigan, Joe and Newcomb, Rain. Prize Winning Science Fair Projects for Curious Kids. New York: Lark Books, 2004.

A book that has an editor:

Dickins, Rosie, ed. The Usborne Introduction to Art. Tulsa: EDC Publications, 2004.

A book without an author:

Fodor’s ’05 Costa Rica. New York: Fodor’s Travel Publication, 2005.

An article in a book without an author:

The title of the article is listed before the title of the book.

Eg. “Afghanistan.” Time Almanac. Needham, MA: Pearson Education Inc., 2005.

Encyclopedia and Other Reference Books:

An encyclopedia article may or may not have an author. The author’s name can be found

at the end of the article. An article that has an author is called a “signed article.”

Signed articles:

The name of the encyclopedia article is placed after the author’s name and put in

quotation marks.

Dundes, Alan. “Magic.” World Book Encyclopedia. Volume 13. Chicago: World Book Inc., 2005.

Unsigned articles:

“Human Spaceflight.” Compton’s Encyclopedia. Volume 22. Chicago, Encyclopedia, Britannica, 2004.

Magazines and Newspapers:

Magazines and newspapers are good sources for locating current information. When

citing a magazine or newspaper [sometimes called periodicals], use the following

formats. Periodical articles may or may not have an author.


Signed articles:

The author’s name is given first, the name of the article, then the name of the magazine,

the date of the magazine, a colon and then the page number(s).

Eg. Keith, Ted. “From Cursed to First.” Sports Illustrated Kids. January 2005: 31-33.

Eg. Urbanas, Jason. “Bodies of Pompeii.” Dig. March 2005. Vol. 7: 16-17.
Unsigned articles:

“Charged.” Kids Discover. February 2005. Vol. 6, Issue 2: 4.


If the article has an author, it is placed before the name of the article.

“FBI Agent ‘Risked Life’ by Posing as Wise Guy.” Chicago Tribune. March 10, 2005. Section 1, Page 1.

World Wide Web/Internet:

Basic Internet citation:

Author.  "Title of Article, Web page or site" in quotation marks.  Title of Magazine, Journal, Newspaper, Newsletter, Book, Encyclopedia, or Project.  Editor of Project.  Date of article, of Web page or site creation, revision, posting, last update, or date last modified. Group, association, name of forum, sponsor responsible for Web page or Web site. Access date (the date you accessed the Web page or site). Complete Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or network address in angle brackets.

Author. “Title of page.” Title of Project. Editor of Project. Date of site. Group Responsible for site. Date you last used it. .


Drye, Willie. “Atlantis – True Story or Cautionary Tale?” Mysteries of the Ancient World. 1996-2009. National Geographic Society. December 30, 2009. <>.

Internet citation for an article from an online encyclopedia:

Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Encyclopedia. Date of site. Group Responsible for site. Date you last used it. .


Duiker, William J. "Ho Chi Minh." Encarta Online Encyclopedia. 2005. Microsoft. Oct. 10, 2005. .

Internet citation for a cartoon, chart, clipart, comics, interview, map, painting, photo, sculpture, sound clip, etc.:

Indicate the type of material, e.g. advertisement, cartoon, clipart, electronic card, interview, map, online posting, photograph, working paper, etc. if not obvious after the title of the page

Author. “Title of page.” Type of material. Title of Project. Editor of Project. Date of site. Group Responsible for site. Date you last used it. .


"Islamic State of Afghanistan: Political Map." Map. Atlapedia Online. 1993-2003.

        Latimer Clarke. June 7, 2003.         political/Afghan_etc.htm>.


Title of the Video or DVD. Medium (Is it a video, DVD or CD?). Publisher/Production company, Copyright date.


The Life of the Honeybee.  VHS. Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation, 1980.



"Title of article, or part." Title of the CD-ROM. Medium. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date.

"Common Ant."  Creepy Crawlies.  CD-ROM.  Farnham, England:  Media Design Interactive, 1993.

Lesson Seven: Assessing Notes
Big Idea:

  • Notes have a purpose


  • Student note sheets

  • Assessment rubric for notes

Working with a partner – 25 minutes

  1. Have students grouped according to the civilization they studied. Have them partner up with someone else in their group and compare their notes. If you control the partnering a bit you can ensure a stronger student works with a weaker one. If they both have the same note, have them put a check next to it. If they have a note they feel is particularly important but the other person doesn’t have it, add it to the other person’s notes (pay attention to bibliography when sharing notes).

  2. Allow students about five minutes to work together and then have them find a new partner within their civilization group. Switch it up three times.

Working together – 20 minutes

  1. Have students share as a class. Ask the students, “How many found they had similar notes to others? How many were able to add new information this way? Were some people’s notes easier to work with than others? What made notes strong?”

  2. Create an assessment tool for the notes. This could be a rubric or a simple scale of 1 – 5 for each of several criteria. Work with the students to create this on the board.

Working alone – 15 minutes

  1. Have students switch notes within their civilization group. Have students assess someone’s notes that they haven’t seen yet using the assessment tool developed together.

  2. Hand the notes back to the author and have them self evaluate. Ask them, “Were you assessed fairly? Give yourself a mark if you believe you deserve differently.” Hand in to the teacher at the end.

Teacher Assessment

  1. Read through the assessments to note which students had difficulty and may need further help in using their notes for a product.

Assessment Rubric

Name: ________________________

Teacher: _____________________

Date Submitted: ____________

Title of Work: ___________________


















Total out of





Lesson Eight-Nine: Writing a Persuasive Essay

Big Idea:

  • Organizing thoughts is important before writing a structured piece


  • Atlantis chart

  • Student notes on their civilization

  • Comparison chart (see attached)

  • Essay outline handout copied for class (see attached)

Instruction – 5 minutes

  1. Post the chart on Atlantis at the front of the room. Explain to the students that they will now need to use their information to decide if they believe that the civilization they researched could be the missing Atlantis. They will try to persuade us to share their belief.

  2. For example, if one fact on the chart is that Atlantis was a beautiful, wealthy city, what evidence do you have in your notes that your civilization was wealthy and had many objects of beauty? Which category would have that information?

Group work – 15-20 minutes

  1. Split into groups of 4-6 within each civilization group and compare your notes to the Atlantis notes on the five category topics. Have them use the chart provided to record their observations and thoughts. Can they reach a conclusion at the end?

Instruction – 10 minutes

  1. Hand out the outline for the essay and discuss.

    1. Not all facts must be used. Ask the students which are the most reliable, relevant and/or important?

    2. The conclusion students came to as a group may not be the one they want to use in their essay. The choice is theirs. The discussion was meant to help them begin to focus their thoughts on what they believe and how the information they researched is relevant to the essay they will write.

  2. Remind the students of the parts of a paragraph. Each paragraph has a topic sentence, 2-3 supporting sentences and a concluding sentence. An essay has a similar format. The introduction is like the topic sentence, the body is like the supporting sentences and the conclusion is like the concluding sentence. The difference in an essay is that concluding sentences for each paragraph must link to the next paragraph.

  3. Depending on how much work you have done with the class on writing, you may wish to take time to demonstrate how to write the introduction using the notes the class gathered on Atlantis.

Working alone – 25-30 minutes

  1. Have the students write an introduction using their notes and recalling the discussion they had at the beginning of the class.

  2. Circulate to help where needed. Have individuals read out their topic sentences or paragraphs as samples to encourage others periodically.

Lesson Nine

  1. Have students complete their writing in lesson nine or take it home for homework after that. They may wish to self edit or peer edit as they write.

Comparison Chart


Social Roles




The Lost City Essay

Assignment: Use your notes to compare what you learned to the information we gathered as a class about Atlantis. Do you believe your civilization could be the lost city of Atlantis? Write a persuasive essay using the following outline.
Introduction: Statement of belief. Tell the reader what you believe in the first sentence. Introduce your civilization by sharing when and where they lived or other general information. The next three to five sentences should each support your belief using the four categories (social roles, art/architecture, government and trade/economy). Your final sentence restates your belief in different words.

Paragraph One – Take the idea from your first supporting sentence in your introduction. Introduce this idea in a topic sentence. Support this idea with information from your research in one to five sentences. Your final sentence will link this idea to the idea you will discuss in your next paragraph.

Paragraph Two – Take the idea from your second supporting sentence in your introduction. Repeat the above.
Paragraph Three – As in the first two paragraphs
Paragraph Four – As in the first paragraph
Conclusion: Repeat the general information you gathered using slightly different words. Your final sentence should be a statement of your belief once again.

Lesson Ten: Peer Edit

Big Idea:

  • Writing has a purpose

  • Audience is important when writing


  • Student essays

  • Blank rubric for one student to fill in as class develops it (see attached in lesson seven)

  • Guiding questions from below written onto the board or an overhead to help students when editing (see attached)

Partner work – 15-20 minutes

  1. Have them work in partners read each other’s essay. Have them read the essay once to check for structure. Have written on the board or use the overhead provided: Did the author follow the outline? Do they have an introduction and conclusion? Do they have paragraphs that have topic and concluding sentences? Do the paragraphs link together? Make comments and suggestions as needed.

  2. Have them reread the essay a second time and look for content. Provide these guiding questions: Did the student use information from their notes? Is each paragraph in the body clearly linked to one category in the notes? Do you understand their arguments? Is the essay easy to read and do the ideas flow from one to the next?

  3. Read the essay one final time editing for mechanics, such as spelling, punctuation and grammar.

  4. When both partners have read and commented on the essay, have them sit together and discuss with each other their thoughts.

  5. Depending how much peer editing work you have done with the class, you may wish to model this first.

Working together – 20 minutes

  1. Ask the students what is important in the essay? How should this be evaluated? Note that you wrote some guiding questions on the board to help with editing. Ask the students how these fit into assessment? Ask the students if they think the three areas: structure, content and mechanics are important when writing? Why? Work with the students to design a rubric for evaluation.

Working alone – 20-25 minutes

  1. Have the students use the rubric to self evaluate based on the comments from their peer and their own understanding of the work they did.

  2. Have the students rewrite their essay, improving it.

Guiding Questions for Peer Editing

Read once for Structure:

  1. Did the author follow the outline?

  2. Do they have an introduction and conclusion?

  3. Do they have paragraphs that have topic and concluding sentences?

  4. Do the paragraphs link together?

  5. Make comments and suggestions as needed.

Read again for Content:

  1. Did the student use information from their notes?

  2. Is each paragraph in the body clearly linked to one category in the notes?

  3. Do you understand their arguments?

  4. Is the essay easy to read and do the ideas flow from one to the next?

Read one more time for Mechanics:

  1. Spelling

  2. Punctuation

  3. Grammar

Lesson Eleven: Celebration of Learning
Big Idea:

  • Good ideas should be shared


  • Access to butcher paper and other art supplies for the bulletin display

  • White board for brainstorming ideas

  • Student essays

Room Setup:

  1. Split the class into groups of 4-6, ideally with one student from each civilization who has written for and one who has written against.

Group Work – 20 minutes

  1. Have the groups share their essays with each other.

Working together – 40 minutes

  1. Have the class design a bulletin display mural for their essays. Some things to think about:

    1. What should be the title?

    2. What colour should the background be? Should there be pictures or art in the background?

    3. How many essays should go up?

    4. Where should the essays go?

    5. Who will be responsible for each part?

Teacher Assessment

1. Use the class developed rubric to assess the essays

© Holly Lloyd 2010

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