Relevant Subject: Social Studies Grade Level

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Colby DeBlaey

Social Studies Lesson Plan

Relevant Subject: Social Studies
Grade Level: 7th (I have five sections of the same Social Studies class)
Topic of the Lesson/Demonstration: Ancient Greece
Title of Lesson Plan: Ancient Greece

Time: 120 minutes

Materials: Document Camera, PowerPoint for Ancient Greece notes (APPENDIX C), Student Computer, Vocabulary Square Handout (APPENDIX A), Timeline Handout (APPENDIX B)

Students will be able to have a better understanding of the achievements that people in Ancient Greece contributed to our world by:

  1. creating a Vocabulary Square in teams of four

  2. showcasing the Vocabulary Square to the class using the document camera

  3. taking notes of the presented Vocabulary Squares using the Timeline Handout

Actual Lesson Plan:

  1. Discuss the previous day’s lesson (students took notes on Ancient Greece from a PowerPoint the teacher created for students). Note: The PowerPoint was shown through a projector and Apple Mac computer (see APPENDIX C for an outline of the notes).

    1. Candy review (ask questions from the PowerPoint and give candy to students who provide correct answers).

    2. Answer any questions students may have about Ancient Greece

  2. Explain that students are going to work in groups of four to create a Vocabulary Square of one of the contributions from Greece that students have already taken notes on (options for students will be Alexander the Great, Democracy, Architecture, Olympics, Literature, Athens, & Sparta). Each group will get a different subject and each student will be responsible for completely and accurately filling in one box of the team’s square.

  3. Tell students that they will be responsible for showcasing their final products on the document camera so that other students can create a Timeline from the Vocabulary Squares.

  4. Show a teacher-created example of the Vocabulary Square using the document camera so students can see what is expected of them for the final product.

  5. Explain to students that they may use the notes from the PowerPoint to fill in the Vocabulary Squares. They may also use the student computer in my room to look online for pictures or for other information they would like to include in their Vocabulary Squares.

  6. Tell students that they must show you a rough draft of the Vocabulary Square before they can fill in the final product. Check for accuracy of content, spelling, and overall quality of work. Tell students that the final Vocabulary Square must be done in color (colored pencils, crayons, markers).

  7. Give students ample time to complete additional research, work together, fill in their rough drafts, and complete their final Vocabulary Square (approx. 45-60 minutes).

  8. When Vocabulary Squares are complete, pass out the Timeline handout.

  9. Ask students to fill in the Timeline while groups present their final Vocabulary Squares to the class using the document camera.

  10. Video” one of the presentations using the document camera. Use this video with the rest of the classes so students can see and hear what is expected of them when they come up to present.

  11. Also, the teacher will “capture” photos of the Vocabulary Squares and will print them for three reasons: (1) so absent students can see the final products, take appropriate notes, and not miss out on anything, (2) so other classes can see the final products of their fellow peers, (3) so I can use the examples with my students next year.

  12. After all students have presented the Vocabulary Squares, show a completed Timeline using the document camera so students can make sure their Timelines are filled out correctly.

  13. Grade Vocabulary Squares and display in the classroom and in the hallway.

APPENDIX A: Vocabulary Squares

Define OR explain in more detail Name the year or century when it

and give an example of a building: began:

Contributions to the world: Draw a picture:


What type of gov’t was created, define Name the year or century when it

This gov’t, and what city-state began:

did it begin in:

Contributions to the world: Draw a picture that represents this type of gov’t:


Define OR explain in more detail: Name the year or century when it began:

Contributions to the world: Draw a picture:


Define OR explain in more detail: Name the year or century when it began:

Contributions to the world: Draw a picture:


Define city-state: Why would someone NOT want to mess with a citizen of this city-state:

Contributions to the world: Draw a picture:


Define city-state: Why would someone NOT want to mess with a citizen of this city-state:

Contributions to the world: Draw a picture:


Define OR explain in more detail: Name the year or century when he took over:

What continents did Alexander gain Draw a picture:

land in and how long did it take him

to do this?


APPENDIX B: Timeline Handout

Ancient Greece Timeline
Olympics Philosophy (Socrates) Literature

8th Century B.C. 5th Century B.C. 5th Century B.C.

6th Century B.C. 5th Century B.C. 4th Century B.C.

Government Architecture Alexander the Great


APPENDIX C: Outline of PowerPoint for Background Information
What do all of these things have in common?






Please write your answer down on a piece of paper.

People from Ancient Greece made remarkable achievements in these areas
Ancient Greece was located near the Mediterranean Sea. The time period started during the 8th century B.C.
*NOTE where Athens and Sparta are

The ancient Greeks all spoke the same language. They believed in the same gods. They shared a common heritage. They perceived themselves as Greeks…but that is where the commonalities ended when “City-States” formed.

A City-State is a central city and surrounding villages (metropolis like Los Angeles). Each city-state was a separate political unit, having its own personality, goals, customs and laws. Ancient Greeks were very loyal to their city-state.
Athens was one of the largest and most important ancient Greek city-states.

*Formed a democratic form of government “ruled by the people” by the end of the 6th century B.C.

Sparta was a city-state located in southern Greece that was one of Athens chief rivals.

*Sparta was the only city-state with a permanent army. At age 7, Spartan boys were sent by their families for military training and had to remain in the army until they were 30 years old.

Characteristics of TWO major city-states citizens:


BE PROUD! You have endured unbelievable pain and hardship to become a superior Spartan soldier and citizen. You were beaten by older children who started fights to help make you tough and strong. You were given very little food, but encouraged to steal food instead. If caught stealing, you were beaten. To avoid severe pain, you learned to be cunning, to lie, to cheat, to steal, and how to get away with it. You were fierce, capable, and proud of your strength. You know you are superior and are delighted to be a Spartan.


BE COURTEOUS! You have been educated in the arts and the sciences and trained to be extremely productive and capable in times of peace or war. You are an achiever. Until age 6 or 7, you were taught at home by your mother, or by a male slave. You learned drama, public speaking, reading writing, math, and perhaps even how to play the flute. Athens is clearly the shining star of all of the Greek city-states.

Ancient Greece’s contributions to the World


OLYMPICS: The first OLYMPICS was held in 776 B.C.

The Olympics were so important to the ancient Greeks that wars were stopped to allow participants to attend. In ancient Greece, each city-state sent a team to represent them in these famous games.



Athens was the first city-state to develop a democratic form of government during the 6th century. Citizens took parts in debates and voted on laws, but NOT everyone enjoyed these rights.

Who do you think was left out of the democratic process?

*Women *Slaves *Foreign residents

Does that sound like a “blast from OUR past” or what?

To honor their gods and goddesses, the ancient Greeks created myths and wrote poems and plays.
Some of the greatest Greek plays were written during the 5th century B.C.

Tragedies: Serious plays that end unhappily. Many of these stories have been the basis for modern films and operas.

Comedies: Plays that poked fun at important citizens, including generals and politicians.

Example: Saturday Night Live


Greek Philosophers study and think about why the world is the way it is.

*Socrates was a famous philosopher during the 5th century. He studied and taught about friendship, knowledge, and justice.

Many people associate the ancient Greeks with their beautiful buildings. The simple designs and soaring columns of their ancient temples have inspired world architecture since they were first constructed.

The Parthenon was built in Athens during the 5th century B.C. as a temple to honor the goddess named Athena.

The Lincoln Memorial was based on Greek architecture.
The Spread of Greek Culture

The city-states of Greece (mainly Athens & Sparta) were constantly at war with each other. By the 4th century B.C., this fighting had weakened their ability to defend themselves.

In 338 B.C., King Philip II of Macedonia conquered the land. After Philip died, his son, Alexander the Great, took control.

Why do you think Alexander was considered “GREAT”?

He was considered an excellent military leader and his armies conquered vast new territories, which spread the Greek culture. He conquered land in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

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