S O C I A L S T U D I E S F O R 8 T H E . G . B .
T E A C H E R : M A U R I C I O T O R R E S
Sumerians were not just advanced in government
and religion issues; they also developed many other
things, that are part of our daily life today.
Maybe the most
in human History.
cuneiform, the world’s
first writing system.
They used sharp tools
called styluses to make
symbols on clay tablets.
Elements of Writing
Pictographs used to be the way
humans kept “written” records. They
were picture symbols.
In cuneiform, they added
representations of syllables, in that
way, it enriched writing.
Scribes, were specialized people that
were hired to write.
The first stories were written, they
were called Epics.
Long poems that tell stories of heroes: The
Epic of Gilgamesh
They were the first to build
They also created a device that
spins clay, so that a craftsperson
can shape it: potter’s wheel.
Pulled by oxen, the plows broke
through the soil to prepare it for
Math & Sciences
Math system based on the number 60
That is why we divide the circle into 360º
Dividing the year into 12 months.
Studied the natural world
Inventories of names of thousands of plants, animals and
Ingredients from plants, animals and minerals to produce
They even catalogued treatments and symptoms!
The science of building.
People lived in small one story houses, made of mud bricks.
Rulers lived in large palaces.
Temples were the largest and most impressive buildings: they were
They were pyramid shaped temple towers.
Sumerian sculptors produced many
statues of gods.
They used wood, ivory and pottery.
Their pottery was really bad!
They used gold, silver and gems.
They were small stone cylinder engraved
with works of art.
Reed pipes, drums, tambourines and
What was the center of most Sumerian cities?
What was one of the most important technical development of
What different types of art did the Sumerians create?
What Sumerian advance in mathematics do we use everyday when
we look at the calendar?
How did Sumerians write?
How was cuneiform used to express complex ideas?
Extra Task #1
Find out the meaning of all the
words in this slide show, that
are in this color.
Search for their meaning, in
order to be better prepared for
Extra Task #2
Get some clay!
Use a stick or something
similar as a stylus.
Draw some pictographs and
try to write a sentence!
Bring it to school and show it
to your friends, and have
them try to guess what it
Involve your parents and ask
them to help you out!
Burstein, S. M., & Shek, R. (2012). World History
(Teacher´s Edition) (1st Edition ed.). (H. McDougal,
Ed.) Orlando, Florida, US.: Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt Publishing Company.
Images taken from Google and “Ancient
Mesopotamia for Kids”