Welcome to Ms. Cantrelle's 6th grade Social Studies Web site. I will be listing what assignments the students are expected to complete this week. I will also let you know when to expect quizzes and tests. I am excited to walk this journey around the ancient world with you!

****Please check out Forms and Docs tab on the left for the Power Point and the documents used in this unit.

****Parents: I put a TASK in Forms and Docs. I suggested to the students that they complete this with you. I told them to be the teacher! I hope this helps you understand the writing process we use a little better. I will also give you the standard format for writing in social studies.

1. Read the prompt.
2. Claim - A. restate the topic
               B. State (NOT EXPLAIN) the 2/3 reasons you will be explaining.
3. Content includes:
4. Explain - In your own words, (for EACH reason ) why.
                  * Each explanation MUST have a minimum of 3 sentences.
5. Text Evidence - This comes directly from the source(s):
                  The article states, "......................."
6. Conclusion - Restate the Claim and Content.

 Students: You should be reviewing what was covered in class daily.
           Tell a story. DO NOT MEMORIZE NOTES.
Parents: Ask your child to tell you a story of what we learned in social studies
         each day. It is the best way for them to learn the material.

Notes and info for Unit 2 / Part 2 - Egypt

Student expectations for this unit:

Know:  Egypt, Upper Egypt, Lower Egypt, Nubia, Kush, silt, fertile soil, irrigation, agriculture,

surplus of crops/food, Mediterranean Sea, desert, Nile River, delta, Nile River Valley,

shaduf, irrigation, “gift of the Nile” economy, trade, import, export,  job specialization,

social classes, inventions,  achievements/accomplishments, temples, pyramids,

hieroglyphics, scribes, Rosetta Stone, government, laws, political, pharaohs,

divine kingship, dynasties, mummies, polytheism


*physical features necessary for a civilization (Egypt) to develop
*importance of rich silt for the growing of crop

*how irrigation of the Nile River expanded land available for farming

*impact of surplus of crops/food on Egypt

*location and importance of the Nile River and Mediterranean Sea and their impact on trade

*how trade impacted the economy of Egypt

*what led to the formation of social classes in Egypt and the effect of the classes on 

    the economy and government of Egypt

*important invention, achievements, and contributions of Egypt

*importance of pyramids

* impact of writing (hieroglyphics) on Egypt and future civilizations

*importance of government and laws for a civilization

*impact of religion on a civilization

*relationship between government and religion

     Vocabulary terms:

1. delta - where a river empties into a larger body of water

2. cataract - large waterfall along the Nile River

3. mummification - the process of preserving a dead body   

4. papyrus - a plant that grows along the banks of the Nile River that is used to make paper     

5. reincarnation - the process of moving from one life to another 


   Notes given:
Egypt is located in northeast Africa.

2. Surrounded by hot, sandy deserts, the Nile River brought life to the people who lived by it. 

3. The Nile begins in East Africa, flows through Egypt, and finally empties into the

    Mediterranean Sea.

4. The Nile River was important to the ancient Egyptians because it provided fresh water.

5. Every year the Nile River would overflow its banks.

6. At first, the Egyptians lost their crops, their houses, and (in some cases) their lives. But the

    Egyptian people noticed after a time that the floods came about the same time every year. After

    recording the number of days between floods, the Egyptians made a calendar to help them keep

    track of when the Nile would flood. This helped them plan ahead.

7.  The floods brought good, fresh soil up onto the land. This soil was ideal for planting barley,

     wheat, other grains, and vegetables. Papyrus was another valuable crop. The Egyptians used its

     stems to make paper. Papyrus was used for record keeping.

8. Sometimes the river did not flood enough and crops could not grow. When this happened,

    Egyptians used their surplus of food.

9.Like the Mesopotamians, the Egyptians dug irrigation canals to transport water to their crops. 10.They invented a shaduf, a water-raising device.

11. The river also gave them a chance to catch many fish.

12. The Nile also provided protection from attack. People wanting to invade Egypt would have to

      first cross the river, which was very wide in places.

13. Another important way that the Nile helped the ancient Egyptians was in transportation and

      trade. Goods went to and from Egypt down and up the Nile, which had its mouth at the

      Mediterranean Sea.

14.At the beginning of its history, Egypt was divided into two kingdoms: Upper Egypt (to the south)

    and Lower Egypt (to the north). In about 3150 B.C., King Menes united Upper and Lower Egypt

    into one unified civilization. Menes became the first true king of Egypt. 

15.  The king was the only member of government. He did not really have advisers, and the

       Egyptian people certainly didn't vote or elect their king.

16. After a while, the kings began calling themselves pharaohs.

17. The Egyptians also believed that the pharaohs were children of the gods. The Egyptians

      believed that the Pharaohs ruled through the gods. This was called divine kingship.

18. The pharaoh was in charge of every part of life for everyone.

19. The Egyptians developed a form of writing, based on pictures, called hieroglyphics.

20. Egyptians used their writing to keep records of how much grain they had on hand and how

      much they sold. They also kept records of how many taxes farmers owed to the government.

      These records were written, using brushes on papyrus, paper made from the papyrus plant.

21. Archaeologists did not know how to read the hieroglyphics found on ancient Egyptian buildings

      and artifacts for a long time. In 1799, the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It was eventually

      used to decipher / decode Egyptian hieroglyphics.

22. The ancient Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs and their queens.

23. The most well-known of these pyramids was built for the pharaoh Khufu. It is known as the

      'Great Pyramid'.

24. The ancient Egyptians developed a method of preserving bodies so they would remain lifelike.

      The process included embalming the bodies and wrapping them in strips of linen. Today we

      call this process mummification.

25. The ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife; they believed that this afterlife was very much

      like their lives on Earth, and they had to be prepared for this new life.

26. The pharaoh was in charge of every part of life for everyone. The pharaoh was also in charge

      of the armies and any laws that were decided upon were the responsibility of the pharaoh.   

27. Over the years Egypt developed a class system, and each person living in ancient Egypt knew

      where they existed in the system and had specific rights of that class.

Egypt's Social Structure:

 At the very top of this social structure were the pharaoh and their gods.

 Under the pharaoh and the other gods, there was a chief minister called a ‘vizier’ that watched over tax collection, and monitored the government records that were kept by the scribes.

This level included scribes, those who could read and write, and priests.

  The next level down contained the scribes, craftsmen, artisans, and traders, and soldiers.  The craftsman, artisans, traders and even physicians were considered the middle class of ancient Egypt.

  The bottom of the social structure contained the farmers. They paid high taxes to the pharaoh, sometimes as much as sixty percent of what they grew.

 On the very bottom of the social structure were slaves. Slaves were people that may have been war prisoners or criminals. Slavery became a major part of the ancient Egyptian community and they were forced to do whatever labor that was needed by the nobles and the pharaoh.

28. The ancient Egyptians were great traders. They traded gold, papyrus, linen, and grain for 
      cedar wood, ebony, copper, iron, ivory, and lapis lazuli (a lovely blue gem stone.) Ships sailed
      up and down the Nile River, bringing goods to various ports.
29. The south, especially Nubia, was rich in gold and mineral deposits, building stone, ebony,
      ivory,ostrich feathers and eggs, as well as livestock and cattle.
30. Goods, both imported and created by craftsmen at home, were purchased in four main ways -
      using grain banks, a barter system, metal weights, and bread and beer.
31. Ancient Egyptian religion was polytheistic. They believed the gods were in control of the
     forces and elements of nature. 
32.  The pharaoh acted as the intermediary (go-between) between his people and the gods.
33. Nubia was a kingdom to the south of Egypt. The Nubians developed their own culture. They
      had their own art, architecture, and beliefs. However, the Egyptians and Nubians
      borrowed  from each other’s culture.
34. Kush, a kingdom in Nubia, took control of Egypt about 750 B.C.
35. About 600 B.C., the Assyrians of Mesopotamia attacked Kush-ruled Egypt, pushing the Nubians
36. Egypt remained weak until they were eventually conquered by the Romans in the first century A.D.