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Athens vs. Sparta

Name: Megan Wallis and Katy McGillin

Topic/Title: Greek City States/ Athens vs. Sparta

Grade/ Subject: World History/ 10th grade


Essential Question: How do the differences between Athens and Sparta highlight the diverse nature of the ancient Greek civilization?


Sunshine State Standards Addressed:

SS.912.W.1.6: Evaluate the role of history in shaping identity and character

SS.912.G.4.4: Use geographic terms and tools to analyze case studies of the development, growth, and changing nature or cities and urban centers.

SS.912.G.2.1: Identify the physical characteristics and the human characteristics that define and differentiate regions.


Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

·   Identify key components of Greek city- states.

·   Locate Athens and Sparta on map.

·  Compare and contrast Athens and Sparta in terms of societal structure, government, and daily life.

·  Synthesize lecture notes to create persuasive argument through a travel brochure in favor of one city-state.


Lesson Content

Between 750 and 500 B.C., the city-state, or polis, became the focus of Greek life.  Greek city-states consisted of a town, city, or village and its surrounding countryside.  During this time, Athens and Sparta became the two most powerful city-states.  Athens was located in Attica and it was the most populous.  It is known as the birthplace of democracy and was ruled by elected magistrates, the Council of 500, and the Assembly.  There was a stratified social hierarchy with slaves at the bottom.  Athens was a member of the Delian League and its military strength was in its navy.  The city was known for its luxury and development of the arts, including architecture, drama, literature, philosophy and science.  On the other hand, Sparta was a military powerhouse known for its highly skilled army.  The city was landlocked and located in the region of Laconia.  Spartans were known for their simple lifestyle and were ruled by a military oligarchy.  The lowest social class was the helots, people who were made to become serfs after their land had been conquered by Sparta. Sparta was the most powerful city-state in the Peloponnesian League.  Boys were sent to military school at the age of seven and all citizens were taught to reject luxuries and respect their elders.  Women had a more equal role in society than Athenian women and were respected for their role of raising sons to become great warriors. 



·  Direct instruction- teacher will give lecture to all students. This ensures that all students receive the same content information.

·   Interactive lecture- teacher will actively engage with students while delivering content. This allows more active participation and easier assessment of students learned curriculum.


Student Grouping

·   During lecture, students will be seated in rows facing the teacher and projector. This will help ensure that students are on task and receiving content knowledge.



Opening: Pose the following to students: “If you had to describe the state of Florida to an outsider, what words would you use? Pick one other state and list the words you would use?” Give 5 minutes. Then as class, discuss the different perceptions and stereotypes they had about their own state and others. Acknowledge that states are different, even if they are located in the same country.

Main Activity: Lecture- This lecture will take more than one class period. Pass out guided notes chart. Explain to students that they should complete the chart by the end of the lecture, based on what they hear and see. The teacher will be showing a PowerPoint that helps illustrate the concepts with visuals, but does not provide the bulk of the information; therefore, they must pay full attention. Main visuals will be pictures.

        o   Begin lecture with a general overview of Sparta and Athens.
Topics will be presented in the following order. The question following each topic below will be used to assess comprehension of the material and aid in completion of chart.

·  Population and location on map:  Which city-state had a larger population? How do you think location might have affected population?

·  Government: What is the difference between a limited democracy and a military oligarchy?

·  Social Structure; How were foreigners incorporated into each city's social structure?

·  Military:  Why do you think Sparta did not have as strong a navy as Athens?

·  Lifestyles and Values: Which city has a more luxurious lifestyle? Does this surprise you based on their location?

·  Role of Women: If you were a Greek woman, where would you want to live and why?

·  Education: How did the type of education reflect the values of each society?

·  Cultural Achievements and Legacy: Who had more diverse cultural achievements? What other aspects that we have discussed influenced this diversity?

Closing Activity- Brochure: Pass out rubric for travel brochure. With the time left in class, students will begin creating a travel brochure. Each student will choose one city-state and create a persuasive brochure enticing tourists to visit. The brochure must include the following components:

·   Map and description of location

·   Cultural activities

·   Accommodations

·   Advantages/disadvantages for certain groups of people

·   At least one “travel warning” about a potential pitfall the tourist may encounter in the city state

Students can use their notes chart and their book to find support for their persuasive claims. This assignment will be due 2 days after being assigned.



·    Notes chart handout for students with accompanying ecture notes for teacher

·    Brochure rubric

·    PowerPoint presentation containing pictures and other pertinent information

·    Art supplies (paper, markers, crayons, colored pencils)



Teacher will walk around while students are working on brochure to check completion of notes chart. This will be a participation grade and students will receive a max of 2 points for completion.

Students will be evaluated on brochure. Using the rubric, they will be able to earn a max of 20 points for a neat, creative, and detailed travel brochure.  This will evaluate their understanding of the differences between the two city-states.

Unknown user,
Dec 6, 2009, 6:50 PM
Unknown user,
Dec 3, 2009, 1:24 PM
Nov 30, 2009, 9:05 PM
Dec 3, 2009, 12:49 PM