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Monday Mix-Ins: Mesopotamia, Sumer, and Early Writing

September 11th, 2017

Ziggurat in Southwestern Iran
{Photo by Adam Jones via flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0}

Reminder: Tonight is our Trimester 1 History and Literature Training for SLOCA parents, at 6:30 pm in the MPR. These trainings inspire, prepare, and help connect you to what we will be learning this trimester, and are one of the many beneficial resources offered to our parents. Make it a priority to attend – you won't regret it! 

This week we have a few links to share about ancient Mesopotamia, Sumer, and the earliest form of writing. These links are generally kid-friendly, but they are not all previewed, so we do advise parents to check them out first, or watch alongside your kids to be sure they are appropriate for your family. Monday Mix-ins are optional, but if you get a chance in the week, let your kids explore these supplemental videos and links for enrichment:


Mesopotamia: From Nomads to Farmers – An animated video from Discovery Education:


Mesopotamia: How Writing Came to Be – Another in the same series as the above video, about how the Sumerians created a written language:


Irrigation in Ancient Mesopotamia – A quick overview of irrigation in Mesopotamia:


Cuneiform Tablets: Ancient Writing Comes to Life – Learn about the origins of writing and see examples of early writing:


What The Ancients Did For Us - The Mesopotamians Part 1/6 – Here’s the first segment of this BBC documentary. You can find the others on YouTube:


Ancient Mesopotamia: The Sumerians – A 50-minute documentary by the Discovery Channel:


Discover Mesopotamia with Bugs Bunny – This is short and silly:


And here are a few videos for all the kids who enjoyed Gilgamesh:

The Epic of Gilgamesh – A 10-minute animation of the story of Gilgamesh. Warning for those with younger kids: this does refer to the “harlot” who tamed Enkidu, and contains a comment about king Gilgamesh claiming his right to sleep with the bride at a wedding.


Gilgamesh the King – This is the book the younger levels read, but if your kids want to hear it again, or you have an older student who never read this book, here it is being read aloud:


The Epic of Gilgamesh (Lego Stop Motion) – This doesn’t exactly follow the story we read, but lego lovers might still enjoy it and be inspired by it:



Odyssey Online: The Near East – An educational website to explore ancient civilizations. This section is on the Near East, and later we will post the links to the others.

Mesopotamia, by the British Museum – Click on Sumer to explore the Royal Tombs of Ur and Ziggurats.

Ziggurat of Ur – An article from Khan Academy

The Library of Ashurbanipal – Learn about the oldest surviving royal library in the world.

Royal Game of Ur – From BBC, here you’ll find games, photos, fun facts, a quiz, and more.

Sumerian Games – Test your knowledge of the Sumerians with flashcards, a matching game, a concentration game, and a word search puzzle.

Example of early writing from Mesopotamia
{Photo by Judy Dean via flickr / CC BY 2.0}

Ancient Mesopotamia Rags to Riches game

Ancient Mesopotamia printable Word Search

Cuneiform Calculator – First, figure out how to use it!

Write Like a Babylonian – See your monogram in cuneiform

Cuneiform Charts – Use these to write in cuneiform

Cuneiform Tablet Project


SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with any of the above mentioned websites, businesses, organizations, or individuals.