Ancient Greece: Geography and Environment


Social Studies Middle School Ancient Greece: Geography and Environment
Students begin with an overview of the geographic conditions that led to Greece’s surprising success as a civilization. Then, they investigate the earliest major Aegean civilizations, the Minoans and the Mycenaeans. Next, they learn about the Dark Age, which ended in a burst of colonization that expanded the physical and mental bounds of Greece. Working in small groups, they put their knowledge together in an insightful discussion.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

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Here are the teacher pack items for Ancient Greece: Geography and Environment:

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Overview

In this experience, students begin with an overview of the geographic conditions that led to Greece’s surprising success as a civilization. Then, they investigate the earliest major Aegean civilizations, the Minoans and the Mycenaeans. Next, they learn about the Dark Age, which ended in a burst of colonization that expanded the physical and mental bounds of Greece. Working in small groups, they put their knowledge together in an insightful discussion. 

This experience contains a lot of content. You may choose to teach it over two sessions in order to spend adequate time on the various early Greek civilizations.

Students will work together in small groups in scene 5.

Objectives

  • Locate and describe the physical geography of ancient Greece.
  • Identify the ways that geography influenced ancient Greece.
  • Describe the earliest Greek civilizations.


It’s a small, rocky, mountainous country with dozens of out-of-the-way islands. There’s little fresh water supply; the soil is poor; farms are small and often built on hillsides. Yet this land with its geographical disadvantages was the birthplace of today’s Western civilization, with its sciences, arts, philosophy, literature—and sports. It’s Greece, and in this experience you’ll learn about its beginnings.

Objectives

  • Locate and describe the physical geography of ancient Greece.
  • Identify the ways that geography influenced ancient Greece.
  • Describe the earliest Greek civilizations.




Greece


Look at the physical map of Greece. (Greece includes not only the mainland but also most of the islands all the way down to Crete.) Notice the colors and textures that mark its physical features.


Write words or brief phrases that describe the geography of Greece, based on the map. To write more than one, separate them by commas, like this: blue, green

Post your answer

Discuss students’ responses. Ask students to state some ideas about how a civilization might develop in a region such as this.


Now read more about Greece’s geography and environment:


Which factors encouraged ancient Greeks to look to the sea for their livelihoods? Choose all that apply.

A) poor soil 
B) plentiful coasts
C) deposits of obsidian
D) short, scrubby bushes

How did being in an unstable, volcanic zone affect the culture of ancient Greece?

A) It led to a large number of people fleeing whenever there was an eruption.
B) The Greeks often had to rebuild buildings that had been destroyed by earthquakes.
C) The Greeks developed a grim but courageous “come what may” attitude toward life.
D) It made the people believe in oracles—gods who foretell the future.

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