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Epic of Gilgamesh Teacher Resources
Find Epic of Gilgamesh educational ideas and activities
Gilgamesh, the hero of the famous Mesopotamian epic, is advised, “The file that you are seeking you will never find. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping.” Ask your class to read selected passages from the Epic of Gilgamesh and to consider how beliefs about mortality and immortality in ancient times compare to those today. Prompts for writing or for discussion are included in the plan.
A debate over the need for natural resources versus the preservation of natural resources is prompted by the reading of an excerpt from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh wants the tress in the Cedar Forest for his building program while Hambaba wants to guard the forest. Class members apply these same conflicting points of view to the expansion and development of the United States. Discussion prompts are included.
Combine business and creativity with this imaginative project that brings The Epic of Gilgamesh to the big screen. High school directors team up, and develop the prologue of the myth into a pre-production film trailer. Educators can develop this idea into a larger project where learners can develop the entire epic into a film. They can cast, storyboard, write a script, and create a marketing plan using a product that is currently available. It could be a lot of fun!
Here is a rather esoteric resource that presents the archetypes found in “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” and would be appropriate for a college-level psychology or literature class, or as a teacher resource. Considered the “world’s oldest story,” the characters and events in the tale of Gilgamesh are presented as illustrations of the archetypal theories of Carl Jung and Fritz Perls’ ideas of polarities. The discussion and writing prompts asks participants to make text-to-theories and text-to-self connections.
Do leaders need to be more moral than followers? Does power corrupt? Can anyone be a leader? Begin a study of leadership with a reading of excerpts from the Epic of Gilgamesh. After examining the ancient Mesopotamian hero, class members “vote with their feet” and agree or disagree with a series of statements about leadership. The ensuing discussion permits learners to examine, like Gilgamesh, the deep aspects of leadership.
Learners explore the cultures and civilizations of Mesopotamia. They take a look at the factors that shaped the region, and study the history of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and other ancient wonders of the world. The class is divided up into seven groups. Each one researches and makes a presentation to the class on one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. The lesson plan is really good, and looks like i will be motivating and enlightening for your middle schoolers.
Moral choices arise when a character is imbued with great talent or super powers. A study of these choices form the basis of a unit focused on character development in the first two novels of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series. The richly detailed plans include step-by-step lessons, activities, extensions, journal prompts, and culminating activities. A great resource.
Students explore world history by identifying geographic locations in class. In this Mesopotamia lesson, students view a timeline of the history of Mesopotamia and the different empires that ruled the area. Students view a PowerPoint presentation and complete several worksheets about the culture and people of Mesopotamia.