NYCDOE: Passport to Social Studies: Grade 6, unit 5
This is the fifth unit of the grade six Social Studies Scope & Sequence, titled: The Mediterranean World and Interactions Across the Eastern Hemisphere. It was developed by a team of NYCDOE staff and teachers, in collaboration with scholars of the humanities and social sciences as well as museum curators. Students will immerse themselves in the topic by discussing focus questions, reading and analyzing a rich collection of diverse primary and secondary sources, examining artifacts, and interpreting images, such as paintings, photographs, and maps.
This guide offers a multitude of perspectives on an era in the Eastern Hemisphere that promoted a more interrelated world, which may have occasionally yielded negative consequences, but in general promoted significant cultural, technological, and scientific advances. Topics of representative lessons in this unit include analyzing different reasons the Roman Empire fell and exploring the effect of this destabilization on locations in Afro-Eurasia, researching, reading, and categorizing information from primary and secondary sources in order to make historical claims about the Silk Road, examining the development of the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world as locations that preserved learning from the Classical Age, collaborating in small groups to consider development of Islamic caliphates and the two main branches of Islam, the Shia and the Sunni, and analyzing the experiences of interregional travelers such as Mansa Musa, Ibn Battuta, Marco Polo, and Zheng He, considering the historical impact their travels had on Afro-Eurasia.
To evaluate student mastery of content knowledge, cognitive processes, and critical thinking skills, this unit includes formative assessments, and a performance-based assessment activity, which has students identifying an interaction that occurred across civilizations in the Eastern Hemisphere, developing and researching a historical claim associated with this interaction, then drafting, revising, editing and publishing a map that depicts the interaction with captions and illustrations.
Please note: the complete set of NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies Core Curriculum materials include a wide-range of trade books and primary documents, in addition to this unit of study. In order to support rigorous social studies instruction and student inquiry, we recommend that teachers integrate these resources into their daily instruction and assessments plans.