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The goal of this unit is for students to understand what a “classical culture” is and why history remembers the West. Students will begin by learning about Greece and Rome, focusing on the modern legacies of these two classical civilizations. They will begin by distinguishing between early river valley civilizations and classical civilizations and analyzing the changes and continuities. Students will compare political systems, and then, they will analyze the influence of Greek democracy on America’s political system. Students will review the main legacies of Rome, and learn about the rise and fall of Rome by completing a model. After studying about Greece and Rome, students will be able to make connections between classical civilizations and how they affect us today.

The performance task requires students to research a classical civilization in India, Persia, Mesoamerica, and China. They will represent that civilization and prove why their civilization is both “advanced” and “classical” by participating in a forum. Each group will prove their civilization’s importance to a panel of judges. The goal is for students to understand that classical civilizations arose around the world, and Western dominance does not negate the achievements of societies in other regions. Students will reflect on the question, “What would be lost without the existence of this classical society?”

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