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Lesson Plan

Geography of the Fertile Crescent by ECSDM


Social Studies (NYS K-12 Framework Common Core)

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 6th Grade


Mesopotamia, which is present-day Iraq, is the region known as the "land between two rivers." The Tigris and Euphrates rivers provide the much-needed water for the farmers of the area. They both begin in the Taurus Mountains of Turkey, and the rivers deposit silt as they flow south making the region a good place for farming. This land between two rivers is referred to as the Fertile Crescent. The rich soil extends into Egypt! 

The intention of this lesson is for students to understand that Mesopotamia is one of the first civilizations, which developed around the natural resource-water. Water is one of the determining factors when cultures decide to develop permanent settlements. Throughout history, it has led to the development of agriculture, specialization, and cities. The area in the Middle East (Mesopotamia) was one of the first to develop the characteristics that we associate with a civilization.


unitedstreaming/Migration to the Fertile Crescent
unitedstreaming/From Nomads to Farmers

Materials and Resources

The Geography of the Fertile Crescent.pdf
The Geography of the Fertile Crescent.notebook

Anticipatory Set

Google Earth allows you to find locations throughout the world. At 33 degrees north and 44 degrees east, you will find Mesopotamia, which is actually present-day Iraq.


Students will be able to:

  • Locate the Fertile Crescent
  • Find the source of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
  • Understand that Mesopotamia is in present-day Iraq
  • Identify the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
  • Show that they understand that the Tigris and Euphrates empties into the Persian Gulf
  • Duration

    Approximately two to four 42-minute periods

    Materials/Web Resources

  • Google Earth
  • Unitedstreaming-Migration to the Fertile Crescent and From Nomads to Farmers
  • PowerPoint Lesson
  • Word Map worksheet
  • 8x17 plain white paper
  • pencils
  • Map of the Fertile Crescent
  • Glue
  • Pre-printed vocabulary-Mesopotamia and Fertile Crescent
  • SMART Board
  • Personal journals
  • Our World-Lesson Summary: Practice and Activity Sheet (Map)
  • Geography of the Fertile Crescent.ppt
  • Procedure

    Prior to this lesson:

    • Students will copy the vocabulary words from page one of the SMART Board activity.
    • Students will make flash cards for homework.
    • Students will read and discuss the reading passage, Lesson Summary which is the second page of the SMART Board lesson.
    Day One:
    • Teacher will go to Google Earth in order for students to understand where the Middle East is located in relation to the rest of the world.
    • Teacher will distribute a map of the Fertile Crescent which is page three of the SMART Board activity.
    • Students will outline the Fertile Crescent with pen, pencil or marker.
    • Students will trace the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and identify the body of water to which it flows into.
    • Students will identify the source of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
    Students will take notes in their journals: Students will write:
    • Mesopotamia is in present-day Iraq.
    • Mesopotamia is part of the Fertile Crescent.
    • The Fertile Crescent extends into Egypt.
    • The Taurus Mountains are the source of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
    • The Tigris and Euphrates empty into the Persian Gulf.

    Day Two
    • Students will view/discuss a PowerPoint on the Geography of the Fertile Crescent to reinforce the vocabulary/concepts of the lesson. This is page four of the SMART Board lesson.
    • Teacher will model the format of the graphic organizer found on pages five and six of the SMART Board activity.
    • Students will use their flash cards, journals, lesson summary sheet, and information from the PowerPoint to complete a Word Map.
    Students will copy each step for completing the graphic organizer (Word Map) into their journals.
    • Students will write the word crescent in the appropriate box.
    • Students will respond to the question. What is it?
    • Students will brainstorm other shapes that resemble a crescent. See examples on page seven of the SMART Board lesson.
    • Students will respond to the next question. What is it like?
    • Teacher will use the Show/Hide Screen Shade tool in the SMART Board Notebook to hide the sections that are to be elicited from students.
    • Students will give examples of a crescent.
    • Students will copy the completed Word Map shown on page eight of the SMART Board lesson.
    • Students will add the word fertile to crescent to identify the relationship between the two.
    • Students will complete the Word Map found on page nine of the SMART Board activity, which will be taken home, to be used as a reference to complete the homework assignment.
    • Teacher will assign students one vocabulary word to be completed on the worksheet illustrated on page six of the SMART Board activity.
    Day Three:
    • Students will complete the assessment on page ten of the SMART Board.
    • Students will make a foldable.


    See attachment

  • Assessment of the Fertile Crescent.doc

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