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Unit 3: Mesopotamia


Explain any performance tasks you will use (major projects and core task, i.e., common

Hammurabi’s Code DBQ- Students will complete a Document-Based-Question task over the
course of three days to answer the essential question: “Were Hammurabi’s Codes just?” Stu-
dents will analyze primary and secondary sources, answer guiding questions, and use evi-
dence from the documents to complete a writing piece that answers the essential question.
For every unit, it is important to have a performance task that goes beyond measuring stu-
dents basic understanding, but rather forces them to use their critical thinking skills. In re-
search done by Teach For America, the organization highlights that “Performance tasks are
designed to be similar to the challenges that adults face every day, requiring students to use
higher-order thinking skills, such as judging, innovating, and creating rather than reciting, re-
sponding, or listing” (Teach For America, 2011). By challenging my students to make a moral
judgement and assess a historical code, they are pushed to critically think and utilize skillsets
that are preparing them for high school and post-secondary experiences.

Explain other assessment evidence you will use: (quizzes, tests, prompts, work sam-
ples and observations):

Warm Ups- Each day, student warm ups will show me if students are able to access infor-
mation they have already learned in relation to the new lesson for that day. This usually com-
prises of review questions that call on important themes and concepts from previous lessons.
These are used as tools that bring students attention to the new lesson for the day, while sim-
ultaneously reviewing past concepts.

Exit Tickets- At the end of class each day, students have an exit ticket. It is comprised of a
few multiple choice questions that will look similar to items they will see on their end-of-year
Social Studies exam. This not only provides them with practice test questions for exams, but it
is also a check for understanding of the most important information from that lesson. It is im-
portant when developing a unit plan to determine common misunderstandings students may
have ahead of time (Teach For America, 2011). Warm ups and exit tickets can show me
where students are struggling and moments that might call for re-teaching throughout the unit

Summative Test- For the closing assessment, students will take a summative test on the
Mesopotamia unit. Tests can serve as reliable means of measuring achievement (Teach For
America, 2011) and tracking student progress towards mastery of the Social Studies stand-
ards and concepts. The test uses questions that measure student mastery of objectives. Most
questions come from SchoolNet, which is a district resource that provides question aligned to
the North Carolina Social Studies standards.

Days 2-5 Independent Practice- These activities are performed by students for skill-building
and practice with the necessary content. This practice usually comes prior to their exit tickets
as an opportunity for students to prepare for the closing exit ticket by working with the content
from the lesson.