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55 Minute Lesson Plan

Luke Johnson & Kyl Rucker

February 28, 2016
Comparing the Development of Empires: Social Studies/High School Grade 10
Objective: The students will analyze the civilizations of the Roman Empire and Han China by
comparing the development of the empires.
Standard: SSHS S2C3 03
Social Studies High School, Strand 2, Concept 3, Performance Objective 3
World History: World in Transition: Compare the development of empires (e.g., Roman, Han,
Mali, Incan, and Ottoman) throughout World History.
ISTE S Standard 3c - Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
C. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to
specific tasks
- Our students will use Plicker cards provided by the teacher during check for
understanding as their piece of technology.
*Anticipatory Set: Our auditory signal will be ladies and gentlemen eyes on me. Think back
to a time when you went to McDonalds, now think of a time when you went to Burger King.
Compare these two experiences, think of the similarities and differences between these two
related restaurants. Then we will call on students to explain their experiences, food, service, etc.
Now we are going to do a similar exercise with two civilizations, Han China and the Roman
Empire. This will last two minutes

Information (I do): Begin the PowerPoint that is prepared to give instructor his talking points
about the lesson. The PowerPoint will begin to compare and contrast the two civilizations. The
first part will speak about geography of the two empires. The students will be provided a graphic
organizer in the form of a Cornell notes diagram to assist them in taking notes. Instructor will
present for approximately 6 minutes.

Think Pair Share, check for understanding (We do): Have the students turn to their elbow
partner and discuss the similar sizes of the empire. How did the geography of the two empires
differ? Check for understanding of activity by using the popsicle sticks to ask students. This will
last approximately three minutes. The instructor will hear from three different pairs of partners
and give aligned responses.

Information (I do): The instructor will continue the PowerPoint. This will last approximately
seven minutes. This part of instruction will focus on the governments and religion of the two

Student Polling, check for understanding (We do): Students will pair with their Wednesday
partners in 20 seconds. They will use their Plicker cards to respond to questions from the
instructor, one response per group. Check for understanding using the popsicle sticks to ask
students about the activity. The instructor will ask five questions and use the Ask-Pause-Call
format to wait for responses from each group. This will last approximately six minutes.

Information (I do): The instructor will continue the PowerPoint presentation and this section
will discuss everyday life of the citizens and the different militaries. This will last approximately
seven minutes.

Read aloud, check for understanding (We do): The instructor will distribute a primary source
from Josephus, a Jewish historian writing about the Roman Imperial army. The instructor will
start the reading and then each student will take turns successively going row by row. Check for
understanding by randomly calling on one student to explain. This will take approximately 7

Information (I do): The instructor will finish the PowerPoint by talking about the end of the two
empires. This will take approximately seven minutes.

Whiteboards, check for understanding (You do):

On a white board, answer the following questions about the two civilizations; students will turn
over whiteboards and then flash the answer when prompted. Students may use their notes. Check
for understanding. This will last six minutes.
1. Where were the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire located? (Mediterranean and East
2. How big was each empire? (about 4 million sq. km)
3. When where the Han Dynasty and Roman Empire established? (R 27 BC) (HC 206 BC)
4. What religion did the Romans practice? (polytheism)
5. What was the nickname of the Roman Legionaries? (Marius mules)
6. What was the piece of technology that Han Chinese soldiers used that Romans did not
have? (The crossbow)
Incorporate the closure questions worded a little differently into this check for understanding if
there is extra time. (Should be at 52 minutes here)

Closure (You do): As a ticket out the door and without using notes, students will answer the
following questions regarding the similarities and differences between the two civilizations. This
will last three minutes.
1. Did the two civilizations differ much in the size of their populations? (No)
2. What gave Han Chinas emperor the right to rule? (Mandate of Heaven)
3. What tribe sacked Rome in 410 ending their empire (Visigoths)
4. What was the name of the tribe that invaded northern Han China (Xiongnu)
5. Why did the Roman soldiers have the nickname of Mariuss mules? (Because they
carried so much gear)

Extended (independent) Practice (You do): For homework students will use their Cornell notes
graphic organizer to complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the two empires. The
students will place at least three items in each part of the Venn diagram.
Answer the following questions in complete sentences: (Key terms we are looking for, 1 point
1) What religion did the Romans practice? (Polytheism, Emperors became gods)
2) What were the 3 major religions in Han China? (Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism)
3) About how many people were controlled by each empire at their height (about 60
4) How many government officials (bureaucrats) did Han China have? (130,000)
5) Roughly how many square kilometers did each empire control? ( about 4 million square
6) How were government positions distributed in Han China as compared to the Roman
Empire? (Election vs civil tests/merit based)
7) What was the name of the tribe of that sacked Rome in 410 ending their empire?
8) How many tons of wheat per year was consumed in Rome? (100,000 tons)
9) Name one of the rebellions that led to the end of the Han Dynasty (Yellow Turban
Rebellion or Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion)
10) What was the name of Roman Empire after the capital was moved to the East (The
Byzantine Empire)
11) What modern day country was the Roman capital located in? (Italy)
12) What was the name of the trade route the Han Chinese established (The Silk Road)
13) What did the Romans call the method they used to control the mob? (Bread and Circuses)
14) What year did the Han Dynasty fall? (220 AD)
15) For extra credit name the King that led the barbarian tribe during the sack of Rome in 410
(King Alaric)

Materials: Students will need pencil or pen to take notes, teacher will provide white boards,
markers and erasers, graphic organizers (Cornell and Venn diagram) and Plicker cards.