Lesson 3: What Is A Civilization?

Day 2

Activity 3: Creating Your Own Civilization

Tell your child that today he will pretend to create his own civilization. He must think of a name for his civilization, and then ask him to think through the elements of a civilization and decide what his civilization will look like in each area. Remind him to think of new and unusual aspects of his culture. Be sure that his ideas reflect the natural resources and the environment he describes. For example, if there are no trees, then there cannot be log cabins in his civilization. He can borrow ideas from other civilizations, but his civilization must be unique. Ask him to record his ideas on the "Creating Your Own Civilization" page.

Activity 4: Advertising

Materials: art materials, poster board
Tell your child that you want him to create a poster or presentation that will tell people more about his civilization. The advertisement should excite people and include vivid language/pictures that encourage people to visit. Remind him that his natural resources will be tied to what food, clothing, shelter, and jobs are available. Review the idea that we combine natural resources to make new products or new materials.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Weslandia by Paul Fleischman
Review the idea that cultures are always changing due to weather, war, other cultures, technology, and leaders. Ask your child to reread Weslandia and think about how Weslandia would change in each of the following situations. In each situation, ask him to identify what causes the change (war, other cultures, technology, weather, or leaders). Then ask him to think about what would happen to Weslandia, how the children would respond, and what would change.
  1. The swist plant stops growing when the winter comes, and it freezes.
  2. A group of kids from another neighborhood comes to Weslandia and cuts down all of the swist plants.
  3. Wesley develops a technique that combines the swist plant with water and heat to make a material similar to plastic.
  4. Wesley begins to hoard all the swist plants for himself and his closest friends.
  5. A new group of neighborhood kids discovers Weslandia and wants to trade products from their civilization for products from Weslandia.
    Other cultures.