History KS2: Introducing Ancient Sumer

A boy, Urian, shows us the sights of Ancient Sumer, located in modern-day Iran, on his way to school.

We find out about many of the inventions developed at the time, as well as the careful urban planning that went into the city of Uruk.

He explains their writing system, using a reed to scratch marks on wax tablets, and the impact this had on life.

He claims teachers are very tough, but agrees he is lucky to go to school, as most people can't read or write.

We discover some of the reasons why the Sumer eventually died out.

This clip is from the series Lost Lands.

Teacher Notes

This could be used to compare the first urban civilisations with the cities of today – what has changed and what has stayed the same?

Pupils could compare schools in Ancient Sumer with schools today - what elements are similar and what elements are different?

Pupils could be asked the questions: Why did Sumer develop such an advanced civilisation? What were the advantages of this civilisation, and why did it finally die out?

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching History at Key Stage 2 and Second Level.

More from the series Lost Lands

The story of the Benin bronzes
Introduction to the Indus Valley
Introducing Ancient Egypt
Introducing the Shang Dynasty
Introducing the Maya civilisation
Baghdad in 900AD