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The Hanging Gardens of Babylon:
Several stories have risen about how the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built. The more dependable of the stories was that the Gardens were built by King Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled over Babylon from 605 B.C. until his death in 562 B.C. Supposedly, King Nebuchadnezzar had the Gardens built to help make his homesick Queen feel more at home as her home was more green and rich in plants while Babylon was the exact opposite.
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In this lesson students will learn about the history of The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Students will learn new terms related to Babylon as well as build their own Hanging Gardens!
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The Lesson Plan
1. Introduce the students to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon by reading:
Ancient Iraq: Archaeology Unlocks the Secrets of Iraq's Past Author: Beth Gruber; Consultant: Tony Wilkinson
This book not only gives some insightful information about the gardens but also touches on some rich history in Iraq. Artifacts and ancient structures are also touched upon. Some helpful questions to ask the students after reading the material are:
- What is an example of an artifact?
- What were The Hanging Gardens of Babylon?
- Who built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?
2. Show students where Iraq is located on the map. Explain that Iraq is located on one of the seven continents, Asia. A free outline of Iraq can be found here. With this outline you can all students to fill in the map of Iraq and draw what they think to be the main cities, sites, rivers, etc. This activity helps students learn about mapping and geography.
3. Have the students making their very own hanging gardens!
- Small rocks and pebbles
- Small Plants (plastic pots)
- Empty soda bottle
- Teacher or have parents do beforehand: clean soda bottle and cut top half off so that you only have the bottom remaining. Try making a clean-cut, no jagged edges for safety.
- Have students fill bottom of empty bottle with rocks, pebbles, and dirt. Students will keep layering the bottom of the bottle until they hit the middle of the bottle.
- When they hit the middle of the bottle place the small plant in the bottle on top of the layered mixture so that the plant is hanging out of the top of the bottle.
- Place some more rocks and pebbles around the small plant pot (in between the plant bottle and bottle) until you can not see the small pot.
All of the children now have Hanging Gardens!
4. Extra Homework Assignment:
- Have children do an internet search to find Nebuchadnezzar’s wife’s name (whom he supposedlybuilt the Gardens for)
- Answer is: Amyitis
- Bonus Question: Where was she from:
- Answer: Media
After this lesson students will not only know more about the history of The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the story behind this great wonder, but will also understand many terms related to Iraq, the geography of Iraq, and the cultural aspects.
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