Cross-Curricular Lesson Plan: Geography as Destiny

by Kids Discover

“I’m a great believer in geography being destiny.” Abraham Verghese

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The first civilization of Mesopotamia developed in Sumer, a marshy area at the southern end of the fertile plain, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Over time, the Sumerians turned their open villages into walled cities. From our topic Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and More.

Sixth Grade Educator Kelly Horrocks from DeWitt Middle School in Ithaca, NY, was the third place winner of our inaugural Cross-Curricular Lesson Planning Contest. Our  judges loved that this lesson can be successful in both science and social studies classrooms. Kelly frequently integrates cross-curricular lessons into her everyday teaching. 

“I work with an ELA, science and math teacher who all see the benefit of having a theme running through all our classes that is transparent to the students,” she said. “We decide on similar languages and approaches and focus on the same these in these integrated units. It is by far the best and most effective teaching method I know.”

For this lesson, students work together in small groups to research a particular ancient civilization and its corresponding geography. They organize their research in a collaborative Google Doc. Then, each group creates and presents an infographic that reflects their understanding of the essential idea that “geography and natural resources influence societal development.”

With this lesson, Kelly introduces her students to modern skills like online collaboration and creating infographics, while reinforcing quality research abilities. Kids will dig through units like Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ancient India, and African Kingdoms before beginning the design process. 

You can learn about the other winning lesson plans here.  And you can view this lesson through Kelly’s Google Doc or by clicking below. Thanks, Kelly!

Find Kelly's Winning Lesson Plan at This Link!

Find Kelly’s winning lesson plan here to download, share, print or save!


Kids Discover For over 25 years, we’ve been creating beautifully crafted nonfiction products for kids. With a specialty in science and social studies, our team of talented writers, award-winning designers and illustrators, and subject-experts from leading institutions is committed to a single mission: to get children excited about reading and learning.