Lesson 1: How did the geography of Greece affect early civilizations?

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Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will be able to describe how the geography of Greece influence the way people lived and how they interacted with others

Key Terms to Know

Directions:Look up each term in your textbook (pages 116-120) and define each in your Social Studies Notebook.

  • peninsula
  • Crete
  • Mycenae

The Geography of Greece

Located in southern Europe, Greece is made up of the mainland and hundreds of small islands spread throughout the Ioanian, Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas. As a peninsula, the people of Greece took advantage of living by the sea.

  • They were fishermen
  • They were traders
  • They were sailors

The mountains in Greece did not have fertile soil good for growing crops, like in Mesopotamia, but the mild climate allowed for some farming.

  • They grew barley, wheat, olives, and grapes
  • They raised sheep

The Greeks, like many other ancient civilizations, felt deeply connected to the land they lived on. While living on the land helped to develop a strong sense of pride in their country, the distance between the islands and the mountains did not help to support unity in Greece. The Minoans and Mycenaeans of ancient Greece used their geography to their advantage.

Click the link below for an introduction to Ancient Greece

Introduction to Ancient Greece

Ask Yourself

  • How did the geography of Greece lead to strongly independent Greek communities?
  • How did Greek communities communicate with each other?


Directions: Use your textbook and social studies notes on the Mesopotamian civilization and ancient Greek civilization to compare and contrast how each civilization used and benefitted from living near the water. Use a 3-column matrix chart like this: Media:influence of water.pdf


Directions: All that we know about ancient Greek civilization we know through the discoveries of archaeologists. Imaging that you write for TV Guide. Write a 1 paragraph description of the program that will feature those discoveries.

Click below for Lesson 2

Lesson 2: How did the Minoans and Mycenaeans take advantage of Greece's geography?

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It's All Greek To Me!