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Age Range: Grade 6 through Grade 8 (Middle School)
Overview and Purpose: This lesson will encourage students to study and compare Hammurabi's laws with the laws we have in today's society. They will be able to explain why the laws were important.
Objective: The student will be able to explain why Hammurabi's laws are important.
Copies of sections of the Code of Hammurabi (especially ones that correlate to your class or school rules)
5 pieces of poster board
Ask students why laws are important and to name some laws we have that they think will be around in a 1000 years. Teach them about who Hammurabi was and have them look at some of the sections of his Code. Divide the class into groups and have them compare the rules in the Code with rules we have today. Do they see any similarities?
Have them create a Classroom Code based on your rules. Each group can each take a topic (homework, behavior, etc) and list their rules on a piece of poster board. Review the Code as a class and talk about any similarities to Hammurabi's. Why do they think that those rules are still the same?
Ask your students about other government documents we may use today that are similar to Hammurabi's laws. What about the school rules? From the laws that they studied today, which one do they think is the best? The worst? Have them explain their answers. What careers (besides law enforcement) do they think would need to be familiar with our laws?