Scheme of Work: Ancient Sumer

Primary Scheme of Work, Key Stage 2 History (unresourced)

By Alf Wilkinson, published 12th January 2017

The Cradle of Civilisation

Ancient Sumer is often called 'the Cradle of Civilisation'. The Ancient Greeks called it Mesopotamia - the land between two rivers. It is where cities first developed, agriculture began and writing first appeared. One eminent historian records 39 'firsts' for Sumer! Most of this was lost until the 20th century, when archaeologists began to uncover hidden treasures. One of these excavated treasures, the so-called 'Standard of Ur', forms the basis of this Scheme of Work.

NB: This scheme of work is designed to sit alongside the article on Ancient Sumer in Primary History (Issue 69, Spring 2015), which contains an introduction to the key elements of Ancient Sumer. 'Making a Picture of Mesopotamia in our Heads' (Primary History Issue 65, Autumn 2013) also describes an extended project based on a visit to the British Museum Mesopotamian gallery.

This unit is structured around 3 sequential history enquiries:

  1. What is the Standard of Ur?
  2. What does the 'Peace' side tell us about life in Sumer?
  3. What does the 'War' side tell us about life in Sumer?

Please note: While this unit contains resource suggestions, it is not a fully resourced scheme of work, and the resources it refers to may in some cases only be available to full members of the HA.

The majority of the HA schemes of work were produced between 2014-2019 by members of the HA primary committee and its affiliates. These schemes of work are designed to support your planning and should be moulded and adapted to fit the context and needs of your own school. 

To view a free sample scheme of work, please refer to our Anglo-Saxons unit.

We regularly check the hyperlinks included in the schemes but unfortunately every now and again some links may go out of date. If you spot a broken link, please let us know on

This resource is FREE for Primary HA Members.

Non HA Members can get instant access for £10.00

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