Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
A Message of Ancient Days
Lesson at a Glance
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Chapter 12, Lesson 2: The Peloponnesian War (pp. 369-373)
The Big Idea
Framework Concept: Change Years of war with Sparta brought an end to the Golden Age and altered Athenian democracy.
- Review the reasons for the Peloponnesian War, including the rivalry between Athens and
Sparta, and Athens' rise to power and control of other city-states. Point out how Athens' treatment of other city-states prompted them to work against Athens during the war. Have students study the map on page 370 showing Athens and her allies, and Sparta and her allies. Ask students to use the map to speculate various reasons why Persia might have supported Sparta.
- Describe the effect of the War, the plague, and Sparta's yearly destruction of Athens' surrounding food sources. Talk about the changes in Athenian democracy after its defeat. Outline the teachings, trial and death of Socrates, and talk about his choice to remain in Athens and accept the death sentence.
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Check for Understanding
- Ask students to write a letter to the jury supporting or criticizing Socrates' arrest,
trial and sentence. Encourage students to give one or two very clear reasons for their
position, and to include a reference to Athenian democracy. Have students share and discuss.
- Students can make construction paper helmets of a Spartan soldier or an Athenian soldier
from the Peloponnesian War based on the examples shown in the lesson (pp. 369, 370). Then have groups of students reenact the capture of the Athenian fleet at Aegospotami (p. 371).
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