Where Would Be a Better Place to Live: Ancient Athens or Sparta? – Quiz Activity

Ages: 10-13
Suggested length: 1-2 class periods (45-55 minutes each)
Device accessibility: 1 device per 1-2 students

Lesson Information

At a glance

In this lesson, students will explore a fully developed Kialo discussion on the topic, “where would be a better place to live: ancient Athens or Sparta?” In doing so, students will create and participate in a group quiz game and then complete an exit ticket to assess their learning.

Learning objective(s)

In this lesson, students will:

  • Explore a variety of topics related to the ancient Greek city-states Athens and Sparta: society and culture, politics, art, sports, and warfare. 
  • Create and answer review questions for learned topics.
  • [Optional] Conduct independent research.

Prior knowledge

Students should be familiar with the locations of ancient Athens and Sparta, and have a basic knowledge of their societies (e.g. what a city-state is, what democracy is, what a citizen is, that Athens and Sparta were rivals during the same time period, etc.).

Teacher preparation

  • There is no need to clone this discussion. Students can explore the discussion hosted on the Kialo_Edu account by clicking this link.
  • If you would like to invite students to the discussion using the “Share” button or the Teams feature, create one clone of the discussion for yourself.
  • When inviting students to the discussion, give them Viewer permissions.

Provided materials

Lesson Plan

Suggested length: 1- 2 class periods (45-55 minutes each)

Lesson components:
– Opener (5-10 mins)
– Activity
– Part A: Explore the Kialo discussion to create quiz questions & take notes (focus of 1-2 class periods)
– Part B: Play the quiz game (focus of partial class period)
– Optional closer (5-10 minutes)

– Participation and contributions in creation and answering of the quiz questions
– Exit ticket

Opener (5-20 minutes)

  1. Spark student interest by posing one or both of the following questions. Ask students to discuss in pairs:
    1. Which do you think is more important for a society: being the best at arts and culture, or being the strongest and most powerful militarily?
    2. Which society would you rather live in: a freer society, or a more stable, but less democratic society?

Optional extension (11 min): Activate knowledge by showing two TED-Ed videos, A day in the life of an ancient Athenian and This is Sparta: Fierce warriors of the ancient world.

Part A: Explore Kialo Discussion to create quiz questions & take notes (focus of 1-2 class periods)

  1. Divide the class into two teams: Athenians and Spartans.
  2. Explain to students that, as the Athenians and Spartans are rivals, they are going to go head to head in a quiz show to see what each city-state knows about the other.
  3. Explain that some students in each team are going to create quiz questions, while some students will prepare for the quiz by taking notes on both city-states. Divide the students accordingly, or let them choose their own roles.
  4. Distribute the quiz question sheet and graphic organizer to each team. Instruct students to consult the Kialo discussion for ideas to make the quiz questions and information about each civilization.
    1. One part of the team must use the question sheet to come up with 10 questions about their city-state with which to quiz the other team
    2. The other part of the team investigates and takes notes on both their own and the opposing city-state using the graphic organizer. Encourage students to take short notes, rather than copying down exactly what is written in the discussion. 

Tip: Encourage students to explore the entire Kialo discussion, not just the branches whose top claims support the students’ chosen civilization.

Optional differentiation: Direct students in need of a greater challenge to also search for information from outside sources (i.e. those not present in the Kialo discussion).

Part B: Play the quiz game (focus of partial class period)

  1. Have students exit the Kialo discussion; they can now only use their question sheets and graphic organizers.
  2. The two groups of students who were the “investigators” on either team will take their graphic organizers and come up to the front of the class. They will answer the questions.
  3. The Athenians with the question sheet ask the first question about Athens to the Spartan investigators. If the Spartan investigators answer correctly, the Spartans get a point. If not, the Athenian investigators have a chance to “steal” the point by answering the question.
  4. Now it’s the Spartans’ turn. Repeat the same process until all questions have been exhausted. The team with the most points wins. 

Closer (5-10 mins)

  1. Play the “Why” game: Ask a student to say whether they would have rather lived in Athens or Sparta. Then, the rest of the class should ask “Why?” until the student is not able to continue. Then, a different student will be picked, and the game is repeated 2-3 times, or until you feel that the students have been sufficiently engaged.
  2. Have students fill out the Exit Ticket individually before they leave class. 

Related Kialo Discussion

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