Mesopotamia Activities - Fishing Nets

Week 1: We colored ancient maps with current countries and made fishing nets.

Mesopotamia, Sumer, Assyria, The Fertile Crescent, Iraq, Babylon, The Cradle of Civilization and Persia are all names which refer countries, cities, land or empires in the same region. The best name to refer to is selected by the time period and the people who were in charge.

The kids were introduced to the area with this 14 minute cartoon.

Ancient Mesopotamia is another video that gives a very good overview of the region.

Blackline Maps Of World History: The Complete Set 5000Bc-Present is a book of ancient blank outline maps from various time periods and regions of the world. Since the land area we are studying for history was ruled by several different peoples, there are many maps in the book referring to this region. We copied the page on Mesopotamia and sketched in the countries that currently are located in that region. Each week we will copy a new map to see how the cities and empires change.

One of the food staples in Mesopotamia was fish. For this reason, the kids were asked to create a fishing net. I handed them a ball of twine and told them to design and build it however they wanted.

My son laid several strands of twine out on the floor and then taped them down. He wove three pieces of twine through his base pieces; one at the top, one in the middle and one at the bottom. Then his net was finished.

He was very proud, but I'm not convinced it will catch any fish. I do think the concept is valid. If he wove more cross threads and had a net which was more square it probably would work. When the weather gets warmer we will have to take a trip to a lake for some testing.

My daughter constructed her net with knots. A few years ago we saw a lady creating a similar basket at a Roman Festival.
She remembered seeing the demonstration and jumped right into tying knots.

Please join us each week as we continue our studies of Mesopotamia. If you aren't already signed-up to receive email notification of new posts, now would be a great time. You can sign-up on the right-hand side of the blog.


  1. Building your own equipment to catch your own dinner is a great way to build appreciation for the grocery store :))

    We did some along the style of these if you need more ideas.

  2. Julie I love that you created fishing nets. On the island where my mother lives there is a fourth generation Greek fish net making family. It is very cool to watch their hands work at this craft. This is pinned to my Look What We Did history board.

    1. I think we need to go on a field trip to your mother's island. That sounds really neat to see.


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