If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content


Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below.
Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. According to John Green, when and where did cities first start to pop up in this region?
  2. How was food produced and distributed in this society?
  3. What were early cities like Uruk like and how were they ruled?
  4. Why was cuneiform first developed and why is writing important, according to John Green?
  5. How were Mesopotamia’s first territorial kingdoms ruled, and what was their great weakness?
  6. What is an empire, according to John Green, and why are they difficult to rule?
  7. What was one of the core ideas of the Neo-Assyrian worldview, and how did it help lead to the downfall of its empire?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to this question:
  1. You now know how cities, then states, then empires formed in Mesopotamia? Do you think it would be possible for things to go differently – for states to form without cities, or for a region to never actually form empires? Why or why not?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

Want to join the conversation?

No posts yet.