Anatomy of an Empire:  Science Meets Humanities in this Cross-Curricular Sixth Grade Project

May 20, 2022

The sixth grade embarked on a project of epic proportions this spring with their cross-curricular science and humanities exploration of the "Anatomy of an Empire"!

AoE1This project had students in small groups selecting empires from ancient societies and comparing them to human body systems. Surprisingly, as the students discovered, our human bodies are very much like ancient empires in many ways!




Empires researched: 

  • Mongol Empire
  • Ghana Empire
  • Mauryan Empire
  • Qin Dynasty
  • Zhou Dynasty
  • Persian Empire
  • Macedonia
  • Ptolemaic Empire

Aspects of Empire researched/connected to Body Systems:

  • Appearance and clothing connects to Integumentary System
  • Infrastructure connects to Skeletal System
  • Labor force and jobs connects to Muscular System
  • Government connects to Nervous System
  • Expansion of territory connects to Respiratory System
  • Crop production and food connects to Digestive System
  • Economic and trade networks connects to Circulatory System
  • Arts, culture, and religion connects to Reproductive system


Students used research skills, writing, editing and proofreading skills, creativity, and teamwork, to produce life-sized representations of people from their empire and their body systems. From the outside in, with one half representing humanities and the other half representing science, they created different layers to represent the different body systems and connected parts from ancient societies.

The students really enjoy working on this project, were really proud to show them off on VIP day, and are looking forward to presenting them next week!



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