Dragon’s Den Assignment Tips

By , September 24, 2015 7:17 am


  • the above document is a chart onto which you can type or write notes on other groups’ presentations

General Mesopotamia and China Websites: 

Mesopotamia (British Museum)

Ancient Mesopotamians (caution: a lot of sponsored links)

10 Mesopotamian Inventions and Discoveries (Ancient Civilizations)

Mesopotamia (Ancient History Encyclopedia)

Databases on YM Library website: https://ymcilibrary.wordpress.com/databases/

  • select History Reference Centre under the History tab
    • select World History
    • select Early Civilizations
    • select Ancient Middle East

Approved Websites













Silk Production



Assyrian Weaponry







Babylonian Astronomy



Writing – Cuneiform 



Babylonian Math



Wheel (including the potter’s wheel)


Agricultural Improvements






Bibliographic Information:

When you take notes, please record the source of your information at the TOP of your notes. Use Chicago Style. For details, please see “Documentation for History Essays” on the blog): 

For a book, a citation follows this simple order:

Author. Title. City: Publisher, Year.

note: publisher is a company, not a person. City can usually be found on the first inside page, or look at the address of the publishing company.

For a real book, this would look like: 

Harari, Yuval Noah. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Toronto: Signal, 2016.

For a website, a citation is slightly different, but not complicated.

Author/Organization. “Title of the Page.” Access date. URL.

For a real website, this would look like:

McDonald’s Corporation. “McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts.” Accessed July 19, 2008. http://www.mcdonalds.com/corp/about/factsheets.html.

Pleased note, this is from the Chicago Manual of Style:

The Chicago Manual of Style. “Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide.” Accessed Feb. 19, 2017. http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html.


Dragons Den Presentations:

Date: TBA

Keep it short and concise, with a contribution from each member of the team. (5 minutes max). Components should be:

  • Brief summary of your innovation (what it did, what life was like before it, when it was invented, by whom).
  • Analysis of how your innovation is significant, incorporating criteria:
    • who was affected by it (specific groups of people  – did it affect farmers, traders, priests, kings? etc.)
    • how deeply (how did it affect their lives for the better?)
  • Request for bids for investment. No need to refer to any specific monetary values.

Remember, we are not focusing on how the innovation is significant to our lives today. 

Everyone will take notes during the presentation. These notes will help you write your reflection and they’ll be handed in.

Dragons Den Write-Up Tips: 

Due date:

You may write in first person, using “I”, because this is a personal reflection.

Paragraph 1:  Start with the details of your innovation and one or two others (what they did, how they were used, what it was like before them, how they used them, etc.). Make sure you use lots of historical details – don’t just give general info.

Paragraph 2: Next, apply the HTC of historical significance. You will address the who and how criteria. In other words, who was affected (which specific groups of people) and how deeply. Make sure to explain your answers. This should not just be a list. Try to be persuasive.  You should also add in your comments on your ranking of the significance of the one or two other innovations as well using the same criteria. This is meant to be a deep analysis, not a summary. Do not choose EVERYONE as who was affected. Be specific about who and how.

Paragraph 3: Demonstrate that you understand why it’s important not to be presentist when judging historical significance of Mesopotamian innovations. Presentism is applying today’s values and beliefs to the past, or judging past societies by our values. Make sure that this is a deep thought, not just a quick mention. Explain the reasons why we don’t want to judge Mesopotamian innovations in the light of today’s high tech world. Lastly, you’ll briefly explain a connection between your innovation and today’s world. Why is it still important? This can be brief but should be on topic.

Prompts or sentence starters for the application section (paragraph 2):

  • TS: I ranked ___ as number one in historical significance and ___ as number ___; here are details about them. 
  • ____ is my #1 ranked innovation because …
  • ____ is my #2 ranked innovation because …
  • ____ and ___ benefited from this innovation because …
  • ____ helped Mesopotamia flourish/thrive/develop as a civilization because …
  • significance is an important historical thinking concept because it teaches us to … I can demonstrate it by…
  • I thought that my innovation was #1 but now I think that …
  • Back then, ____ was really important to Mesopotamians because …

Presentism Prompts (paragraph 3):

  • TS: Presentism is a topic that must be explored by all history students.
  • It is wrong and unhelpful to use presentism because …
  • It would be wrong for me to think that ____ was unimportant to Mesopotamian people because …
  • I noticed that I/the group was presentist in that…
  • I was careful not to be presentist, because I knew that …
  • A good example of non-presentist thinking was ….
  • I caught myself thinking in a presentist way but I stopped it because I realize that …
  • This innovation is still relevant in the world today because…

Ms. G’s Presentation Notes, Sept. 19, 2019


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