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Supplements for Teachers: To Ride The Gods' Own Stallion

--Curriculum Connection

Ancient Assyria (640 B.C.), Nineveh, Mesopotamian culture, cuneiform writing, "Gilgamesh"

--Discussion Questions

Soulai is a somewhat unlikable character at the novel's start. How did you respond to him? If he were your friend, what would you say to him?

Life can sometimes be terribly unfair. Describe an instance when life was unfair to you.

Pretend you are Soulai; write a letter to your father telling him your feelings about being sold into slavery.

Soulai's father believes that "a man measures his worth in his scars." What does that mean?

Although he can mold life-like creatures out of clay, Soulai himself is rather undirected and shapeless for much of the book. What crises in this story force him to evolve?

Have you ever experienced a "life-changing event"? How did it affect you?

Take a look at some of the laws in Hammurabi's Code (one of the earliest codes of law). Are any of them still used today? Which ones are definitely not used?

--Hands-On Projects

Make a clay tablet (use an oven-hardening clay from a craft store)

Write your name or a message in cuneiform (see the following website)

Sculpt a bas-relief from craft clay

Draw a picture of an ornamented horse and chariot

--Engaging References

Rich and Poor In Mesopotamia: Iraq in Ancient Times (Richard Dargie) This book contains some really good information on how the ancient peoples lived.
The Assyrian culture is not dead! Visit this site to read an essay entitled "What It Means To Be An Assyrian" written by a woman who is proud to maintain her Assyrian heritage in the modern world.
The Assyrian International New Agency posts detailed information, some of it relating to ancient times, on this website.
The British Museum, home to magnificent artifacts from ancient Assyria, offers downloadable slide shows and support notes.