Sumerian Writing and Cuneiform with Kids

The System of Writing Developed in Ancient Mesopotamia 

For the history class, we did many hands-on activities.

We used this book for the history class. “The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History.” I think there is an updated version out there now. This book introduces world history from prehistoric times to the start of the 21st century.

The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History

When my son was in first grade, we started learning about the Ancient Sumerian people’s lives; we learned many interesting things—wheals, irrigation system, farming, and the writing system cuneiform. We were curious and tried to write the name on the clay.

What We Used

  • Modeling clay (Probably playdoh could work too!)
  • Toothpicks (If you have a flat wooden ruler or popsicle stick, they might work better. Something flat and holdable.)
  • You can find many images when you search “Cuneiform Alphabet.” I found this website that you can type in your name on this website, “Write like a Babylonian” by Penn Museum, and you can see your monogram in cuneiform.

How We Did

Writing Cuneiform (Getty Museum) British philologist and Assyriologist Irving Finkel is presenting how to write cuneiform.
Kids world History: Sumerian Writing and Cuneiform
Experiencing Cuneiform
Kid's trying to write cuneiform
Trying to write his name with cuneiform like ancient Sumerian people… It’s very hard!

I recommend using a flat wooden ruler or anything you can make some wedge shapes on the clay. It was challenging with a toothpick!

Resources for Learning Topics


Kid's Animated History with Pipo (Amazon Prime Video)

Kid’s Animated History with Pipo (Amazon Prime Video)

Episode 13 Mesopotamia – Part 1 / Episode 14 Mesopotamia – Part 2

Ancient Mesopotamia 101 | National Geographic
THE MESOPOTAMIA SONG (Parody of Rihanna – Disturbia) – (Jam Campus)


Cuneiform (Khan Academy)

Ancient Mesopotamia Writing (Ducksters Education Site)

Cuneiform writing (Britannica Kids)

Writing – Cuneiform Script Image (DK findout!)

Write Like a Babylonian (Penn Museum)

Happy learning!

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