Early Civilizations, WORLD HISTORY CURRICULUM 1-15/150

Early Civilizations, WORLD HISTORY CURRICULUM 1-15/150
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Supplement the textbook and eliminate preparation time with these 15 ready-to-use reproducible world history lessons focusing on early civilizations. Your students will enjoy a wide variety of high-interest activities for individuals, small groups, or the entire class.

Most lessons have three or four activity sheets and can be finished in one or two class periods. Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key provided for each lesson. A majority of the lessons include a 20-question follow-up quiz. The quizzes can also be given as homework assignments or review exercises. Most of the information-filled lessons are able to be used without a textbook.

LESSON/ACTIVITY TITLES (1-15 of 150)
  1. The Rise of Civilization
  2. Prehistoric Man
  3. Civilizations Develop Around the World
  4. Mesopotamia
  5. The Pyramid Game
  6. Map Exercise: Ancient Egypt the Middle East
  7. Other Civilizations of the Ancient Middle East
  8. Ancient India
  9. The Indus Valley Civilization and the Aryans
10. Hinduism
11. Buddhism
12. Ancient China
13. Summary: Early Civilizations
14. Summary Test: Early Civilizations
15. Textbook Study Guide

Detailed descriptions of these lessons are provided below.


LESSON 1. The Rise of Civilization

OBJECTIVE:
To understand what events brought the Stone Age to an end and gave rise to the first civilizations on earth.

TIME:
1 and 1/2 class periods

You can begin this activity by reading with the class page 1A that provides an overview of the earliest civilizations. This includes a list of characteristics civilized societies developed that set them apart from previous Stone Age cultures.

Next, class members enjoy a fun activity in which they pretend to be an archaeologist living in the year 5000. They have never heard of the United States and must draw conclusions about its people based on an artifact (a U.S. coin).

The lesson concludes with The Archaeology Game! Students will “dig” through the list of characteristics of civilized societies on the first page of the lesson. The class is then divided into two teams. Team 1 chooses any one of the numbers on a crossword puzzle and tries to identify the key word or words (from the page one list) that fit in the spaces. A correct answer earns the team 1 point for each space filled on the puzzle.

The two teams take turns picking numbers and giving answers. The only clues to an answer are the number of spaces that it fills on the puzzle and, in some cases, a letter provided by an intersecting word. There is no penalty for a wrong guess.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.


LESSON 2. Prehistoric Man

OBJECTIVE:
To trace the cultural development of man during prehistoric times.

TIME:
1 class period

Begin by reading the introductory paragraphs with the class about the time period known as prehistory, or the Stone Age, which most researchers have divided into three stages:

(1) the Old Stone Age, or Paleolithic period
(2) the Middle Stone Age, or Mesolithic period
(3) the New Stone Age, or Neolithic period

Class members then compete in a fun contest during which a series of statements is shown with information about man’s development during prehistoric times. As students read each of the sentences, they must decide which word or phrase in parentheses correctly describes life during the three periods of the Stone Age. Each student can take their best guess at the answer by underlining their choice. The winners of the contest are the persons with the most correct answers.

To end the activity, class members define a few terms related to the lesson topic. They will also trace the development of man during prehistoric times by listing his accomplishments during the three periods of the Stone Age on a chart.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.


LESSON 3. Civilizations Develop Around the World

OBJECTIVE:
To understand how civilizations arose in various parts of the world.

TIME:
1 class period

You can begin this activity by reading with the class a brief section entitled The Four Cradles of Civilization. This mentions how the first civilizations on earth arose at separate locations in the Eastern Hemisphere –– the Middle East, Egypt, the Indus Valley of ancient India, and the Huang He Valley in China.

Students will then use the rest of the period to work on a map activity. The cradlelands and later civilizations that appeared in Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Europe are shown on a world map on page 3C. Students use information on the map to complete paragraphs on the preceding pages. Class members start by finding the Middle East on the map and will note the list of six characteristics of this ancient civilization. The words in the list are then used to complete paragraphs in the section on the Middle East. Students continue in the same way with sections on Egypt, the Indus Valley, and the Huang He Valley.

To conclude the lesson, in a section called Other Civilizations Develop Around the World, class members will copy characteristics from each of the following civilizations (a list is provided for each one) and write them in spaces provided on the map on page 3C.

• Aegean
• Greek
• Roman
• Andean
• Mayan
• Mexican
• later Chinese
• Western

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.


LESSON 4. Mesopotamia

OBJECTIVE:
To learn about the early civilization developed by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia.

TIME:
1 class period

After reading the short introductory paragraph about Mesopotamia with the class, you can go over the MATCH GAME rules.

Each row in class becomes a team during the playing of the game. Rows may need to be rearranged so that each has about the same number of people. Team members will read question 1, along with answers a, b, and c, to themselves. All three choices give correct information about life long ago in Mesopotamia. Each student must decide which choice best answers the question, and not discuss answers with teammates. They will circle either a, b, or c.

As the teacher, you will next ask the members of Team 1 to raise their hands and signify how many chose a, how many chose b, and how many chose c. Whatever answer was chosen most, the number of team members that chose it will equal the number of points Team 1 scores in the first round. The other teams will then be asked for their choices in question 1, and points will be scored accordingly. This will end round 1. Rounds 2-10 will be played in the same way.

Complete game rules are provided on the lesson pages.

Following the MATCH GAME, students work on a fun word puzzle that includes a series of statements containing more information about life in Mesopotamia. A key word has been omitted from each sentence. Class members try to fill in the spaces with the letters of the missing word. One or more letters in each answer have been provided as clues.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.


LESSON 5. The Pyramid Game

TIME:
1 class period

Students begin this lesson by reading 20 paragraphs about life in ancient Egypt. This Information will then used during the playing of THE PYRAMID GAME!

The class is divided into two teams. Each team will look for gold and other treasure buried inside of 28 ancient Egyptian pyramids.

Play begins when the teacher announces a series of letters, such as “PTGEY.” Students will copy the letters in the spaces provided on the game form. The letters can be rearranged to write a word or name mentioned in the descriptions of Egyptian civilization. The first person on either team to unscramble the letters and raise their hand will be called on. If their answer is correct (EGYPT in the example), they may choose one of the 28 pyramids on the diagram. Everyone will cross out the number chosen, and it cannot be picked again. The teacher will then tell how many millions of dollars worth of treasure is inside of the pyramid.

The next series of letters will then be announced, and play will continue in the same way. If the answer given by a player is incorrect, or if the person called on does not answer immediately, the other team automatically gets a chance to select a pyramid.

SPECIAL NOTE:
Along with using lessons with my own students, I have been publishing/selling lessons for many years. And I will always remember a teacher from South Carolina once telling me that her students got so excited playing this Pyramid Game that she had to ask them to quiet down a little so they would not disturb surrounding classrooms.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.


LESSON 6. Map Exercise: Ancient Egypt the Middle East

OBJECTIVE:
To locate the places and people involved in the development of civilization in North Africa and Southwest Asia.

TIME:
1 class period

You can begin this activity by giving each student a copy of pages 6A - 6B, and separate copies of pages 6C and 6D, which will be joined together to make a large map of Egypt and the Middle East. The two map sections can be taped together on the back side.

After going over the directions for the mapwork, help the class get started on the map exercise. Students can correctly locate places and groups of people by using maps in their textbook and/or by matching the number of letters in the name with the number of spaces on the map.

Next, class members shade in a time-graph showing the approximate time period when each of the following civilizations was at its peak.

• Sumerians
• Babylonians
• Hittites
• Hebrews
• Phoenicians
• Assyrians
• Chaldeans
• Persians

Students conclude the lesson by answering a series of completion and matching questions using information from the map and time-graph they just completed.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.


LESSON 7. Other Civilizations of the Ancient Middle East

OBJECTIVE:
To study the various civilizations that arose in the Middle East in the period following the decline of the Sumerians in Mesopotamia.

TIME:
1 class period

By 3000 B.C., civilizations had been started by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia and the Egyptians in North Africa. More than a thousand years later, other groups of people developed advanced ways of living in the Middle East.

Students begin this activity by carefully reading through a chart which gives a brief history of each group (listed below) and its contributions to civilization. Afterwards, a game is played during which questions are asked about information on the chart. The class is divided into five teams that compete against each other in a fun game about the ancient Middle East.

• Babylonians
• Hittites
• Hebrews
• Phoenicians
• Assyrians
• Chaldeans
• Persians

In the first part, one team will be matched against another to see which one is first to correctly answer a question about the groups of people described on the chart. When a question is asked, the first student from either of the two teams to raise their hand is called on. If their answer is correct, that player’s team scores 10 points. But if the answer is incorrect, 5 points are lost and the other team has one chance to give the right answer and score 10 points. If a player raises their hand, but does not answer immediately when called upon, 5 points are subtracted from the team’s total.

In the second part of the game, teams no longer will be paired against each other. Instead, when a question is asked, anyone in class can raise their hand to answer.

NOTE: Complete game rules, including the order in which teams are matched against each other in part one, are included on the lesson pages.

The questions used to play the game are found on the last two lesson pages, which only the teacher will have during the game. Afterwards, these sheets can be given to the students to do as a review exercise.

Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.


LESSON 8. Ancient India

OBJECTIVE:
To study the geography, climate, and history of India from the rise of the Indus Valley civilization to the fall of the Gupta Empire.

TIME:
1 class period

Begin this lesson by doing the two map exercises covering India's landforms and waterways, and its climate, with the class. If available, colored pencils work great for shading the climate map and can add to students' enjoyment.

Following the map exercises, a section entitled History of Ancient India can be assigned for homework. This includes a series of sentences arranged under the headings below that summarize the most important events in the early history of India. Students must complete the sentences by filling in the spaces with the appropriate words, names, and terms.

• Indus Valley Civilization
• Aryan Civilization
• The Rise and Fall of Empires

You can go over the answers at the beginning of the next class period.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.


LESSON 9. The Indus Valley Civilization and the Aryans

OBJECTIVE:
To examine ways of living that were developed by the early Indus Valley peoples and later by the Aryans.

TIME:
30 minutes

This activity starts with a section entitled The Indus Valley Civilization. Students are given time to read through a series of 8 statements, each of which is followed by two other sentences. Based upon the information in the first statement, class members must decide whether choice "a" or "b" that follows is a true statement.

EXAMPLE:
(1) The towering Himalaya and Hindu Kush mountain ranges divided the Indian subcontinent from the rest of Asia.

(a) About half the people of India earned a living by raising goats and sheep on the mountain slopes.
(b) The mountains limited travel and communication, and kept the Indus Valley civilization nearly isolated from the rest of the world for a thousand years.

Next, after reading background information in a section entitled The Aryans, students will see 15 sentences describing life in the Aryan civilization. Class members must put themselves back in time and decide which of the 15 ways of living they would "like" or "dislike" if they lived in India during those years.

You can discuss student responses after giving them time to complete the exercise.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.


LESSON 10. Hinduism

OBJECTIVE:
To understand the extent to which the Hindu religion has influenced ways of living in India.

TIME:
1 class period

Students begin this activity by reading a story about Hinduism. Afterwards, the class is divided into five teams that compete against each other in a fun and unique game which reviews the story.

When a question is asked, the first person to raise their hand is called on. If their answer is correct, all class members print the name or term along the top row of spaces for the team giving the right answer. For example, if the answer was “caste,” spaces 1 through 5 would be filled with one letter each. You can see how the game forms look in the third thumbnail/preview image.

The team that fills its 54 spaces first wins the game. If no team can do this by the end of the period, then the team with the most spaces filled wins the game.

To help students answer questions during the game, they can look back at the pages that describe the Hindu religion.

Complete game rules are provided on the lesson pages.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.


LESSON 11. Buddhism

OBJECTIVE:
To become familiar with the Buddhist religion and the way that it has influenced the lives of the people of India and the Far East.

TIME:
1 class period

Students are given a story about Buddhism to read for homework (page 11A). At the beginning of the next class period, they are allowed five minutes to read the story again. Papers are then collected and each class member is given another version of the story about Buddhism. This version is different in that many key words, names, and terms are missing. Students must try to fill in the spaces with the missing words, names, and terms that correctly complete the sentences. Correct answers can be chosen from a list that is provided.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS:
This lesson can be turned into a fun contest between individual class members, or pairs, to see who can come up with the most correct answers by the end of the period. You can also present it as a game by dividing the class into two teams that take turns trying to identify the correct answers as you read through the story with them.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.


LESSON 12. Ancient China

OBJECTIVE:
To study the history and development of China during the Shang, Chou, Ch'in, and Han dynasties.

TIME:
1 class period

The class is divided into two teams and will play three games. To begin, each team has 5-10 minutes to read a section entitled Geography of Ancient China, which includes 16 statements and a map. Each of the 16 statements contains an underlined word.

Game 1 begins with all members of Team 1 turning their papers face down. Someone from Team 2 will then raise their hand and, when called upon, read aloud any statement or map name. The underlined answer will not be read, but instead replaced with the word “blank.” Team 1 has two chances to give the right answer. A correct response on the first try earns 10 points, and on the second try 5 points. If a person from Team 1 thinks they know the right answer, they will raise their hand and wait to be called on. The same person cannot answer twice in a row for their team. Team members cannot talk over possible answers.

When Team 1 is finished with its turn, Team 2 places its papers face down. Team 1 can now read a statement or map name, omitting the underlined word.

After both teams have taken their turn, everyone will lay their papers face down. The teacher will now read a statement or give a map name, leaving a “blank.” The first person on either team to raise their hand will be called on. A correct answer is worth 10 points. When a wrong answer is given, the other team has one chance to give the right answer.

Game 2 and Game 3 are played in the same way.

• Game 1: Geography of Ancient China
• Game 2: Shang Dynasty and Chou Dynasty
• Game 3: Ch’in Dynasty and Han Dynasty

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.


LESSONS 13-14. Summary & Test: Early Civilizations

OBJECTIVE:
To review the development of the world's first civilizations, and measure each student's knowledge on the topic.

TIME:
Review sheets (provided) are given ahead of time for studying outside of class. Test takes 1 class period.

You can distribute the review sheets several days before the test. Students should use the study sheets to prepare for the exam during their own time outside of class. The summary reviews the following early civilization topics covered in lessons 1-12:

• Prehistoric Man
• Civilizations Develop Around the World
• Mesopotamia
• The Nile Valley of Egypt
• The Indus Valley of South Asia
• The Huang He Valley of China

The test is the same summary that appeared on the review sheets, except with missing words, names, and terms.

Teacher Instructions and answer key included.


LESSON 15. Textbook Study Guide (can be used with each chapter)

OBJECTIVE:
To emphasize important information found in each chapter of the textbook.

TIME:
Varies since this lesson will not ordinarily be used during class time.

This study guide can be used each time the class begins work on another chapter in the textbook.

Using guidelines set by the teacher, students will construct a timeline, as well as describe pictures and maps in their textbook, There is also section entitled Key Questions where you can make up three questions for students to answer. Lastly, the class can be given a list of places to locate on the world map provided on the last page.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions include further information and suggestions on how this textbook study guide can be used.


See Also...
15 Favorite Lessons: Ancient Greece & Rome, WORLD HISTORY CURRICULUM 16-30/150
15 Favorite Lessons: The Middle Ages, WORLD HISTORY CURRICULUM 31-45/150
15 Lessons: Renaissance/Reformation/Explor. WORLD HISTORY CURRICULUM 46-60/150
15 Lessons: New World/Europe in Transition, WORLD HISTORY CURRICULUM 61-75/150
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