I like to start off World History by talking about human origins (this seems an obvious place to start!). However, I find the textbook readings are often very long, overly detailed and quite drab. I have an undergrad in Anthropology (as well as teaching), so I wrote my own short reading for students. The 10 page reading explores human origins, Evolution vs. Creationism, Tools, the Pleistocene and early man. I use easy to understand language and it really gives students a good background. It can be assigned as a background reading or can be given as in class work.
I've included 31 short questions that go with the reading (you'll find this package at the end of the booklet), as well as a teachers guide that has all the answers.
Enjoy! Feedback is always welcome!