Ch 3: Ancient Times: AP World History Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Ancient Times chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the earliest history of civilization in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Ancient Times chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

DayTopicsKey Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday The last ice age
Foraging and pastoral nomadic societies
Neolithic agricultural revolution
How the improvement in climate led to new societies
Societies where people roamed to look for food
How life changed when humans began growing crops
Tuesday Neolithic technology
Development of hierarchical structures
Mother goddess worship
Common skills of the Neolithic period, including weaving and stonework
Steps to acquiring leadership, types of hierarchies
Widespread worship of a Mother Goddess in the prehistoric world
Wednesday Population migration
The impact of rivers on early civilizations
How cities were born
The Great Flood and evidence of the Indo-European Diaspora
Why rivers were vital to the development of early societies
How the spread of agriculture eventually led to the creation of cities
Thursday Walls, roads and bronze
The horse and chariot
Nomadic pastoralism
Technologies that altered the ways wars were fought and led to great empires
Overview of the horse peoples, where they lived, advantages and disadvantages they held over more settled populations
FridayThe development of writing
The development of economic systems
Development of religion
How the creation of writing impacted civilization
The invention of money and the creation of complex economies
How religion evolved as society became more complex and technologically advanced

15 Lessons in Chapter 3: Ancient Times: AP World History Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Last Ice Age: Thawing Ice and New Human Opportunities

1. The Last Ice Age: Thawing Ice and New Human Opportunities

What is an ice age? How did the latest period of glaciation form our species? How has the abundance of this latest period of interglaciation changed our behavior? Watch this lesson to find out.

Foraging & Pastoral Nomadic Societies: Definition & Characteristics

2. Foraging & Pastoral Nomadic Societies: Definition & Characteristics

This lesson will discuss those who practice foraging and pastoralism for survival. We will also define the term 'nomadic' and focus on what it means to be egalitarian.

Neolithic Agricultural Revolution: Causes and Implications

3. Neolithic Agricultural Revolution: Causes and Implications

A long, long time ago, human beings roamed the earth looking for food. Then the agricultural revolution struck! What are the benefits of an agrarian society, and how have they shaped the way we live today?

Technologies of the Neolithic Era

4. Technologies of the Neolithic Era

In this lesson, we explore some of the technologies invented, innovated, and changed by Neolithic people as well as the way it improved their lives and lessened their workload.

Development of Hierarchical Structures: Chiefs to Emperors in History

5. Development of Hierarchical Structures: Chiefs to Emperors in History

This lesson will explore society's need for hierarchies, as well as kinship as a basis of hierarchical structures. Various forms of hierarchy will be briefly explored and...spoiler alert...they all come back to kinship.

Mystery Cults and the Early Mother Goddess

6. Mystery Cults and the Early Mother Goddess

What kind of problems do we encounter when talking about ancient religions? What are the Mother Goddess figures, and where do they pop up throughout history? Watch this lesson to learn about one of the earliest forms of religious worship.

The Great Flood and Population Migrations

7. The Great Flood and Population Migrations

The Great Flood myth has been around for over eight millennia. Could it be more than a myth? What could have caused such a flood, and what effects has it had on humans?

Rivers' Impact on Early Civilizations

8. Rivers' Impact on Early Civilizations

This lesson explains why ancient civilizations developed along rivers. In doing this, it highlights the importance of food supplies, flooding, and the process of irrigation.

Villages to Cities: How Cities Were Invented

9. Villages to Cities: How Cities Were Invented

In this video lesson, you'll meet Uruk, a lone farmer living in ancient Mesopotamia. As Uruk tries to become a successful farmer, he realizes the difficulties in sustaining a fruitful farm without the help of a community. Watch to understand how these difficulties contributed to the creation of villages and cities throughout history.

Walls, Roads & Bronze: Tools of Empire Creation

10. Walls, Roads & Bronze: Tools of Empire Creation

Learn some of the tools of the empire creation trade. In this video lesson, we'll explore the wall as a tough nut to be cracked, the strategic importance of roads and the advances made possible by bronze.

The Horse and Chariot: Tools of Empire Creation

11. The Horse and Chariot: Tools of Empire Creation

Horses were first used in warfare to pull chariots. Though horses were eventually ridden by cavalry, it was the chariot that first moved soldiers faster than man. In this lesson, you'll learn about the creation of the chariot, and its benefits during wartime.

Horse People and Nomadic Pastoralism: What is Civilization?

12. Horse People and Nomadic Pastoralism: What is Civilization?

This lecture examines the downsides and limits of settled agriculture and civilization. It then explores how 'civilized' forces are able to displace other systems. Horse people are introduced as a counterpoint to civilization and nomadic pastoralism as a successful alternative method of living. Finally it follows the conflict between nomadic pastoralists and settled agriculturalists throughout history.

The Invention of Writing

13. The Invention of Writing

Writing, the original IT: This lecture covers the limitations and obstacles of aural transmission. It describes the invention of Cuneiform in the fertile crescent. Finally, it explains how writing enabled literate societies to dominate their pre-literate neighbors.

The History of Money and Rise of Complex Economies

14. The History of Money and Rise of Complex Economies

This lecture covers the development of money in response to the needs of complex economies. It begins with a discussion of gift economies. It then examines the factors that led to the growth of commodity economies. Find out how we came to use money, rather than goods, for commerce.

How Religion Developed in the Stone Age and Bronze Age

15. How Religion Developed in the Stone Age and Bronze Age

Have you ever wondered exactly how religion developed in the ancient world? Check out this lesson to see how the impact of cities, writing and invasion upon religion, the ascent of the sky father and the descent of the mother goddess contributed to the development of religion.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the AP World History Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course

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