About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Early Civilizations 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.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday|| The last Ice Age|
Origins of humankind
Foraging and pastoral nomadic societies
|How the calming of the climate resulted in change for human societies;|
Description of homo sapiens and how they evolved;
Characteristics of foraging and pastoral nomadic societies;
Differences between Paleolithic and Neolithic societies
|Tuesday||Neolithic agricultural revolution|
Development of religion
|How agriculture developed and how it changed society;|
Technologies including weaving, pottery and stonework;
Changes in religion during the Stone and Bronze Ages
|Wednesday||Development of hierarchical structures|
Mother goddess worship
The Great Flood
|Rise of chiefs and emperors;|
Mystery cults and the origins of the mother goddess religions;
Explanations for the flood, how population migrations can be tracked by languages
|Thursday||Impact of rivers|
Rise of the cities
Walls, roads and bronze
|How rivers aided the development of early civilizations;|
Changes that made cities possible;
Technologies that changed war and civilization
|Friday||The horse and chariot|
|How the horse and chariot changed the nature of war;|
The invention of money and more complex economies;
Meaning of civilization, with a look at the Horse Peoples
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.
2. The Origins of Humankind
In this lesson, we explore the fascinating and diverse species of hominids that belong to the evolutionary tree of humankind, as well as the important developments in its history.
3. Preliterate Cultures: Paleolithic vs Neolithic
In this lesson we briefly explore the origins of Homo sapiens before discovering the differences between the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras of human civilization.
4. 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?
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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?
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
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