Unit 7

Agriculture

and 

Civilization

Agriculture and Civilization

(This is part of the Big History Project Program)

Teachers

Allison Bruning

Prerequisite

Unit 6: Early Humans

Subjects

History, Science, Reading and Writing

Ages

10 - 17 years old

   

Sessions

 

Session 1: Humans and Collective Learning 

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will define Agrarian era, agriculture, ancient, civilization, collective, complex, culture, domesticate, evidence, fertile, historian, population, represent, scholar, and society. 

Students will investigate new research on agriculture to determine plant and animal origins.

Students will review the vocabulary for this unit.

Students will complete and discuss their answers on the Vocabulary: Part 1 worksheet.

Students will watch and discuss "Threshold 7: Agriculture"

HOMEWORK:

No Homework.

Session 2: Why Agriculture Was So Important?

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will watch and discuss "Why Agriculture Was So Important?" and "Jacqueline Howard Presents: History of Domestic Animals"

Students will examine the Driving Question Notebook and Discussion Guide.

Students will read, analyze and discuss "Collective Learning (Part 2) " using the Three Close Reads method.

HOMEWORK:

Choose a breed of a domesticated animal. Research your animal. How did the breed develop what is it good at and how long has been around. Be ready to present your findings to the class in the next session. 

 

Session 3: Biography of a Crop

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will present their homework.

Students will  research and prepare a four- or five-paragraph essay on a key crop.

HOMEWORK:

Biography of a Crop presentation. 

Session 4: What's For Dinner?

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will present their presentations. 

Students will Students will read, analyze and discuss "What's For Dinner Tonight?" using the Three Close Reads method.

Students will answer a general set of questions about their Little Big History topic that will help them to formulate better research questions when they start their final project. 

Students will review Threshold 7 - Agriculture

HOMEWORK:

No Homework

Session 5: Comparing Crops

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will analyze the regional differences in agriculture by comparing the plants and animals that were critical in each of the regions where agriculture first appeared.

Students will answer more complex critical thinking questions about the origins of agriculture and the inequalities in natural resources among the world zones.

Students will review the vocabulary for this unit.

Students will complete and discuss their answers on the Vocabulary: Part 2 worksheet.

HOMEWORK:

No Homework

Session 6: First Civilizations Part A

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will watch and discuss "Where and Why Did the First Cities and States Appear?" 

Students will examine the Agriculture and Civilization Infographic and  the “Agrarian Civilizations: Introduction” article. 

Students will read, analyze and discuss Agrarian Civilizations articles (Mesopotamia/Uruk, East Asia, Greco-Roman, Mesoamerica, Jericho, Aksum, or Ghana), and (for Aksum or Ghana) using the Three Close Reads method. 

Students will record important information about each culture then compare and discuss their findings with the class. 

HOMEWORK:

No Homework

Session 7: First Civilizations Part B

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will read, analyze and discuss Agrarian Civilizations articles (Mesopotamia/Uruk, East Asia, Greco-Roman, Mesoamerica, Jericho, Aksum, or Ghana), and (for Aksum or Ghana) using the Three Close Reads method. 

Students will record important information about each culture then compare and discuss their findings with the class

HOMEWORK:

No Homework.

Session 8: The Emergence of Early Cities

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will read, analyze and discuss "We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: The Emergence of Early Cities" and "The Origins of World Religions" using the Three Close Reads method. 

Students will create a walk-through museum exhibit to illustrate the history and culture of one of the following ancient agrarian civilizations: Babylon, Egypt, Indus River Valley (including Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro), China (Shang Dynasty), Maya, Aztec, Inca, Israel, Greece, or Rome (the Roman Republic).

HOMEWORK:

Research information for your Walk Through Museum Exhibit. 

Session 9: Walk Through Museum

Students will create their Walk Through Museum Exhibits making certain it contains the following: 

  1. Visual artifacts: They will have poster board, but encourage them to think creatively!

  2. Written information: This can be printed out or displayed digitally. Remind students that everything must be in their own words.

  3. Video: This could be in any creative format including but not limited to a documentary-type video, a music video that changes the lyrics to a popular song, or a news report. It should present some basic information about their civilization, including why this particular civilization has had the greatest impact on the world.

  4. Interactive components: This could take a variety of forms, including games from the civilization or a “living member” of the civilization, for example.

Students will compare and contrast three ancient Agrarian civilizations. 

HOMEWORK:

Find somewhere you can place your Walk Through Museum Exhibit. This may be a library, learning center, homeschooling organization, etc. Allison Bruning will help you find a place locally for your to exhibit your display. 

Session 10: History 

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will think about the kinds of questions archaeologists and historians might ask when they must rely upon artifacts rather than written evidence to learn about the past.

Students will watch and discuss "Intro to History."

Students will read, analyze and discuss "Record Keeping and History" using the Three Close Reads method. 

Students will decide what kinds of questions scholars from different disciplines might ask about a piece of evidence that is clearly chosen from the discipline of history.

HOMEWORK:

No Homework

Session 11: Migrations & Intensification

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will watch and discuss "Crash Course: Migrations & Intensification"

Students will examine the Driving Question Notebook and Discussion Guide.

Students will read, analyze and discuss "The Origin of Agriculture in Africa: First Farmers in the Cradle of Humanity" using the Three Close Reads method. 

HOMEWORK:

No Homework 

Session 12: Agriculture and Civilization 

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will explore the questions they might answer in researching their Little Big History project.

Students will examine three theories of why civilizations collapse.

Students will write a five-paragraph essay that argues one of two reasons for that civilization’s collapse: Was that civilization pushed or did they jump? 

HOMEWORK:

Finish your essay.

Session 13: Revising Investigative Writing

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will present their essay. 

Students will examine and revise another Big History student's essay.

HOMEWORK:

Read the Investigation articles for Investigation 7.

Session 14: Investigation 7

LESSON OBJECTIVES: 

Students will write a five- to six-paragraph essay (about 2 pages) responding to the Investigation question: To what extent was farming an improvement over foraging?

HOMEWORK:

No Homework

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