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Early River 

Valley Civilizations

(3500 B.C. - 450 B.C.)

Early River Valley Civilizations

$160 per month

1 session per week


Allison Bruning




12 - 18  years old




Session 1: City-States in Mesopotamia


Students will identify Fertile Crescent, Mesopotamia, city-state, dynasty, cultural diffusion, polytheism, empire, and Hammurabi. 

Students will analyze why communities need laws. 

Students will examine the three solutions to the environmental challenges of Mesopotamia.

Students will analyze how military leaders gained power in the city-states.

Students will contrast the differences between an empire and a city-state.

Students will analyze Hammurabi's Code of Laws.

Students will examine the life and contributions of Hammurabi. 


1) Complete Section 1 Assessment and Connect to Today on page 34.

2) Read pages 35 - 41 in course textbook.

Session 2: Pyramids on the Nile


Students will review their homework.

Students will identify delta, Narmer, pharaoh, theocracy, pyramid, mummification, hieroglyphics and papyrus.

Students will contrast the differences between flooding the Nile and that of the rivers in Mesopotamia. 

Students will examine the historical significance of the Scorpion King. 

Students will infer why Egypt's pharaoh's were unusually powerful rulers. 

Students will analyze what ancient texts suggest about the Egyptians' knowledge of the human body. 

Students will analyze Egyptian tombs, mummification process and pyramids.

Students will examine the historical importance of the Rosetta Stone.

Students will compare how the status of women was similar in Egyptian and Sumerian societies. 

Students will summarize the main achievements of the ancient Egyptians. 

Students will examine what life was like in ancient Egypt. 


1) Complete Section 2 Assessment and Connect to Today on page 41.

2) Complete Social History on page 43

3) Read pages 19 - 23 in course textbook.

Session 3: Planned Cities on the Indus


Students will review their homework.

Students will identify subcontinent, monsoon, and Harappan civilization. 

Students will examine the environmental challenges farmers of the Indus Valley faced that the Sumerians and Egyptians did not. 

Students will examine how plumbing was used in Mohenjo-Daro.  

Students will explain the main reason Harappan language has not been deciphered. 

Students will analyze the factors that have contributed to the decline of the Indus Valley civilization. 


1) Complete Section 3 Assessment and Connect to Today on page 49.

2) Read pages 50 - 55 in course textbook.

Session 4: River Dynasties in China


Students will review their homework.

Students will identify loess, oracle bone, Mandate of Heaven, dynastic cycle and feudalism. 

Students will examine Lady Hao's Tomb.

Students will compare what Shang cities had in common with those of Sumer.

Students will explain how writing helped unite China. 

Students will examine the development of Chinese writing from ancient to modern times. 

Students will analyze dynastic cycle in China. 

Students will summarize the role the Mandate of Heaven played in the dynastic cycle according to Chinese belief. 

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