The materials here were originally created as a historical, science-based supplement and enrichment for Story of the World Volume 1, Chapter 1: The First Nomads and The First Nomads Become Farmers. However, these materials would be appropriate for any ancient history study.
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Our first grade curriculum gets us digging into the past with Story of the World, the Activity Book, and The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History. These titles and media resources can be used alongside any unit study of the earliest civilizations and are appropriate for the elementary grades. Some material may be too mature or too young for your child. As always, use your best discretion.
Books & Articles
Prehistoric People & Ancient Nomads
DK takes us through the evolution of our early ancestors to the earliest civilizations around the world. Look closely at artifacts, early tools, art, and architecture of our ancient relatives.
Explore Articles Online
The Fertile Crescent
& Ancient Mesopotamia
Picture book written for the lower elementary level as an introduction to civilization. Look inside the book on Amazon.
Explore Articles Online
Find the Fertile Crescent on a Map
Look into the daily lives, beliefs, and history of Mesopotamia from ancient times through the present. Photographs show the art, writing, and artifacts from the first civilizations.
Read about Life in Mesopotamia on Ancient Mesopotamia from the University of Chicago.
Dawn of Civilization Playlist – AllHistories
The Agricultural Revolution: Crash Course World History #1 – CrashCourse
Indus Valley Civilization: Crash Course World History #2
Mesopotamia: Crash Course World History #3
Make a “Cave Painting”
Take a look at some ancient cave art and talk about the materials that cave people may have used to make their paintings. Cave people loved to trace their hands and draw animals they saw in daily life. Use a roll of butcher paper to cover a large portion of your wall. Use chalk to draw and crushed chalk to “paint” larger areas. Trace your hands; draw animals and your family.
Gather Your Own Food
Visit a farm or local u-pick to pick your own fruit or vegetables. Discuss the similarities and differences between a small, modern farm and the first farms in ancient times.
Create Prehistoric Stone Art
Create your own stone carvings using plaster of paris. Find directions for this activity on Pink Stripey Socks.
Great Human Odyssey – PBS Nova
Rent it on Amazon, Stream on Netflix
From Amazon, “Numbering no more than a few thousand, tiny groups of intrepid humans began to move out of Africa-eventually dominating the planet. How did these early humans acquire the skills, technology, and talent to thrive in every environment on earth?”
Stream it on Prime
A humorous and enjoyable movie depicting the life of a fictional ancient cavemen family. This one is just for fun. Use it as a hook to spark interest in ancient times or for a somewhat educational movie night.
If you like The Croods, also check out Dawn of the Croods a Netflix Original Series.
Online Resources to Explore
Ancient Civilizations for Kids
This site takes through ancient history from our pre-historic ancestors to different regions: Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China. Each section features maps, artifacts, architecture, and a video about the region.
Ancient Mesopotamia: Lesson Plans
Investigate a variety of lessons and activities about Ancient Mesopotamia from the University of Chicago. Free printable PDFs with lessons about daily life, recipes, math, science, government, art, and more.
We will be continuing with Ancient World studies throughout the year. Bookmark this page to keep up with all the latest posts.
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