- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
- Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
World History I: The Beginnings through Ancient Times
Working independently and cooperatively, students will learn to “think like historians” by analyzing and interpreting artifacts, timelines, and maps, by describing and comparing the major characteristics, developments, contributions, and historical influences of ancient civilizations, and by comparing various aspects of the past to the present and to their own experience. Study will focus on pre-history and ancient times in the following civilizations: Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. Other civilizations may be included in order to provide background knowledge, depth and/or complexity.
Neshaminy StandardsThere are five standards for the students to achieve in the 6th grade program. Each standard focuses on the application of the five characteristics of a civilization in order to analyze a particular ancient society.
The common standard reads as follows:
Analyze how the five characteristics of civilization manifest themselves in a particular ancient society, explain how each characteristic works to satisfy the needs of the people, and identify the influences of that society on modern western civilizations.
Pennsylvania State Standards
Government / Civics (PA Standards)
- Explain the principles and ideals that shape any government.
- Explain the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments and explain the advantages and disadvantages of those systems of government.
- Explain the need for trade among people and nations given the uneven distribution of resources in the world.
- Analyze the forces of cooperation and conflict among people with influences the use, division and control of earth’s resources.
- Explain and give examples of how language, literature, the arts, architecture, other artifacts, traditions, beliefs, values, and behaviors contribute to the development and transmission of the culture of a civilization.
- Identify and describe selected historical periods and patterns of change within and across civilizations.
Essential Content Includes
Major content focus is on applying the five characteristics of a civilization to each society studied. Also, the themes of geography will assist in the analysis of each society.
Mesopotamia: Evolution of societies from hunter-gathering to agricultural; unification of the Mesopotamian society; effects of successful societal growth and expansion; achievements of Mesopotamia.
Egypt: Economic and geographic importance of the Nile River; impact of the specialization of labor and the class structure; the level of impact the Egyptian society has had on western societies today.
Greece: Development of democracy and comparisons of roles of citizens in various Greek city-states; the impact of philosophers on Greece; evolution of empires from city-states; the effect of cultural contact and societal expansion; the achievements and influences of the Greeks on the west.Essential Questions answered in the Neshaminy Curriculum
● What does it mean to live in a “civilized society?”
● How did civilizations influence one another in the ancient world?
● How do members of a civilization (“insiders”) relate to nonmembers (“outsiders”)?
● How have the experiences of ancient civilizations influenced life in the modern world?
● How do social scientists interpret the past?
● What capabilities helped hominids survive?
● How did the development of agriculture change daily life in the Neolithic Age?
● How did geographic challenges lead to the rise of city-states in Mesopotamia?
● Why do historians classify ancient Sumer as a civilization?
● What were the most important achievements of the Mesopotamian empires?
● How did geography affect early settlement in Egypt?
● What did the pharaohs of ancient Egypt accomplish, and how did they do it?
● How did social class affect daily life in ancient Egypt?
● How did geography influence settlement and way of life in ancient Greece?
● How did democracy develop in ancient Greece?
● What were the major differences between Athens and Sparta?
● What factors influenced the outcome of the Persian wars?
● What were the major cultural achievements of Athens?
● How did ancient Greece contribute to the modern world?