A Lesson Plan on Early Civilizations: Africa to the Middle East

Last Friday, I posted this lesson plan on the earliest civilizations as the Weekly Text and immediately regretted it. Indeed, I chose not to crosspost on the usual platforms because of what I see as, well, not my best work. Over the decade I taught in one high school in New York City, I developed a number of sets of lessons for Global Studies classes, which are a two-year cycle of study that culminate in what was a high-states state test. Each year, as we received news that that the New York State Global Studies Regents Global History and Geography Examination would change (e.g. its named changed a few years ago with the addition of “and Geography,” and along with the test’s content), I worked to rewrite my units to prepare students for the anticipated changes. This is called, of course, “teaching to the test.” If you’ve done it, you know it can be a maddening exercise–especially if you want to keep up with the changes on these tests.

In any case, as I recall this lesson, and the next several I will post, I was trying to move students quickly through the basics of studying global history and geography, and introduce and reinforce basic concepts in historical study and analysis. Furthermore, I believe my class that year was mainly English language learners, so this lesson, and the four that follow it above, were written with them in mind. Incidentally, I wrote the text for this lesson in an attempt to cover a lot of ground in relatively plain, easily comprehensible prose. The worksheet ends with a request for a citation. You might want to put your own name at the bottom of the reading, along with a title, and a made-up press so that students can get some practice writing out citations in MLA style.

So, I open this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the adjective consecutive, which is of course a good word to know when one is studying the sweep of time, and it can be used nicely in front of the plural noun centuries. In the event the lesson goes into a second day (which is likely, since the worksheet is fairly long), here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Nile River. Finally, here is the worksheet with a a reading and comprehension questions that is at the center of the lesson.

If you use this lesson, and thought it a productive experience for your students, please be aware that the next four documents posts above this one are lessons that follow this one in a unit.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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