Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Civilizations

Course Features

Course Details


Course Overview

Acellus Ancient Civilizations leads Middle School students through a dynamic and engaging discussion of early civilizations from the Paleolithic (Old Stone) Age through the middle ages. Ancient Civilizations is taught by Paula Keltner.
This course was developed by the International Academy of Science. Learn More

Scope and Sequence

Unit 1 – Geography Review In this unit students learn about continents; oceans; latitude; longitude; global address; hemispheres; and climate zones. They also learn about parts of a map; types of maps: physical, political, historical, and distribution; and five themes of geography. Unit 2 – Archaeology In this unit students learn about archaeology, primary and secondary sources, and the Paleolithic (Old Stone) Age. They also learn about the transition to the Neolithic Age, the Neolithic (New Stone) Age, and Oetzi, or the Iceman, a man from the Neolithic Period whose frozen body was found in the Alps. Unit 3 – Mesopotamia In this unit students learn about timelines, as well as a political map of the Middle East, and the geography of Mesopotamia. They also learn about the benefits of flooding, cuneiform (the first system of writing), government and polytheism, Hammurabi's Code of Law, characteristics of a civilization, and the contributions made by Mesopotamia, as well as Assyria and Chaldea. Unit 4 – Egypt and Nubia In this unit students learn about the geography of Egypt, its social pyramid, religious practices in Egypt and daily life in Ancient Egypt. They also learn about the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms, Hatshepsut, King Tut, Ramses II, and contributions made by Egypt. In addition, students learn about Nubia, the defeat of Egypt by Kush, and Meroe. Unit 5 – Monotheistic Religions In this unit students learn about religion, Abraham and the Covenant, Moses and the Israelites, Solomon's Temple, and Jesus of Nazareth and his parables, teachings, and crucifixion. They also learn about Constantine and Paul, Muhammad and the Angel Gabriel, the spread of Islam in Arabia, and the Five Pillars of Islam. Finally, they use comparing and contrasting to learn about the differences and similarities among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Unit 6 – Islamic Empires In this unit students study the Muslim Empire. They learn about trade, how Islam split, Abbasids, Seljuk Turka, Ottomon, and Mogul. Unit 7 – Africa In this unit students learn about Africa and its geography and vegetation, the Trans-Saharan Journey, the role of oral tradition, and religious practices in Africa. They also learn about the West African Empires, supply and demand, the gold and salt trades, Mansa Musa and the Mali Empire, the gold and salt trade today, and West Africa today. Unit 8 – India In this unit students study a political map of India and learn about the geography of India, monsoons, the Harappan Culture of Mohenjo-Daro and civilization there. They also learn about Hinduism, including Brahman and multiple gods as well as Dharma, Karma, and Samsara. In addition, they learn about the caste system, the untouchables and civil rights, the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the spread of Buddhism, and contributions of ancient India. Unit 9 – China In this unit students study a political map and the geography of China, and learn about rice cultivation, the steps involved in rice cultivation, and the connection between population and rice cultivation. They also learn about the Shang Dynasty and the Mandate of Heaven, the Zhou Dynasty, warring states, the birth of philosophies, Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism, as well as the Qin Dynasty, the Great Wall of China, the Tomb of Qin Shi Huandi, the Han Dynasty, and inventions in ancient China. Unit 10 – Feudal Japan In this unit students learn about the geography of Japan, the Chinese influences on Japan, from early Japan to Fujiwara, and feudal Japan. They also learn about the decline of feudalism and Japanese isolation. Unit 11 – Ancient Greece – Birth to Democracy In this unit students learn about the geography of Greece, the influence of the Phoenicians, how the Minoans and Mycenaeans began Greek Culture, the Trojan War, and the dark ages, They also learn about Athens as the birth place of democracy, the polis, slavery, monarchy, oligarchy, tyranny, democracy, and branches of democracy. Unit 12 – Ancient Greece – Sparta to Alexander the Great In this unit students learn about the Hoplites; warfare; the Greek Warrior; Sparta as the City of Soldiers; soldiers, slaves, and women in Sparta; and Athens versus Sparta. They also learn about the Persian War, including the Battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis, and finally Plataea, where Persia was defeated. In addition, students learn about the Golden Age of Athens, the Delian League versus the Aegean League in the Pelopennesian War, contributions of Ancient Greece, Greek columns, Alexander the Great and how he built his empire, and the Hellenistic Age. Unit 13 – Ancient Rome – Beginnings to Fall of Caesar In this unit students learn about the Legend of Romulas and Remus, the geography of Rome, the Etruscan Rule, Horatius at the Bridge, and the rise and structure of the Republic. Students also learn about the Punic Wars, including Carthage, Sicily, the First Punic War, Hannibal, the final battle that destroyed Carthage, and the results. In addition, students study the rise and fall of Julius Ceasar, and Ceasar's accomplishments. Unit 14 – Pax Romana to Fall of Rome In this unit students learn about Augustus Caesar, Rome's first emperor, as well as Pax Romana's roads and communication, Greek influences, and Roman architecture, They also learn about Christians in Rome, the division of the Roman Empire, the collapse of Rome, and the achievements of Ancient Rome. Unit 15 – Early American Civilizations In this unit students learn about the geography of the Americas and the first Americans. They study the Olmecs, the Mayans, Mayan cities and warfare among them, the Aztecs, the Incas, the cliff dwellers, and the mound builders. Unit 16 – Middle Ages In this unit students study a political map and the geography of Europe. They also learn about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the development of feudal Europe, a feudal social pyramid, the Crusades, the Magna Charta which was designed to limit the power of the King, conditions that encouraged the Black Death and causes of this disease, how the Crusades, the Magna Charta, and the Black Death ended the Middle Ages. In addition, they learn how culture was reborn through the Renaissance, and Martin Luther and Protestant Reformation. They also study a visual timeline.

Course Lesson List

    Unit 1 – Geography Review
    • Latitude
    • Longitude and Global Address
    • Hemispheres
    • Climate Zones
    • Parts of a Map
    • Types of Maps: Physical, Political, Historical
    • Five Themes of Geography
    • Unit 1 Review
    • Unit 1 Exam
    Unit 2 – Archaeology
    • Archaeology
    • Primary and Secondary Sources
    • Paleolithic (Old Stone) Age
    • Transition to Neolithic Age
    • Neolithic (New Stone) Age
    • Oetzi: Iceman of the Alps
    • Unit 2 Review
    • Unit 2 Exam
    Unit 3 – Mesopotamia
    • Timelines
    • Political Map of the Middle East
    • Geography of Mesopotamia
    • Benefits of Flooding
    • Cuneiform: First System of Writing
    • Government and Polytheism
    • Hammurabi's Code of Law
    • Characteristics of a Civilization
    • Contributions of Mesopotamia
    • Assyria
    • Chaldea
    • Unit 3 Review
    • Unit 3 Exam
    Unit 4 – Egypt and Nubia
    • Geography of Egypt
    • Social Pyramid
    • Religious Practices in Egypt
    • Daily Life in Ancient Egypt
    • Old Kingdom
    • Middle Kingdom
    • New Kingdom
    • Hatshepsut
    • King Tut
    • Ramses II
    • Contributions of Egypt
    • Nubia
    • Kush Defeats Egypt
    • Meroe
    • Unit 4 Review
    • Unit 4 Exam
    Unit 5 – Monotheistic Religions
    • Introduction to Religion
    • Abraham and the Covenant
    • Moses and the Israelites
    • Solomon's Temple
    • Jesus of Nazareth
    • Jesus: Parables and Teachings
    • Crucifixion of Jesus
    • Constantine and Paul
    • Muhammad and the Angel Gabriel
    • Spread of Islam in Arabia
    • Five Pillars of Islam - Part 1
    • Five Pillars of Islam - Part 2
    • Compare & Contrast Judaism, Christianity & Islam
    • Unit 5 Review
    • Unit 5 Exam
    Unit 6 – Islamic Empires
    • Islam Splits
    • Abbasids
    • Seljuk Turks
    • Ottoman
    • Mogul
    • Unit 6 Review
    • Unit 6 Exam
    Unit 7 – Africa
    • Introduction to Africa
    • Geography: Vegetation
    • Trans-Saharan Journey
    • Role of Oral Tradition
    • Religious Practices in Africa
    • West African Empires
    • Supply and Demand
    • Gold and Salt Trade
    • Mansa Musa and Mali Empire
    • Gold and Salt Trade Today
    • West Africa Today
    • Unit 7 Review
    • Unit 7 Exam
    Unit 8 – India
    • Political Map of India
    • Geography of India and Monsoons
    • Harappan Culture: Mohenjo-Daro
    • Civilization in Mohenjo-Daro
    • Hinduism: Brahman and Multiple Gods
    • Hinduism: Dharma, Karma and Samsara
    • Caste System
    • Untouchables and Civil Rights
    • Siddhartha Gautama's Life - Part 1
    • Siddhartha Gautama's Life - Part 2
    • Four Noble Truths
    • Eightfold Path and Spread of Buddhism
    • Contributions of Ancient India
    • Mid-Term Review
    • Mid-Term Exam
    Unit 9 – China
    • Political Map of Asia
    • Geography of China
    • Introduction to Rice Cultivation
    • Steps of Rice Cultivation
    • Connecting Rice Cultivation to Population
    • Shang Dynasty and Mandate of Heaven
    • Zhou Dynasty
    • Warring States and Birth of Philosophies
    • Review of Warring States
    • Confucianism
    • Daoism
    • Legalism
    • Qin Dynasty
    • The Great Wall of China -Tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi
    • Han Dynasty and Inventions
    • Unit 9 Review
    • Unit 9 Exam
    Unit 10 – Feudal Japan
    • Geography of Japan
    • Chinese Influences on Japan
    • Early Japan to Fujiwara
    • Feudal Japan
    • Decline of Feudalism and Japanese Isolation
    • Unit 10 Review
    • Unit 10 Exam
    Unit 11 – Ancient Greece – Birth to Democracy
    • Geography of Greece
    • Influence of the Phoenicians
    • Birth of Greek Culture: Minoans and Mycenaeans
    • Trojan War and Dark Ages
    • Athens: Birth Place of Democracy
    • The Polis and Slavery
    • Monarchy and Oligarchy
    • Tyranny and Democracy
    • Branches of Democracy
    • Unit 11 Review
    • Unit 11 Exam
    Unit 12 – Ancient Greece – Sparta to Alexander the Great
    • Hoplites and Warfare: The Greek Warrior
    • Sparta: City of Soldiers
    • Sparta: Soldiers, Slaves and Women
    • Athens versus Sparta
    • The Persian War: Battle of Marathon
    • The Persian War: Battle of Thermopylae
    • The Persian War: Battle of Salamis
    • Defeating Persia: Battle of Plataea
    • Golden Age of Athens
    • Peloponnesian War: Delian League v Aegean League
    • Contributions of Ancient Greece
    • Greek Columns
    • Alexander the Great: Building an Empire
    • The Hellenistic Age
    • Unit 12 Review
    • Unit 12 Exam
    Unit 13 – Ancient Rome – Beginnings to Fall of Caesar
    • The Legend of Romulus and Remus
    • Geography of Rome
    • Etruscan Rule
    • Horatius at the Bridge
    • Rise of the Republic
    • Structure of the Roman Republic
    • Punic Wars: Carthage, Sicily & First Punic War
    • Punic Wars: Hannibal
    • Punic Wars: Final Battle Destroys Carthage
    • The Rise of Julius Caesar
    • The Fall of Julius Caesar
    • Caesar's Accomplishments
    • Unit 13 Review
    • Unit 13 Exam
    Unit 15 – Early American Civilizations
    • Geography of the Americas
    • The First Americans
    • Olmecs
    • The Mayans
    • Mayan Cities and Warfare
    • Aztec
    • Incas
    • Cliff Dwellers
    • Mound Builders
    • Unit 15 Review
    • Unit 15 Exam
    Unit 14 – Pax Romana to Fall of Rome
    • Augustus Caesar: Rome's First Emperor
    • Pax Romana: Roads and Communication
    • Greek Influences
    • Roman Architecture
    • Christians in Rome
    • Division of Empire
    • Collapse of Rome - Part 1
    • Collapse of Rome - Part 2
    • Achievements of Ancient Rome
    • Unit 14 Review
    • Unit 14 Exam
    Unit 16 – Middle Ages
    • Political Map of Europe
    • Geography of Europe
    • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
    • Development of Feudal Europe
    • Feudal Social Pyramid
    • The Crusades
    • Magna Carta: Limiting the Power of the King
    • Conditions Encouraging The Black Death
    • Causes of the Black Death
    • Crusades, Magna Carta, and Black Death
    • Renaissance: Rebirth of Culture
    • Martin Luther and Protestant Reformation
    • Visual Timeline
    • Final Review
    • Final Exam

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