An Overview of the Course
If you are a Sixth Grader…
Welcome to the story of humanity’s beginnings. In this Ancient History course, our class will examine thousands of years of early human history. We certainly have a lot of ground to cover! After a brief review of our planet’s geography, we will begin with a discussion of the origins of our species in eastern Africa.
We will then take a close look at early hunting and gathering societies. How did Stone Age people live? What do we actually know about the real-life “cavemen” who inspired the Geico commercials on TV? Why did they begin to farm and settle in permanent towns?
Our class will then “tour” major ancient civilizations located across the world. Our virtual class trip will stop at the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China, and the Parthenon of Athens. We will marvel at the impressive terra cotta army buried with Chinese Emperor Qin Shinhuang, the gigantic Colosseum built by the Romans, and the famous treasures found with King Tutankhamen.
You will have an opportunity to experience these ancient civilizations through History Alive! textbook readings, video presentations, research assignments, and role playing performances. Group work will be emphasized so that you can develop important social skills.
If you are a Seventh Grader…
Welcome to the “Middle School” of human history. Just as Middle School is a time of transition between Grade School and High School, the Middle Ages, also called the Medieval World, was a time of transition between ancient and modern societies. After a brief review of our planet’s geography, we will begin with a discussion of the roots of the European medieval world in the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.
We will then take a close look at life in Europe during medieval times. How did someone become a knight? What was the role of the Catholic Church? Why did poor peasants work so hard for the rich nobles?
Next, our class will leave Europe and take a tour of major medieval civilizations around the world. We will analyze the origins of a major world religion, Islam, in the Middle East. We will examine the spread of this new religion into the empires of West Africa. Our class will then head east to look closely at the growth of Chinese civilization and its influence upon the nearby Japanese. On the other side of the globe, we’ll watch the rise of the powerful Aztec and Inca empires in the Americas.
Our virtual class trip will return to Europe in order to witness the beginnings of the Renaissance, or “rebirth” of ancient Greek and Roman civilization, in Italy. We’ll meet Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and other great artists of this time period. Our class will also learn about the origins of a split in the Catholic Church and its important effects upon European society. We’ll end our course with a discussion of the rise of European exploration of the world. How did this Age of Exploration change Europe and the rest of the world?
You will have an opportunity to experience the medieval world through History Alive! textbook readings, video presentations, research assignments, and role playing performances. Group work will be emphasized so that you can develop important social skills.