001 - Early Civilisations and Agriculture

Factual Questions

Where did the early civilisations first settle?

What are lines of longitude and latitude and how can we read them?

Why did the development of agriculture play a crucial role in civilisations becoming 'settled'?

Key Terminology

            • Agriculture
            • Longitude
            • Latitude

Define the keywords above by using the useful links below.

Useful Links

Activity One - Latitude and Longitude

Knowing how to read the latitude and longitude of an area is an important skill to learn. Longitude lines show how far East and West a place is and latitude lines show how North or South you are.

      1. Using an Atlas write the longitude and latitude of the place you were born.
      2. Using an Atlas write the longitude and latitude of Geneva.

Activity Two - Mapping

It is always good to start a unit knowing where the different civilisations we are studying are actually located. To this, you are going to be completing a series of map skills.

      1. Collect a copy of the map below and mark on the continents and rivers which are below the 'Remember' box.


                    • North America
                    • South America
                    • Asia
                    • Australia
                    • Europe
                    • Africa
                    • Middle East (modern-day term for Arabia and its immediate neighbours)
                    • Indian sub-continent


                    • Nile River
                    • Euphrates River
                    • Tigris River
                    • Ganges River
                    • Indus River
                    • Yellow River (what is the Chinese name for this river?)

2. Shade in the location of the following civilisations:

                    • Egyptian;
                    • Shang;
                    • Sumerian;
                    • Early American;
                    • Indus Valley


  • Continent names are written in capitals.
  • Rivers are coloured in blue.
  • You write the name of the river along its course.
  • To complete the key.
Map of the World

Activity Three - Watch

During the Bronze Age farming was absolutely crucial and it was the key reason why people stopped hunting for their food and being nomadic. As you watch the clip below write notes on how agriculture has changed? What allowed civilisations to become settled? Alternatively, you can answer the question provided in the grid below.

Crash Course History Question Grid - Agriculture

Activity Three - Explain

Answer the following questions using the information from the youtube clip and your map. Write in full sentences on paper.

      1. Which civilisations were likely to have had contact with each other? Why? E.g. The civilisations that were likely to have had contact with each other were…..and…….because……..
      2. Between the lines of which latitudes did early civilisations develop? Why?
      3. From studying the map (and from your understanding of the main ideas in the John Green film, Crash Course - the Agricultural Revolution) what can you conclude was a critical factor in the location and growth of early civilisations?

Thank you to Mrs. Davison for this lesson.