“Pre” History – Ancient History Curriculum

Archeology, Human Beginnings, and Agricultural Revolution


Topic #1

Percent of Year Complete, Before Topic: 0%

Percent of Year Complete, After Topic: 2.8%

Lessons to Complete: 7

Goal: Know why prehistory is essential and understand the development of human society from hunter-gatherer to agriculture.

Games: Minecraft, Civilization VI, and Humankind

Logically, we should start at the beginning to learn history. But how do we know what happened, and why is the past so important?

By the end of this unit, you should be able to answer these questions.

This unit consists of seven days. It will take the first two weeks of school to cover the material in this unit. The goal is to get a solid foundation of knowledge to build on in the coming weeks. Understanding what came before is essential to really grasping what came after.

Learning Goals:

  • Understand how historians and archeologists know what happened in the past.
  • Understand what “archeology” is.
  • Understand the timeline of human history and human evolution.
  • Know why cave paintings are significant.
  • Understand how the “Agricultural Revolution” changed the daily lives of people.
  • Identify the areas of the world known as the “Cradles of Civilization.”
  • Understand how we will use games to learn and ask questions about history.

Vocabulary Words












Primary Source

Secondary Source

Unit Master Plan

Day 1 (Food and Art)

Meeting the Past: Food

You will watch two videos on how people ate before agricultural techniques were invented.

Meeting the Past: Art

You will watch a short video on ancient art, take a virtual tour of a cave in France, and read an article online about why that cave was important.

Finally, you will answer some questions about the cave and its importance.

Playing with the Past

This year, you will use two games to learn about the different civilizations we will cover.

Day 2 (Where Humans Came From)

Starting at the Beginning

First, you will watch two videos about evolution.

Then, you will read a book mainly pictures, and answer some questions from the text.

Day 3 (Human Curiosity)

Vocabulary Game

You will play a fun game with the vocabulary listed above.

Start the Project

Look over the list of projects, choose which one you want to do, and start it.

Myths and Creation

Before we had the technology and science of today, people wanted to know where we came from. You will read some creation story myths from cultures around the world. Many of the civilizations we will study later on.

Introduction to the Textbook

Read three sections: How Humans Moved Across the Earth, A Note From Our Historian, and On Ancient History.

Answer the questions from the text.

Day 4 (Food and Games)

Vocabulary Game

We have a new game to play with our vocabulary cards.

How Did Humans Cook?

Read the pages, watch the videos, and answer the questions about what food humans had access to and how they cooked it.

Continue the Project

Work on the project you chose last time.

Impacts of Agriculture

Watch the videos on agriculture’s beginnings and answer the associated questions.

Playing Games

Start a game in both Civilization VI and Humankind. Stop the game when you settle a city.

Answer the questions about the games and think about what is right and wrong about their representations of this era.

Day 5 (Investigating History)

Vocabulary Game

Use the vocabulary cards to play the vocabulary matching game.

Primary Sources

Check out the American Museum of Natural History and learn about the importance of primary source materials.

Investigating History

Learn about a mystery in history and investigate to find the solution.

Day 6 (Review, Games, and Questions)

Thinking About History in New Ways

This is your opportunity to make a character and imagine how they may have lived. Write a story about them. Look up additional information you may need to reference in your story.


Test your knowledge about prehistory by taking the quiz.


Play with different games and consider their accuracy and what you can learn from them.


Continue on your project and other materials that haven’t been completed yet.

Day 7 (Final Day)

Work Due

Your project work is due today. Finish anything on the project and any additional assignments that weren’t completed yet.


Download the timeline in and open it in Minecraft. Explore the timeline and start marking specific dates. This is the same world we will use throughout the history curriculum.

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