Humanities and social sciences / Year 7 / Knowledge and Understanding

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Curriculum content descriptions

Key features of ancient societies (farming, trade, social classes, religion, rule of law) (ACHASSK166)

Elaborations
  • exploring why the shift from hunting and foraging to cultivation (and the domestication of animals) led to the development of permanent settlements and changed relationships to the environment
  • identifying the major civilisations of the ancient world (namely Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, Rome, India, China and the Maya); where and when they existed, and the evidence for contact between them
  • locating the major civilisations of the ancient world on a world map and using a timeline to identify the longevity of each ancient civilisation
  • identifying the major religions/philosophies that emerged by the end of the period (Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam) and their key beliefs (through group work)
General capabilities
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Agriculture,  Law,  Ancient history,  Religion,  Markets,  Socioeconomic status

Video

River Valley Civilisations: Mesopotamia, the world's first civilisation

Considered the birthplace of human civilisation, Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq, and parts of Kuwait, Turkey and Syria) was situated in the fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. What do we know of this ancient civilisation? What characteristics did Mesopotamia have that made it a civilisation?

Video

River Valley Civilisations: The role of the Nile in Ancient Egypt

Like other early civilisations, the rise of Ancient Egypt was dependent on the fertile land around a river. By learning about and adapting to the conditions of the Nile River, ancient Egyptians were able to increase their agricultural productivity to support a large population. Why was this vital for a civilisation to flourish?

Video

River Valley Civilisations: How did a river valley civilisation arise?

The world's first civilisations arose around rivers. Why do you think this was? Think about the characteristics of a civilisation and how advanced agricultural practices allowed civilisations to flourish. This video mentions four ancient civilisations. Can you think of other civilisations that emerged near a river?

Video

Why was agriculture so important?

This 10 minute video in 2 parts offers an overview of the development of agricultural practices in ancient societies. Part 1 discusses the limitations of foraging for food, and the advantages of farming - the domestication of animals and plants for nutrition. This move to agriculture meant humans changed also - technologically, ...

Video

Threshold 7: Agriculture

This is a short video offering an overview of the developments from the end of the Ice Age, to the establishing of farming practices. Increasing knowledge about the environment, combined with increasingly dense human communities, led to increasing competition for resources. This in turn led to practices such as irrigation ...

Video

How did the first humans live?

This 10 minute video in three parts offers an overview of what life was like in the ancient world. Part 1 introduces the Palaeolithic era, marked by the use of stone tools, focusing on Homo Sapiens, and the tools used to study this era - archaeology and anthropology. Part 2 discusses human foraging and the specialist techniques ...

Video

Systems of Exchange and Trade

This short (4 minute) video offers an overview of the history of world trade, focusing on the beginnings during the time of agrarian civilisations. The four great civilisations of the Romans, the Kushans, the Parthians and the Han Chinese were the key players, with their development of roads, ports and coin systems. The ...

Video

River Valley Civilisations: Indus Valley Civilisation

The Indus River is located in present-day Pakistan and is the birthplace of the Indus Valley Civilisation. What do we know of this civilisation? What are some characteristics of this civilisation that are similar to that of other river valley civilisations? Why do we know less of the Indus Valley Civilisation than we do ...

Video

River Valley Civilisations: Ancient Chinese civilisation

The basin of Huang He, or the Yellow River, is considered the birthplace of Ancient China. What did this ancient civilisation have in common with other ancient civilisations? New advances in science and technology are traits of a civilisation. How did iron smelting revolutionise farming for the ancient Chinese?

Video

Roman Times: Looking for a place to live in ancient Rome?

What was it like to live in a flat in ancient Rome? The majority of the city's population lived in apartment buildings. Discover what features the flats did, and did not, include, and how the lives of their occupants compared with those of the wealthy.

Video

Catalyst: Would you eat insects?

A lot of resources go into the production of beef. For example, 20 litres of water is needed to produce just 1 gram of beef. In order to produce food more sustainably to feed an ever-growing population, some alternatives to protein have been suggested. What are some of these alternatives? Do you think they will ever replace meat?

Video

Roman Times: Were ancient Romans slaves to fashion?

What clothing would you have worn to look cool in ancient Rome? Like people today, many ancient Romans felt that they had to follow the latest fashions. Find out why for many men tunics replaced togas, and that in some periods men wore beards and in other times they didn't. See what hairstyle options were available for ...

Video

Catalyst: Growing avocados

Demand for certain kinds of food changes with time as people's tastes change. Avocados were not always popular, but in recent years their popularity has increased so much that supply cannot keep up with demand. Learn how stem cell scientists at the University of Queensland are leading the way in research that could cut ...

Video

The Making of Modern Australia: Aunty Beryl Carmichael on spirit and culture

Ngiyaampaa Elder Aunty Beryl Carmichael speaks in this clip about how important it is that Aboriginal people care for, or nurture, their spiritual self. She discusses the way things are connected and the importance of Dreaming stories. She also explains why she passes on knowledge and cultural heritage to younger members ...

Video

1967 and a new activism

How did the yes vote in 1967 change the way laws were made for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people? The struggle for land rights became the focus of the next wave of Aboriginal activists, who gained domestic and world attention by erecting a tent embassy on the lawns of  Parliament House in Canberra. Why was the ...

Online

Liveability and sustainable living - teacher resource

This resource for teachers is a series of 12 activities in three parts that can be used to support the year 7 geography unit, Place and liveability. Each part includes several detailed activities relevant to exploring different aspects of liveability. These include: investigating local qualities of liveability, making comparisons ...

Interactive

Patrick Brennan: the legend of Ned Kelly

Play the role of a reporter in 1881. Produce a feature article for a newspaper about the life of Ned Kelly. Review a brief history. Interview his friends and enemies. Gather evidence of social and political influences that affected Ned Kelly’s life. Compile an article that explores the myth and decide whether Ned Kelly ...

Interactive

Sites2See – origins of Hinduism

Web page containing links to information about the origins of Hinduism through the Indus Valley civilisation, including archaeological sites at Mohenjodaro and Harrapa. Indo-Aryan migration and the Vedic period are included.

Video

Transition to Agriculture

This 6 minute video explains how agriculture drove change and why humans took the risk of abandoning foraging. As farming technologies improved, populations increased, which led to the growth of villages and then cities. This in turn enabled collective learning, so that farming regions got a head start on other regions. ...

Video

Where and why did the first cities appear?

This 10 minute video in three parts offers an overview of the development of the agrarian civilisations in the ancient world. Part 1 looks at how, as peasant villages spread, farmers developed more productive methods of farming, particularly the use of large animals for ploughing and transport, and irrigation. Part 2 looks ...