History / Year 7 / Historical Knowledge and Understanding / Overview of the ancient world

Curriculum content descriptions

key features of ancient societies (farming, trade, social classes, religion, rule of law) (ACOKFH003)

Elaborations
  • exploring why the shift from hunting and foraging to cultivation (and the domestication of animals) led to the development of permanent settlements
  • 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,  Economy,  Socioeconomic status

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

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

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 ...

Online

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: plant list

For thousands of years, First Nations peoples across Australia have been growing and cultivating plants. Plants are grown for many different purposes, including food, tools, medicine, shelter, clothing, hunting, carrying, water craft, ceremony and land management. Everything they needed to survive is provided by the bush. ...

Online

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: planting

The outcomes of this learning activity are for children to: follow instructions and a planting plan; understand the steps involved in planting out and maintaining a successful Indigenous plant-use garden enjoy being active and productive outdoors and build their social and teamwork skills; physically be involved in the ...

Online

The development of farming in Ancient Societies

This is a unit of work about the development of technologies in farming from ancient societies to present day. Topics explored include: technology in the ancient world; life in Mesopotamia; agricultural changes in Australia; and timeline of technology used in agriculture. The resource includes: a teacher guide; an extract ...

Online

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: vision

Planning for an Indigenous plant-use garden is a good way to develop a connection with and respect for First Nations people's perspectives. Use this learning activity to explore exciting ideas, create goals and understand more about successful Indigenous plant-use garden projects. Outcomes of this learning activity are ...

Online

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: resources from the bush

For thousands of years, First Nations peoples across Australia have been using plants for many different purposes. Plants are used for food, fibre, shelter, medicine, tools and utensils, hunting, music and ceremony. Everything they needed to survive comes from the land. Outcomes of this learning activity are for learners ...

Online

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: harvesting

The satisfaction of eating straight from the garden is one of life’s best learning experiences, however we need to be respectful and mindful to only harvest what we need to allow the plant to continue to thrive for generations to come. This activity involves the assessment and mapping of local environments to create a successful ...

Video

Untold Stories, Ep 12: The submarine that ran amok at Gallipoli

Alec Nichols was a farm boy from the Sunshine Coast who joined the navy at the age of 18. During World War I, he was one of 35 men on the AE2 submarine that broke through enemy lines in the Dardanelles strait. After five days of sustained attacks from the Turkish navy, the submarine had to surface. The men were captured ...

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Pocket Compass, Ep 4: History of Indigenous rights in Australia

You may have heard of the 1967 referendum that granted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders some rights in Australia, but how did Indigenous rights evolve from there? Many, like the Black Power activists, believed the referendum didn't go far enough, especially in relation to land rights, and their causes gained prominence ...

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?

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BTN: What is a referendum?

Watch this video to find out how Australia became a Federation. What happened in 1897?  What things stayed the same, and what things changed when Australia became a Federation? What is a referendum? There have been many others held in Australia since this early one. Do some research and find out what other issues Australians ...

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

ABC News: Mungo man goes home

The discovery of Mungo Man in 1974 rewrote history by revealing that Aboriginal people had been in Australia twice as long as previously thought. Named after the location at which it was found, the skeleton is around 42,000 years old. When discovered in 1974, Mungo Man was moved to a university in Canberra for scientific ...

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Archaeology unearths a mass-murder site

Discover a historic site that could reveal new evidence of the first recorded mass murder on Australian soil. The site is Beacon Island, a small island off the coast of Western Australia near present-day Geraldton. In this clip, reporter Mark Bennett visits the island with two members of a 1963 expedition that first investigated ...

Video

This place: Dreamtime story of the Nambucca River

Hear the Dreamtime story of the Nambucca River on Gumbaynggirr Country (North Coast of New South Wales). What is the river called in Gumbaynggirr? What made the imprint in the land around Nambucca River? There's a bend in the river called Baga Baga in Gumbaynggirr. Why is it called this?

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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

Gold rush

Walk through the streets of 1850s Ballarat at Sovereign Hill and learn about how the discovery of gold shaped the development of this region. What were the three distinct but overlapping eras of gold mining in Ballarat? How do staff at Sovereign Hill know what life was like for people during this time? Find out how the ...