First Civilizations PDF

(3 customer reviews)


First Civilizations is about how history works, what makes civilization, and where the first civilizations were in the world. For all ages from 6 to 18.


This is the first unit in the Layers of Learning Ancient History course. In this unit, you will learn about how historians know about the past, including using both written records and archeology. Then, you will learn what makes a civilization and where the first civilizations in the world were located. This unit contains sections on:

  • Thinking Like A Historian
  • Ingredients of Civilization
  • Early Cities

Some of the activities in this unit include:

  • A giant timeline to help students understand the scope of history
  • A simulated archeology dig
  • Learning the difference between primary and secondary sources
  • A game about the domestication of plants and animals
  • Designing and building your own ancient city
  • Making real mud bricks
  • Writing with a stylus on clay tablets
  • Creating a story map of the Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Mapping the first civilizations in the world
  • Plus much more!

Each Layers of Learning History unit includes library lists of books, a family read-aloud suggestion, hands-on activities, printables and paper crafts, sidebars for extra learning, and tools to help you assess student’s progress and mastery.


This unit was written to be used for a month but contains plenty of content for many more weeks of learning if you choose. This is a pick-and-choose curriculum, meant to be cycled back to in the future when your child is older. As such, it intentionally includes far more material than you can possibly cover in a month.

First Civilizations is also part of the overall Ancient History course, the first Year of the four year Layers of Learning History cycle. If you use the program in order, it will take you through the history of the world from ancient times through the 21st century. However, each unit stands alone and can be used independently of any other unit.

Printable Pack

This unit comes with a downloadable Printable Pack that includes all the student worksheets. The printables can be copied as many times as needed for your family or class.

You can download the Printable Pack from your receipt or from your account at Layers of Learning.

Extra Resources

This unit comes with extra weblinks and a YouTube video playlist on the Ancient History Resources page.


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3 reviews for First Civilizations PDF

  1. Christina Wan

    We just started this unit study and it seems to be great so far, lots of fun ideas of things to do. The only thing I would suggest is possibly adding qr codes for the videos to the sections you could/should use them. It would make it so much easier to see where they could be used and easier to get to. Thanks for creating such a fun curriculum.

  2. Kaya Seaton

    This unit had loads of great explorations that really solidified concepts for my boys. The giant timeline was the biggest hit! We also did an archeological dig, made city walls, designed our own city, made clay tablets, and so much more! It laid a great foundation of how and why we study history, and also how civilizations are formed.

  3. katemichelle07

    This unit was great, I really enjoyed focusing on the first Civilizations around the world and how they all impacted human history around them

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