Ancient Civilizations Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities

Reviewed Resources for Students and teachers

General Resources


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Please note that with regard to lesson plans dealing with anthropology, archaeology, indigenous people, ancient civilizations, history, etc, there may be some cross-over and blurring of lines between the topics.  For example, a lesson plan dealing with archaeology is automatically dealing with an anthropological subject.  A lesson plan dealing with indigenous people is also automatically dealing with anthropology and any of them may, or may not, be dealing with history or ancient civilizations.  While every attempt will be made to keep the topic lines as 'clean' as possible, be aware this may not always be possible.

Appropriate grade or age levels are included with the lesson plans.

The number of lesson plans available online for this topic is enormous.  This site can not and does not index all lesson resources relating to ancient civilizations. That would be impossible, as sites appear and disappear with astonishing rapidity.  The following provides some idea of what is available and will hopefully be a good starting point.  

You will also find related lesson plans under specific topic headings such as ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc.


*While many lesson plan sites have a subscription fee or otherwise sell their lesson plans (that is an additional feature of some of the sites found here)  all lesson plans and collections of lesson plans listed here are free.


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Adult Ed - Lesson Plans __ "This lesson helps students identify and evaluate the institutions, values, and mores of different ancient civilizations. Students examine how these things relate to the criteria of greatness and power. The activities engage students in in-depth study of one ancient civilization through reading, writing, research, and oral presentation."  You will find goals, procedures and needed materials. - From WNET New York -  

Ancient American's On-Line Theme Unit Page 1__ "Activity: Native cultures have existed in the Americas for thousands of years. Introduce some of the major ancient cultures to your students by creating a time line and a map of the early civilizations of North, Central, and South America."  You will find goals, procedures and materials. - From Scholastic Inc - 

Ancient Americas lesson plans for elementary school teachers __ A collection of lesson plans covering both American continents and multiple civilizations. - From - 


Ancient Civilization -Lesson Plans__ You will find almost a hundred lesson plans covering a wide range of ancient world topics. - From - 

Ancient Civilizations Lesson Plans, Resources, and Clipart __ You will find a few dozen lesson plans which include goals and procedures. - From - 

Ancient Civilizations Theme Page __ "This "Theme Page" has links to two types of resources related to the study of Ancient Civilizations. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information, content...) to help them learn about this topic. In addition, there are also links to instructional materials (lesson plans) that will help teachers provide instruction in this theme."  They pretty much said it all. - From Community Learning Network -  

Ancient Greece lesson plans for elementary school teachers__ A collection of lesson plans about ancient Greece. - From - 

Argument in an Athenian Jail:Socrates and the Law __ Your students will debate the relationship between individual rights and the rule of law with a philosopher who was condemned to death. - From National Endowment for the Humanities - 

Aztec Mythology __ You will find an Aztec Mythology lesson plan with loads of resources and information. It is written for fourth and fifth grade students in Talented and Gifted Programs - from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute - 

The Aztecs: A Pre-Columbian History __ Here is curriculum guide offering an introduction to the most widely known of all pre-Columbian peoples of the Americas. - From Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute - 

Cleopatra: A Multimedia Guide to the Ancient World __ A rather extensive website where you will find lesson plans, movies, and general information about the ancient world.  You may want to spend some time here. - illustrated - From The Art Institute of Chicago - 

Collapse: Why do civilizations fall? __ Your students can explore the collapse of four ancient civilizations  - Maya, Mesopotamia, Chaco Canyon, and Mali/Songhia) -  in order to learn what happens when a society collapses and how archaeologists find and interpret evidence. Hands-on activities and links to related sites are included in this Annenberg/CPB project. - illustrated - From Annenberg/CPB - 


Couriers in the Inca Empire: Getting Your Message Across __ "Focusing on the means used by the Incas to send messages over long distances, this lesson plan illustrates one of the many creative ways throughout history that humans have devised to meet a universal need -- that of cross-country communication."  Objectives, procedure and materials. - From National Endowment for the Humanities -

Early Civilizations __ A wide ranging collection of lesson plans, class activities, and general information about early civilizations. - From Pat Elliott - 

Greek and Roman Land Use: What Was the Difference? __ "The ancient Greeks and Romans, like every civilization, used their environment's natural resources to develop their societies. This lesson will help students differentiate between the two civilizations' practices of land and natural resource use and assess the extent to which the Romans adopted Greek practices. Students will research Greek and Roman land use and illustrate maps with Greek and Roman land use practices."  You will find goals, procedure and materials needed. - From National Geographic - 

History Teaching Ideas__ A collection of lesson plans and resources for the teaching of history.  Some of the plans are for more modern history but there are enough about the ancient world to make a look-see worthwhile. - From - 


Lesson Planning : Bring Ancient History to Life __ You will find five lesson plans covering Egypt, Greece and Rome.  Includes goals, procedures and materials. - From -

Myth Teaching Tips __ Here is a collection of project ideas for teaching about ancient Greek mythology.  "The following lesson plans and activities are designed to build such skills as creative writing, observing, vocabulary development and art appreciation. They can be used independently of each other and are not intended for use in any particular sequence. You can choose the activities that are most appropriate for your curriculum." - From - 

Nubia - The Other Egypt __ Here your students may explore the accuracy of primary source accounts of what is now the Sudan. Primary sources records include such items as writings by Herodotus and Strabo. You will find student pages as well as instructor pages and links along with scoring criteria, goals and procedures. - illustrated - From - .

ProTeacher! Ancient History lesson plans for elementary school teachers in grades K-6 __ You will find information on many subjects including Mayan, Roman activities, programs and thematic units, information on Egypt, Greece and Rome, classroom and teaching ideas. - From -

Roman Trade WebQuest __ This can be a good classroom activity for learning about ancient Roman trade routes. - From -  

Timeline __ "It is difficult for the adolescent to appreciate the importance of studying the past; in order to help make timelines interesting it helps to personalize the technique...To clarify the meaning of the Timeline and the concept of B.C. numeration." - From Lucinda Kelly Liedman, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, AZ -

Trade Route Timeline Lesson Plan __ "Travel ancient trade routes! What products were exchanged? Where were the major ports? How did traders cross land? Show these routes on a map." A complete lesson plan for younger students. Goals, procedures and materials needed. - From -  

Using Geography to Learn About History __ "As students may already know, geographical factors have impacted the course of history in many ways. When learning about historical topics, it can be very helpful to simultaneously study a region's geography. In this lesson, students will investigate how geography impacted daily life, warfare, and trade in ancient Greece. They will use this information to write statements to a school committee explaining how geography should be incorporated into the history curriculum."  You will find goals, procedure and materials needed. - From National Geographic -

The Vikings: Sea Raiders, Land Raiders | Free Lesson Plans __ Lesson plans about the Vikings with goals, procedure and materials needed. - From - 

Who were the Celts?  __ A detailed lesson plan about the Celts for middle school years . - From -


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