Social Studies - 2019-20

WHI.3a - Ancient River Valley Civilizations

The student will apply social science skills to understand the ancient river valley civilizations, including those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, and China and the civilizations of the Hebrews and Phoenicians, by

a) locating these civilizations in time and place and describing their major geographic features;

Adopted: 2015


How did civilizations gain, consolidate, maintain, and lose their power?

  • Do the benefits of innovation outweigh the costs?

  • How does our environment affect us? How do we affect it?

  • How does trade affect civilization? How would the civilizations studied be different if there had not been trade?


During the New Stone Age, permanent settlements appeared in river valleys and around the Fertile Crescent.

River valleys provided water and rich soil for crops.


River valley civilizations (about 3500 to 500 B.C. [B.C.E.])

 Mesopotamian civilization: Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys (Southwest Asia)

 Egyptian civilization: Nile River Valley and Nile Delta (Africa)

 Indian civilization: Indus River Valley (South Asia)

 Chinese civilization: Huang He Valley (East Asia)

These river valleys offered rich soil and irrigation water for agriculture, and they tended to be in locations easily protected from invasion by nomadic peoples.

Other early civilizations (about 2000 to 500 B.C. [B.C.E.])

 Hebrews settled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River Valley (part of the Fertile Crescent in Southwest Asia).

 Phoenicians settled along the Mediterranean coast (part of the Fertile Crescent in Southwest Asia).



Civilization (3a)

Division of labor (3a)

Cultural diffusion (3a)

Code of Hammurabi (3b)

Theocracy (3b)

City state (3b)

Dynasty (3b)

Empire (3b)

Divine (3b)

Barter (3b)

Slavery (3b)

Ziggurat (3c)

Polytheism (3c)

Monotheism (3c)

Judaism (3d)

Diaspora (3d)

Exile (3d)

Torah (3d)

Ten Commandments (3d)

Jerusalem (3d)

Christianity (3d)

Islam (3d)

Pictograms (3e)

Cuneiform (3e)

Hieroglyphics (3e)

Alphabet (3e)


Hebrews (3a)

Phoenicians (3a)

Hammurabi (3b)

Jews (3d)

Abraham (3d)

Moses (3d)


River Valley Civilizations (3a)

Mesopotamia (3a)

Fertile Crescent (3a)

Sumer (3a)

Egypt (3a)

India (3a)

Indus (3a)

China (3a)

Shang (3a)

Tigris & Euphrates Rivers (3a)

Nile River (3a)

Indus River (3a)

Huang He River (3a)

Jordan River

Nubia (3a)

Babylon (3a) 

Updated: Jun 01, 2018