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Lesson ideas

KS2: most of the most popular options for world history centre on river valley civilisations - Egypt, Sumer, the Indus Valley. Focus the enquiry on the importance of water to this early civilisation: Why did the civilisation you are investigating begin by a river? What did the river provide? How was it used? How much did people change its natural course, to irrigate crops or supply human needs? What records are there of agreements, rules, government regulations? Finally, what is the importance of the river to the people living there now?

KS4: What are the 17 countries make use of the waters of the River Danube? How many are members of the European Union? In what ways might belonging to the same organisation help to reach agreements over water use?

Break into groups of five to represent the five members of the Joint Water Committee of the River Jordan: Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon.

Use a physical features map showing rivers and hills to discuss how you can co-operate. Who controls the hills where rivers rise? Who controls the agricultural plains where the water is used? What deals can you make? Why would war be bad for all the members?

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