Ancient Civilizations – Paper
In the Ancient Civilizations activity, students create their own civilization and see how it fares over the years based on choices they make for location, animals, plants and natural resources. Students create an artistic rendering of their civilization, trade resources between their civilizations and go to war with an unnamed enemy. This activity was inspired by Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.

Topics addressed:
Value of natural resources in ancient civilizations
Impact of ecological and pathological events on populations

Primary CT concept: abstraction. It would be foolish to try and explain all of ancient history by looking at just the natural resources available to a civilization, but for the purposes of this lesson, we abstract away all other details to focus on this important aspect of burgeoning civilizations.

Students will be able to:
Describe the impact of the Bubonic Plague and understand how some civilizations developed immunities, giving them significant advantage over other civilizations
Understand that some animals, plants and natural resources are more valuable to a burgeoning civilization than others
Understand how certain resources can be used in tandem during periods of war

Cut out game cards, place in hat/bag/bowl where they can be randomly drawn from during each turn of the game

Suggested lesson breakdown:
Day one
10min – introduce game, kickoff map activity
30min – students individually select their resources and draw their civilization maps

Day two
5min – students prepare their game board
5min – students calculate food bonuses
5min – the plague hits… revel in the devastation
5min – random events

Days three through six (these can be spread out over several weeks)
5min – students calculate food bonuses
5min – trade or war events
5-10min – random events

For further information and relevant standards, please visit


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  • Ancient-Civilizations---Map-Creation-and-Game-Runthrough.pptx
  • Ancient-Civilizaitons---Map.docx
  • Ancient-Civilizaitons---Map.pdf
  • Ancient-Civilizations---Game-Board.docx
  • Ancient-Civilizations---Game-Board.pdf
  • Ancient-Civilizations---Game-Cards.docx
  • Ancient-Civilizations---Game-Cards.pdf

About this resource


Created: Jan 23, 2017

Updated: Feb 22, 2018


pptx, 7 MB



docx, 443 KB



pdf, 237 KB


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Creative Commons "Sharealike"

Creative Commons "Sharealike"