Ancient Civilizations – Physical Geography

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10278

You will learn about the impact of physical geography on Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient India, and Ancient China, using videos, online resources, a map activity, and a creative poster.



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Without geography, you’re nowhere. – Unknown Author 

Can you imagine living near a river that floods? In ancient times, such settlements existed. Why?

Ancient civilizations developed, in part, because of their locations and physical geography.

In this lesson, you will explore the impact of physical geography on four ancient civilizations:

  • Mesopotamia
  • Egypt
  • India
  • China

Think about the following questions as you work through these materials on ancient civilizations:

Where were the earliest civilizations located?

What effects did physical geography have on these civilizations? 

1. Use the resources below to study ancient civilizations. Remember to focus on the impact of location and physical geography on the civilizations. Use the Graphic Organizer – 4 Column Chart found in the Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar to take notes on the location and impact of physical geography on each of these four ancient civilizations.

Write the name of the civilization at the top of each column and use bullets or numbers in the columns to record the information you find. Suggested answers are on the Ancient Civilizations – Physical Geography Suggested Answer Key also found in the Downloadable Resources. You may have more information than the Answer Key! 

  • Watch Geography of Ancient Egypt (below)

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