Ancient River Valley Civilizations

Contributor: Elephango Editors. Lesson ID: 10279

How would you choose a place to live and work? What environmental factors matter? Has your family moved? Learn why rivers mattered to early settlers!



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

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Have you ever moved to a new location?
  • How did your family decide where to go?
  • How do people choose a place to live and work?
  • Does the environment play a part in the decision?

Watch this short video showing a home next to a river that flooded.

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  • Would you want to live next to a river?

Ancient civilizations developed around rivers.

  • With the possibility of rivers flooding, why would people choose to live near rivers?

To answer that question, you must discover how geography, climate, and natural resources led ancient civilizations to develop in river valleys.

As you explore the resources below, take notes either in your notebook or using the Graphic Organizer - Cluster Graph found under Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

Think about the following questions as you take notes.

  • What was the name of the ancient civilization?
  • In what present-day area was it located?
  • What rivers were located near the civilization?
  • What impact did the rivers have on the civilization?
  • How did the rivers help or harm the people of the civilization?
  • What were the benefits and drawbacks of the civilization's location?

For an overview an ancient river civilizations, watch the video below.

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Next, delve deeper into several civilizations mentioned in the video.

When you are ready, continue to the Got It? section to see why people settled where they did.

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