Ancient Civilizations - Economic Characteristics

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10491

Buying something is pretty easy-You just pull out some money or a card and pay, right? What did they do before there was money? Research and diagram what ancient economies did to get what they needed!


World, World

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Thousands of years ago, money didn’t exist.

  • What did people do before the invention of money?
  • How did they get the things they needed?

 Let’s explore!

Bartering, trading, and agriculture were an important part of the economies of ancient civilizations.

In this lesson, you will explore the economic characteristics and systems of the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, and India.

Use the Graphic Organizer – Notes  (Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar) to take notes on the economic characteristics of ancient civilizations.

You may want to divide the notes into four sections: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Shang, and Indus.

As you are reading and watching the videos, pay close attention to the economic structure of each of the civilizations.

A suggested answer key can be found on Ancient Civilizations – Economic Characteristics – Notes – Answer Key (Downloadable Resources).

Use the following resources as you gather information:

When you are ready, continue on to the Got It? section to organize your information in preparation for a mini-book project!

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