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History, Geography, and Time Big Eras 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Past and Future
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Big Era Four: Panorama Unit

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Expanding Networks of Exchange and Encounter
1200 BCE - 500 CE

Why This Unit?

Big Era Four is the time period when the first long-distance networks of exchange were established, linking distant regions of Afroeurasia together. Ideas, goods, and technologies flowed along these networks, fueling a dramatic increase in collective learning. Small-scale, isolated, regional “worlds” merged to make up a significantly larger, more connected world. Leaders of empires created and used the new networks to build, manage, and maintain vast territories for long periods of time. The events of this Big Era, therefore, represent a major step along the road toward the interconnected and interdependent world we live in today. The lessons in this Teaching Unit require students to interact with the material in the Power Point Overview Presentation, using either a computer or a hard copy printed from a computer.

Unit Objectives

Upon completing this unit, students will be able to:

1. Explain the surge in population growth during this Big Era.

2. Describe some social and environmental consequences of population growth.

3. Identify and locate major networks of exchange established in Afroeurasia during this Big Era.

4. Describe changes resulting from new cultural encounters.

5. Identify the world religions and belief systems that flourished during this era.

6. Give reasons for the rise of large, enduring empires during this Big Era.

Time and Materials

Time: 3 to 5 class periods

Materials:

  • software package such as Inspiration (optional)
  • computer lab or single machine with projection system
  • Powerpoint or Powerpoint Viewer
  • historical atlas
  • internet access or access to reference materials, newspapers, and journals
  • Power Point Overview Presentation for this teaching unit.

Table of Contents

Why this unit?

2

Unit objectives

2

Time and materials

2

Author

2

Introductory activity: Pre-assessment

3

Lesson 1: Population growth

5

Lesson 2: Networks of exchange

7

Lesson 3: An age of empires

10

Lesson 4: Summarizing activity: Synetics

12

Final assessment

15

Extension activities

18

Essential vocabulary

19

This unit and the Standards in Historical Thinking

20

Resources

20

Correlations to National and State Standards

23

Complete Teaching Unit in PDF format


Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer, download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view, download Adobe Acrobat Reader.