Ancient World History: A Free, Open Textbook in Progress

Ancient World History: An Open Ended History is a free online history textbook adapted and expanded upon from open sources. It is an attempt to develop a middle school world history course that is truly expansive – a true world history, in other words. While it examines historical events and figures, its approach is cultural and thematic.  The text does not aim to be strict chronology of the world – rather, it is a primer for a student is not a specialist in history.  It is a primer for being a semi-informed citizen of the world. As such, it features many “digressions” into societies and cultures that don’t always make the cut in conventional textbooks. It is also a work in progress, especially over the 2019-2020 school year.  Please use and share freely – to supplement or replace what you have at hand.  If you would like to contribute chapters to the ongoing project, please click here.

Early Humans

  • What Is It That Makes Humans Unique? (Free online text suited for middle or high school classroom use, guided reading questions, and suggested activities): Read about some of the characteristics that distinguish humans from other life on Earth.
  • ACTIVITY: Interpreting Paleolithic and Neolithic Culture: Students try their hand at interpreting examples of paleolithic art from around the globe.
  • ACTIVITY: Come Join the Neolithic Revolution: Students create an advertisement recruiting paleolithic peoples to adopt the neolithic way of life.
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