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Week 10: Sourcing Video

Week 10: Sourcing Video

Why give up on foraging? Beginning the Agricultural Revolution
Learning Goals:
  • Students will be able to discuss ways that technological and social innovations associated with agriculture contributed to the rise of complex civilizations..
  • Students will be able to analyze how the innovation of agriculture marked  a human response to changing climatic conditions


Pre-viewing Activities:

Review learning from previous class. Have students work in small groups to explain what collective learning is, and discuss why symbolic language was important in helping human society become more complex. 

Have students refer to their self-created timelines, and discuss the  global shift in climate taking place around 10,000 BCE that led to the gradual end of the most recent Ice Age.


Hunter Gatherers

“Though walking upright with big brains, humans were still a pretty primitive species at the time. They travelled in small groups, foraging for edible foods and hunting animals. But they also survived the ice ages. Tools for survival included the controlled use of fire and better clothing technology. They also met others, told stories, and exchanged knowledge through the development of symbolic language and art, such as drawings on cave walls. Change was slow, but change was on the move.”

-Big History Website

Share with your partner: Why do you think that the quote above characterized early modern humans as “primitive?” What does it mean to forage for edible foods?



The Rise of Agriculture

“At the end of the last Ice Age, many humans decided to stay put instead of migrating any further. Communities grew denser and they had to draw more resources from a smaller area. Using their learned knowledge from the environment, humans began to experiment with agriculture, which became a revolution. Farming produced a surplus of food, allowing others to take up new work. Societies became diverse, populations exploded, and collective learning thrived.”

-Big History Website

Video Activity:

The video below comes from the Big History Project – an organization that works to help people build an understanding of how the complex world around us came to be. One of the major steps that they identify as being important to human life becoming more complex is the rise of agriculture.

In this video, the speaker identifies some of the reasons why groups of people might have shifted away from their previous life-ways which focused on hunting and gathering (also known as foraging). Watch the video from the 2:12min mark, and as you watch, prepare to answer the question: “why did some groups stop foraging, and switch to an agricultural lifestyle?” After you have watched the video, write your answer in paragraph form on paper or digitally, and submit it to Mr. Bienvenu via our digital portal, or in his mailbox. We will use our regular paragraph rubric to mark this assignment.

You can expand the video to play at full size by clicking on the expand video button at the bottom right of the video player, and can watch the video in its entirety by clicking the “watch on Youtube” button at the bottom of the video player, or by clicking here.


Paragraph Response:

“Why did some groups stop foraging, and switch to an agricultural lifestyle?”




If you would like to review more before writing your paragraph, or would like to dive deeper into this topic, consider watching the following video.

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