The Agricultural Revolution

The Agricultural Revolution
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Slide 1: Slide

This lesson contains 18 slides, with interactive quizzes and text slides.

Items in this lesson

The Agricultural Revolution

Slide 1 - Slide

If you lived 10,000 years ago, you might have never traveled. Sitting around the fire pit, however, your grandfather might tell stories about the old days.

Slide 2 - Slide

He might recall when your people were always on the move. Your father might reply, “Traveling was exciting, but the great thing about growing food instead of searching for it is simple: nowadays, we usually have enough to eat. Yes, we have to stay close by to protect the livestock, water the plants, and scare away pests. We also have to sow seeds and harvest crops before animals get to them – but isn’t life better now?” 

Slide 3 - Slide

And it was better. Major change happened when people realized they could grow a lot of food in one place. Large groups could live close together, and almost everyone could eat well. That innovation, or new idea, was at the heart of the agricultural revolution.
 It probably started in the Middle East, an area that includes southwestern Asia and northeastern Africa. Then the basic techniques of farming – sowing seeds, watering soil, harvesting – spread quickly through major regions of the world. For many, these techniques replaced hunting and gathering as a way of life.

Slide 4 - Slide

What are two benefits of growing a lot of food in one place?

Slide 5 - Open question

Where did farming probably start?

Slide 6 - Open question

At some point way back in time, a drought, or dry spell, made it difficult to rely on the foods nomadic people usually ate. They needed more reliable sources of food, so they began to take steps to make sure food would be available.
They started planting seeds by scattering them on top of the soil, knowing some would grow, and keeping livestock, or animals, in pens.

Slide 7 - Slide

What made people start to plant seed?

Slide 8 - Open question

Animals like sheep and goats became domesticated, or conditioned to work with humans. Then they could be shepherded, with the help of dogs, over many miles of grazing grounds. 
This is called “pastoral nomadism.” People who did not settle in towns or villages continued living this way for many years. They moved their herds from one pasture to another, stopping to trade for supplies.

Slide 9 - Slide

What is a nomad?

People who stayed in one place
People who stayed in multiple place
People who travel from place to place to find new pasture
A member of a community

Slide 10 - Quiz

With so much food in one place, there was no need to roam far to find it. People had moved between seasonal camps, but they started staying put in permanent camps. Then they expanded the camps into settlements. Eventually, the settlements that had been populated the longest grew into villages and towns.

Slide 11 - Slide

How did people end up creating villages?

Slide 12 - Open question

Clothing was usually made of animal pelts, or skins, before the agricultural revolution. But then people started shearing sheep for their wool. That was around the same time that farmers first planted cotton: about 6,000 years ago. Why do you think people started using cotton and wool instead of pelts?

Slide 13 - Slide

 The population of the world grew dramatically because of the introduction of agriculture. Successful farming produced excess food for people and for livestock. As a result, people were able to have more children and live longer, healthier lives.

Slide 14 - Slide

 When farmers produced more than they needed, they had a surplus. They could save the extra crops and livestock, lend them to another farmer or community, or use them to barter (trade) for goods and services. 
A surplus let farmers acquire goods and services that they didn’t provide themselves. Towns became known as trading centers. With additional people came a need for leaders and people to resolve disputes.

Slide 15 - Slide

What is a surplus?

Slide 16 - Open question

What is barter?

Slide 17 - Open question

Why did the population of the world grow so fast?

Slide 18 - Open question