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Emergence of major world religions
Big Idea
Belief systems and religions are sets of mutual values that help to explain the way the world and humanity work.

Over time, civilizations developed belief systems and religions that differed across place but were shared through diffusion of cultures.
Essential Questions
  • How does geography affect where we live?
  • How did cultural norms affect the way early societies lived?
  • What factors influenced trade?
  • What are the similarities and differences between religious beliefs in India. (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.)?
  • Why do places such as Jerusalem serve as religious symbols for many different religious and cultural groups?
  • How did trade increase economic growth in the middle eastern civilizations?

Analyze cause and effect relationships between and among individuals and/or historical events.
Describe scientific and cultural advancements in ancient civilizations (e.g., networks of roads, aqueducts, art and architecture, literature and theatre, mathematics, philosophy).
Identify factors (e.g., river/coastal civilizations, trade that influence the location, distribution, and inter-relationships of economic activities over time in different regions.
Describe factors (i.e., farming methods, domestication of animals) that led to the development of cultures and civilizations from hunting and gathering societies.
Describe aspects (e.g., geographic origins, founders and their teachings, traditions, customs, beliefs) of major religions (i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).
Describe ways geographic features and conditions influenced settlement (e.g., near waterways, on high terrain, with adequate fresh water, on good land for farming, in temperate climates) in different periods of time, places, and regions.
Determine how the following factors influenced groups of people to develop into civilizations in Egypt, India, Mesopotamia, and China
  • farming methods
  • domestication of animals
  • division of labor
  • geographic factors
Explain why places and regions serve as cultural symbols (e.g., Jerusalem as a sacred place for Jews, Christians, and Muslims).
Compare how money, as opposed to barter, facilitates trade.
Describe the importance of the following river valleys in the development of ancient civilizations
  • Tigris and Euphrates - Mesopotamia
  • Nile - Egypt
  • Huang He - China
  • Indus- India
Describe the physical and human characteristics of places and regions of a Middle Eastern country.
Explain how trade promoted economic growth throughout world regions.
Describe the religious traditions that helped shape the culture of the following ancient civilizations
  • Sumeria, India - polytheism
  • Egypt - belief in an afterlife
  • China - ancestor worship
  • Middle East - monotheism
  • Compare and Contrast major world religions and evaluate their influence on political, economic and cultural development in the Indus River Valley.
  • Generate a representation of Middle Eastern trade routes using geographic tools and explain how various cultures became diffused throughout the region.
  • Assess how the development of trade routes and unique technological innovations strengthened and changed the economy of early civilizations.
Content/Core Ideas
  • Major religions and belief systems developed as civilizations grew, which unified societies.
  • From earliest times, networks of trade have connected the various civilizations of the Eastern Hemisphere.
  • Long distance trade routes promoted inter-regional trade, cultural exchanges and diffusion, and the desire to expand empires and influence.
  • Religious values, nationalism, and humanist philosophies have shaped political systems and culture in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Academic Vocabulary
  • monotheism
  • covenant
  • exodus
  • Judaism
  • exile
  • diaspora
  • synagogue
  • tradition
  • commerce
  • barter
  • money economy
  • tribute
  • courier
  • polytheism
  • prophet
  • commercial
  • artisan
  • Citadel
  • assimilate
  • caste system
  • Hinduism
  • reincarnation
  • Sanskrit
  • Enlightenment
  • Nirvana
  • Buddhism
  • Five Pillars
  • fresco
  • Jainism
  • Regulate
  • turning point