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AP World History

Chapter 1 Preview Activity


CHAPTER OVERVIEW
The first chapter of Traditions and Encounters sets the stage for the drama of world history by presenting the major milestones
in the development of humans from their earliest appearance on earth to the dawn of civilization. This chapter addresses the
physical evolution of the species and their migrations throughout the globe as well as the revolutionary transformation from all
humans surviving by hunting and gathering to the majority living in agricultural societies. The results of this remarkable
transformation include

An unprecedented population explosion due to the increase in the food supply


Permanent settlement in villages and, later, in cities
The specialization of labor, which led to the development of craft industries and other professions
The opportunity to accumulate wealth and the resulting emergence of social class differences
The development of fertility-based religions and the increasing elaboration of religious institutions

ACADEMIC VOCABULARY: The terms below represent academic vocabulary you are likely to encounter in this book, as well as
throughout many of the courses you will take. Use the reading above and a dictionary to define the terms, give examples of
what the words represent, and create an illustration representing the meaning of the word.

Term

Definition

Example

Illustration or Sentence

development

revolutionary

unprecedented

settlement

specialization

accumulate

elaboration

Prediction: Based on the overview above, and a quick glance over this chapter in the book, what do you expect to learn by
reading this chapter?

AP World History
Reading an AP Textbook
Introduction: Understanding how the textbook is organized will greatly increase your ability to
understand what is important, and what is information that is nice to know, but not vital when it
comes to preparing for the AP exam. In this activity, you will learn to identify the key features in
the textbook and use these features to create a graphic organizer that you will use to take notes.
The Image: At the beginning of each chapter, there is an image with a caption. This image is a
primary source that historians have used to learn about the period addressed in the chapter. This
image will give you an idea of the artistic developments of the period. Look at the image on PAGE
4 of your textbook. Write one thing you learn from this image in the space below.
1.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Story: Every chapter begins with a story, usually between 3 5 paragraphs in length. This story is a way to hook the
reader and get you thinking about the period you are about to read about. It also personalizes history, to help you
understand historical empathy (putting yourself in their shoes). Read the story of Lucy on PAGE 5 of the textbook.
2.

Who was Lucy, and why is she important to understanding humans? ___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Table of Contents: On first page of each chapter, there is a bar on the right edge of the page with section titles (in
bold face print) and subtitles (in italics). This will help you organize your chapter outlines, as well as help you set a
reading pace. You should be able to read one section in one sitting. Look at the table of contents on PAGE 5. Write the
section titles in the spaces below.
3. ___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

4. How many subsections are there in the chapter? _____________

The Thesis: Every chapter has a THESIS. This is the authors argument, or main points that he/she will make about the
topic given in the chapter. Learning to identify the thesis will make your life as an AP student easier. It will let you know
what points to focus on, and it will also model what a thesis statement for an AP essay should look like. The thesis will
sometimes be spread out between paragraphs in the introduction of the chapter. If you read the table of contents, then
you should already have an idea of the three main topics of discussion (look at number 3 above). Keep these in mind as
they will help you identify the thesis.
Remember how each chapter begins with a story? Well, toward the bottom of the page, the author begins to break away
from the story and begins to talk about a broader topic. For example, on the bottom of PAGE 5, the last paragraph no
longer talks about Lucy. Check for yourself.
This is your clue that the author is shifting from getting your attention, to telling you what the rest of the chapter will be
about. Think of it as an essay. The first page of the chapter is the attention getter. Then toward the bottom of the first
page, the author begins to give some background. The last paragraph (and sometimes the last two) make a claim, or
argument about history. This is the thesis. Read last two paragraphs of the introduction (the first two paragraphs on
PAGE 6). Now copy two sentences from the book that claim something to be true in the space below.
5.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Creating a Graphic Organizer: Now that you have identified the thesis, underline or highlight the key words or subjects
being addressed in the previous two sentences you copied. This will help you organize information as you read. Below
are the words and phrases that you should have identified. How would you make this into a chart?
Humans have exploited the natural environment
Human beings laid social foundations for future humans
Human beings laid economic foundations for future humans
Human beings laid cultural foundation for future humans
HINT: Do these sound like the topics you studied in 9th Grade Geography? (Human-environment interaction, social, cultural
and economic developments). There is a reason for that. If you focus on the social, political, cultural, economic and humanenvironment interaction, you will better understand why some human societies have developed along different paths. This is
a skill that you will refine in AP World History.
Sample Chart (Reduced to smaller scale for illustration purposes)
How did early humans exploit their
environment?

What social foundations did early


humans lay?

What economic foundations did early


humans lay?

What cultural foundations did early


humans lay?

7. Create a one page graphic organizer for Chapter 1 on a separate sheet of paper. You will use this as a review of the big
picture items for Chapter 1.

The Chapter Sections: Each Chapter has three or four sections that focus on one particular aspect. Usually, you will find
that the first section is a general overview of everything, and the second, third and fourth sections go into more detail on
the social, economic and cultural developments. Each section begins with a 1-2 paragraph introduction. Follow the same
steps from the activities above in order to identify the argument for that particular section. As you read the rest of the
section, focus on finding evidence used by the author to back up the claim.
8. Read the first two paragraphs of The Evolution of Homo Sapiens on PAGE 6 and copy the sentence you believe to be
the authors claim. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

9. Now use the sub-section headings to create a graphic organizer for this section. It should look something like this
(except it will take up a whole page) for the first subsection of Chapter 1. You may also want to use Cornell Notes
formatting within each space. We will talk more about these later.
Study Questions

The Hominids

Study Questions

Homo Sapiens

The Ancillaries: The last things you want to focus on are the special inserts. These include images, maps, charts, primary
source documents (very important that you read these) and other additional material to help you better understand the
section. In an AP class, you do not want to ignore these, since these are the types of visuals seen on the AP Exam.

10. Look at the picture on page 7. What does that picture tell you about the techniques historians use to study ancient
history?
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11. Study the map on pages 8 and 9. What conclusions can you draw about the spread of early humans and hominids?
Write 4 statements that can be supported by the information on the map.
a. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
b. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
c. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
d. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
12. Read the Contexts and Connections insert on pages 11 and 12. What point does the author make about human
migration?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Independent Practice 1: You will now practice the skills you have just learned on your own. The following assignments
must be completed on a separate sheet of paper and turned in as a packet, or they can be completed in your Interactive
Notebooks.
1.
2.
3.
4.

Read the introduction to section 2 Paleolithic Society - and list the main points made by the author.
On the same piece of paper as #1, create a graphic organizer for the section.
Read the section and take notes on the main points on the graphic organizer you created.
Study the images and answer the following question in a well written paragraph:
What evidence from the past have historians relied on to understand societies that existed before the
development of writing?

Independent Practice 2: The following assignments correspond to the third section in the book and must be completed
on a separate sheet of paper and turned in as a packet, or they can be completed in your Interactive Notebooks.
1.
2.
3.
4.

Read the introduction to section 3 The Neolithic Era and the Transition to Agriculture- and list the main points
made by the author.
On the same piece of paper as #1, create a graphic organizer for the section.
Read the section and take notes on the main points on the graphic organizer you created.
Study the images and answer the following question in a well written paragraph:
What are three major ways in which agriculture changed human societies?