Middle School World History Teaching Resources

This page gives guidance on Middle School teaching resources for world history which are provided by this TimeMap. The list includes both free and premium resources.

The focus here is on our maps. We have not included encyclopedia articles, as these are not primarily aimed at middle school students. However, able students – and of course teachers – may well find them useful. They are all listed in our Timemap of World History Encyclopedia.

What do the maps offer?

Free maps

The free maps in the atlas form sequences of maps which track the histories of different areas, all through the same series of dates.

The areas are at three levels of geographical coverage. The top level consists of world maps. Below them are maps of the big regions of the world: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia. South East Asia and Oceania.

At the bottom are maps of individual countries, or groups of countries (if no country in the neighbourhood is big enough). Again, these are all at the same dates as the larger map levels, except that they start when the countries in question step onto the stage of history.

Premium units

The Premium units do the same for specific civilizations and key episodes in world history, but they do not follow a uniform sequence of dates, as the free maps do. Instead, they each have their own sequence. This enables the maps to show each key step in the history of the civilization or empire they are covering, rather than conform to an overall framework.

Why not try these Premium units and subscribe now! If you don’t find them to be useful in your teaching within 6 months, let us know and, no quibble, we’ll refund your fee!

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Prehistory

As the start date for the Timemap of World History is 3500 BCE, there are no free maps covering the human story prior to this date. However, there is a Premium unit relevant to this period:

The Origins and Spread of Farming (Premium unit: PowerPoint resource) + Teachers Notes

 

The Ancient World

Free maps:

A sequence of maps of the world provides a broad overview of ancient world history from 3500 BCE up to 500 CE:

World – 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE

Premium resources:

Teaching suggestions:

Click here for some ideas for using these maps for teaching Ancient World history in middle schools.

Premium map units:

Early Civilizations + Teachers Notes

Early Civilizations Activities (PowerPoint Exercises) + Teachers Notes

A sequence of world maps shows the spread of trade routes in the ancient world, between c. 3500 BCE and 200 CE. This is interesting in showing how the different regions of Europe and Asia gradually became linked together by trans-continental trade systems:

World Trade Routes : Ancient World I: Early Civilizations – Teachers Notes coming soon

World Trade Routes : Ancient World II: Classical Civilizations – Teachers Notes coming soon

 

 

Ancient Mesopotamia

Free maps:

Ancient Mesopotamia – 3500 BCE –  2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE

For Mesopotamia’s place in the Middle East, the following maps will also be useful:

Middle East 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE

These cover nations such as the Hittites who lived outside Mesopotamia but had an influence on it.

Premium resources:

One premium unit gives the “Big Region” context for the rise and fall of Ancient Mesopotamian civilization. 

The Ancient Middle East + Teachers Notes

The unit gives an broad overview of the region’s history between 3500 BCE and 500 BCE. As such, it is ideal for providing crucial background when teaching about Ancient Mesopotamia at grade 6.

It includes episodes not covered by the free maps, such as the Akkadian empire of Sargon, the Babylonian empire of Hammurabi, the Kassite kingdom which came after, and the Assyrian Empire, Chaldean (Later Babylonian) Empire and Persian Empire. It also traces the history of the Israelites, whose history was intimately connected to that of Mesopotamia.

More premium resources

There are also Premium resources which place Mesopotamian civilization in the broad context of ancient world history as a whole – see the section above, on The Ancient World.

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Ancient Egypt

Free maps:

Ancient Egypt 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE

For Egypt’s place in the Middle East, the following maps will also be useful:

Middle East 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE

Premium resources:

As with the Ancient Mesopotamian topic, one premium unit gives the “Big Region” context for the rise and fall of Ancient Egyptian civilization: 

The Ancient Middle East + Teachers Notes

This clearly shows the changing place of Ancient Egypt in the broader Middle Eastern region. It includes episodes not covered by the free maps, such as the unification of Ancient Egypt in the pre-dynastic period, the rise and fall of the Old Kingdom, of the Middle Kingdom, and of the New Kingdom (including the height of its imperial period, which the free maps don’t show). Finally, it shows Ancient Egypt in decline, with the rise of regional superstates such as the Assyrian and Persian empires.

It also traces the history of the Israelites, whose history was intimately connected to that of Ancient Egypt.

More premium resources

There are also Premium resources which place Egyptian civilization clearly in the broad context of ancient world history: see the section above, on The Ancient World.

 

The Kingdom of Kush

Free maps:

500 BCE 200 BCE30 BCE200 CE500 CE Ancient Kush (Nubia) in 500 BCE, giving a brief history of the region prior to this date.

For broader context:

Africa 500 BCE – 200 BCE30 BCE200 CE500 CE

Premium resource:

The Ancient Middle East + Teachers Notes

This Premium unit is useful in including episodes, in particular the period when Kush conquered Egypt, which is not covered in the free maps.

 

Ancient India

Free maps:

For the Indus Civilization and the later Classical Indian Civilization, see:

India and South Asia 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE – 200 BCE30 BCE200 CE – 500 CE

Premium resources:

Ancient India + Teachers Notes

This is useful in covering episodes not included in the free maps, such as the rise and fall of the Maurya and Gupta empires.

This unit does not cover the Indus Valley Civilization. For this, see Premium resources listed in the section above, on The Ancient World.

 

Ancient China

Free maps:

For the origins and development of civilization in ancient China, see:

For Ancient China, including the Shang and early Zhou dynasties, see:

China 2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE

For a broader perspective on East Asia, showing the spread of farming and civilization from China to neighbouring countries such as Korea and Japan, see:

East Asia 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE200 BCE30 BCE200 CE500 CE

Even the world maps are of interest, particularly those showing what a major empire Han China was in the later ancient world:

World 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE

Premium resources:

Ancient China + Teachers Notes

This is useful in covering episodes not included in the free maps, such as the Warring States period and the unification of China under the Qin dynasty.

It does not cover the earliest period of Chinese history, the Shang and early Zhou dynasties. For these, see Premium resources listed in the section above, on The Ancient World.

 

Ancient Greece and the Greek World

Free maps:

Greece 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE – 200 BCE

In geographical terms, these maps are limited to the Greek mainland, the Aegean Sea and western Asia Minor – i.e. the heartland of the Greek world.

The Greek diaspora, which took in the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts, can be seen in:

Europe 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE – 200 BCE

and also

Middle East 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE

Premium resources:

Clash of Civilizations: Greece and Persia + Teachers Notes

This follows the major events in the Greek world from just before the Greek-Persian Wars to the fall of the Greek states to Rome. It also looks at the much-neglected (but pivotal) Persian world. It includes the conquests of Alexander the Great and the divisions which followed his early death. 

This unit does not cover the Greek-Persian Wars in any detail, but these have their own one:

The Persian Wars, 499 BCE to 478 BCE (PowerPoint Presentation) + Teachers Notes

Neither of these cover the early centuries of Greek history. For these, see the Premium resources listed in the section above, on The Ancient World.

 

The Roman World

Free maps:

There are no free maps which cover the Roman Empire at its height. However, the following maps are useful:

Italy 500 BCE – 200 BCE – for Rome’s early history

Europe 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE

Middle East 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE

Even the world maps are of interest, particularly those showing what a major state the Roman was in the later ancient world:

The World 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE 

Premium resources:

For an overview of the history of the Roman Empire, the following Premium unit is ideal:

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire + Teachers Notes

For a closer look at a particular theme of Roman history which has had profound influence on all later Western civilization, look at

Roman Government (PowerPoint Presentation) + Teachers Notes

Also, the Premium unit below shows clearly how the expansion of Roman power was accompanied by the expansion of trade routes. This was the case within the Roman Empire; it was also true in Asia, were the Silk Road connected the Mediterranean world of the Romans with China:

 

The Medieval World

Free maps:

A sequence of maps of the world provides a broad overview of ancient world history from 500 CE through 1453 CE:

World – 500 CE750 CE979 CE12151453

Premium resources:

World Trade Routes : The Medical World

A sequence of maps shows the spread of trade routes during the period 500 CE to 1453 CE.

 

Click here for some ideas for using these maps for teaching Medieval World history in middle schools.

 

The World of Islam

Free maps:

Middle East 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 145316481789

These maps look only at the Middle East. A Premium unit consisting of a sequence of maps taking in the whole of the Islamic world is planned.

Premium units on the Islamic Caliphate and the Ottoman Empire are planned.

 

African Civilizations

Free maps:

Africa 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 14531648

The region which is the focus of most curriculums is West Africa. For this, go to:

West Africa 500 CE750979121514531648

A Premium unit on African civilizations is planned.

 

China (after the Ancient Period)

Free maps:

China 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 145316481789

For the broader region context, showing the connections between China and her neighbours, especially Japan and Korea, see 

East Asia 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 145316481789

Premium resources:

A Premium unit on Chinese history designed specially for middle school students, is planned. In the meantime, two Premium units aimed at high school students may be useful as classroom presentations:

Medieval China: from Sui to Song, 500 to 1450Teachers Notes

This sequence includes the middle centuries of the imperial age of Chinese history, when China’s identity as a Confucian, bureaucratic state is tested, confirmed and refined.

China: the Late Dynasties: 1450 to 1760 CE + Teachers Notes

Looks at the Ming and Qing dynasties, when imperial China reached its peak. The unit leaves the Qing dynasty at its magnificent height – its decline is dealt with in the next section.

 

Japan

Fee maps:

Japan 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 145316481789

For Japan’s history in the context of East Asia as a whole, see

East Asia 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 145316481789

There no as yet Premium units for Japanese history.

 

India

Free maps:

India and South Asia 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 145316481789

Premium resources:

A Premium unit on Indian history, designed specially for middle school students, is planned. In the meantime, two Premium units aimed at high school students may be useful as classroom presentations:

Medieval India: from Gupta to Babur, 500 to 1450 + Teachers Notes

During this period of South Asian history, great cultural changes take place: the decline of Buddhism, the rise of mature Hinduism, and the intrusion of Islam.

India: the Mughal era: 1450 to 1750 CETeachers Notes

Covers the early modern period in the history of the Indian subcontinent, dominated by the  rise and fall of the glorious Mughal empire.

 

Early American civilizations

Free maps:

Central America (for the Maya, Toltec and Aztec civilizations):

Mexico and Central America 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 1453

For the native American cultures of North America, see:

North America 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 1453

South America (for the Inca civilization and its predecessors):

Peru 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 1453

For the broader context of Andean civilization, see:

South America 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE – 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE – 500 BCE – 200 BCE – 30 BCE – 200 CE – 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 1453

Premium units on Pre-Columbian civilizations are planned.

 

The Middle Ages in Europe

Free maps:

Europe 500 CE – 750 – 979 – 1215 – 1453

Premium unit:

Europe in the Middle Ages (PowerPoint Presentation) + Teachers Notes

Some world history programs place the European Renaissance and Reformation with the Medieval period. These can be seen in this unit primarily designed with high school students in mind, but which should also be of use as a classroom presentation in middle schools:

Early Modern Europe: 1450 to 1750 CE + Teachers Notes

 

The Early Modern World

Free maps:

World:

The early modern world sees the histories of the different regions begin to be knitted together as Europe expands. A global perspective is therefore necessary for this period, and can be gained here:

World maps for 1453 – 1638 – 1789.

An understanding of the expansion of Europe requires a grasp of what was actually happening IN Europe. This can be seen here:

Europe 1453 – 1648 – 1789

The region that felt the expansion most keenly in this period was the Americas, as can be seen here:

South America, from the end of the Pre-Columbian period through the colonial period:

South America  1453 – 1648 – 1789

For Central America, see:

Mexico and Central America  1453 – 1648 – 1789

For North America, see:

USA : 16481789

Canada 16481789

For North America as a whole, with an emphasis on the Native Americans and how the coming of Europeans impacted their lives, see:

North America 1453 – 16481789

The Atlantic Slave Trade was a feature of much of colonial America, and this had a major impact on Africa:

Africa 1453 – 1648 – 1789

Asia at this time was less directly affected by European expansion, and each of the major regions saw the blossoming of major states. See

Middle East 1453 – 1648 – 1789 (The Ottoman Empire)

India and South Asia 1648 – 1789 (The Mughul Empire)

East Asia 1789 (The Manchu, or Qing, dynasty of China, and also Tokugawa Japan)

For more close-ups, see China 1789

and Japan 1453 – 1648 – 1789

For other parts of the world which are not so popular in middle school curricula but are interesting in their own rights, are

South East Asia 1648 – 1789

and Oceania 1789

Premium resources:

Click here for some ideas for using these maps for teaching Early Modern World history in middle schools.

No middle school Premium map units on Modern World history are available yet. However, the following Premium unit, primarily designed for high school students, should be useful, with some adapting, as a classroom presentation in middle schools:

Early Modern Europe: 1450 to 1750 CE + Teachers Notes

It covers the periods of the Renaissance, Reformation, Counter-Reformation, Wars of Religion, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment.

World Trade Routes : Early Modern Era

A sequence of maps shows the dramatic expansion of trade routes during the early modern era of world history.

 

The Modern World

Free maps:

The history of the modern world has been global in scope, in a way not true of earlier times. A global perspective is therefore necessary, and can be gained here:

World maps for:   1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

Europe

The dominating theme in modern world history up to the 20th century is the accelerating expansion of European power. Then, Europe tore itself apart in two huge wars. This tumultuous history can be seen here:

Europe  1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

Within in Europe, certain countries repay special attention:

Britain 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914 (the first industrial society and the rise of the first parliamentary democracy)

France 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914 (the French Revolution, Napoleon and after)

Germany 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914  (a new, powerful European state)

Russia 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914 (a giant looming over Europe)

In the 20th century, the United States took over from Europe as the most dynamic region in the world. 

For the United States see:

USA 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

Other European offshoots also appeared:

Canada 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

Australia 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

New Zealand 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

as well as:

South America 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

Mexico and Central America 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

Much of the world fell under the rule of European empires, before regaining independence in the 20th century:

Africa 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

India and South Asia 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

South East Asia 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

The Pacific 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

Other regions did not come under direct rule, or were ruled only briefly, but were deeply impacted by Western power:

Middle East 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

East Asia 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

including

China 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

and Japan (of the late Tokugawa and Meiji periods) 1789 – 1837 – 1871 – 1914

Premium Resources:

Click here for some ideas for using these maps for teaching Modern World history in middle schools.

No middle school Premium units on Modern World history are yet available. However, the following premium units, designed primarily for high school students, should be useful, with some adapting, as classroom presentations in middle schools.

Modern Europe: 1750-1900 CE – Teachers Notes under development

Takes in the French Revolution and Napoleon, the Industrial Revolution, the 1848 revolutions, and the unification of Italy and Germany.

The Raj: British India, 1750-1900 CE – Teachers Notes under development

Looks at the rise of British rule in India, the nature of that rule, and its impact on Indian society.

Modern China: 1760-1901 CE  – Teachers Notes under development

Covers the Opium Wars, the Taiping rebellion, The Self-Strengthening Movement, the Sino-Japanese War and the Boxer rebellion.

 

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