Learning Sequence for Year 7 History: The Ancient World

Katie Roberts-Hull

Download our free Year 7 Guide

How do you fit 50,000 years of history into 50 hours of instruction?

The Ancient World curriculum in Australia covers an exceptionally vast period of time - from approximately 60,000 years ago until 650 CE. Teachers have a challenging task in deciding how to fit in the most important history in the short amount of time in front of students in Year 7. 

Not only do teachers have to sequence the ancient world content - they also have to integrate disciplinary knowledge, wider concepts, and historical skills. There is a lot to consider, and piecing together a learning program that is coherent and knowledge-rich is a difficult and time intensive task. 

The experts and teachers that work with Open Stage have developed a sequence of learning for Year 7: The Ancient World which we can share for any teacher that wants to see an example of what a learning program could look like.

Teaching history sequentially in time

Our Scope and Sequence presents history sequentially so that students can develop a strong chronological understanding of the past. Units and lessons logically build on each other and include repeated exposure to different examples of complex historical concepts.

Each of the eight units teach historical skills through historical content. This content is selected purposefully to build students' understanding of period and place.
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Historical enquiry

Each Open Stage unit is built around a historical enquiry question that students answer over a series of six lessons. 

The Open Stage enquiry questions are carefully designed to sequence student learning and address historical concepts in the curriculum. For example, the enquiry question Why did the Han Dynasty fall? is worded to get students thinking about cause and consequence. Each unit, and each enquiry, covers a different disciplinary concept in addition to sequencing historical knowledge.

Disciplinary and substantive concepts

The curriculum requires us to teach both substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge.

Substantive knowledge is essentially ‘facts’ – teachers sometimes refer to this as ‘content’ that is part of the curriculum. For example, what exactly is an empire?

Disciplinary knowledge, by contrast, is more about how that knowledge was established by historians. Disciplinary concepts include: Cause and consequence or continuity and change

The Open Stage resources integrate both substantive and disciplinary concepts into each unit.

How do you sequence the Ancient World curriculum?

Depending on your location, students, and experience - you may have a very different approach to the Ancient World curriculum. At Open Stage, we aim to make flexible resources that can be used both by teachers who are starting from scratch as well as teachers who just need a few new ideas. 

The above content is part of the Year 7 Overview in the Open Stage teaching resources. 

Click here for free access to the Year 7 Overview.


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Detailed unit plans and lesson guides