Where Farming Began

Where Farming Began

Explore the origins of farming and domestication in the Fertile Crescent.


5 - 12+


Anthropology, Archaeology, Geography, Human Geography

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Idea for Use in the Classroom

This infographic is so full of information that one of the keys to successful use is to prevent students from becoming overwhelmed. To this end, begin by having students focus on the timeline at the bottom of the infographic, covering up the rest, if possible. Ask them to identify the endpoints and main divisions of the timeline, followed by the three time periods. Have volunteers read the text “The rise of village life” at the left, and then read the text for each section. Direct students to create one-sentence statements summing up the gist of the timeline. Then consider how the climate information above the timeline might relate to the development of village life.

Point out the two wheat ears under the key and the grain text at the top center. Have students summarize their understandings of grain domestication and relate it to the climate changes shown in the timeline. You may wish to explicitly tell them to ignore the climate color coding because it overlaps with and contradicts the coloring that is keyed to the three time periods.

Next, use the map above so students can gain an understanding of the progress of animal domestication. First, have them focus on the map key and relate the three periods on the left side of the key to the three periods shown in the timeline. Point out the vertical timeline on the right side of the map and show students how the dot-surrounded areas are colored to link to time periods and also show the progress of animal domestication. Challenge students to describe how the geographic area where animals were domesticated changed over time. Ask them to create one-sentence statements that sum up the gist of the development of animal domestication.

Finally, have students relate grain domestication, animal domestication, and climate, and connect all of them to the rise of village life. Ask them to discuss whether villages would ever have arisen if grains and animals had not been domesticated.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
Program Specialists
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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