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Ancient Civilizations, Exploring the Origins Lesson Plan

Learning Objective

Students will explore the origins of ancient civilizations and create animated gifs using Brush Ninja to demonstrate their understanding.


  • Devices with internet access for each student or group
  • Brush Ninja website
  • Research materials on ancient civilizations (books, websites, etc.)
  • Paper and pencils for brainstorming ideas


  1. Begin the lesson by engaging students in a discussion about ancient civilizations. Ask questions such as: What do you know about ancient civilizations? Can you name any ancient civilizations? Why do you think it is important to study ancient civilizations?
  2. Explain to students that they will be exploring the origins of ancient civilizations and creating animated gifs using Brush Ninja.
  3. Divide students into small groups or pairs and provide them with research materials on different ancient civilizations (e.g., Egypt, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley, etc.).
  4. Instruct students to conduct research on their assigned civilization, focusing on its origin story, key achievements, cultural practices, and notable figures.
  5. Once students have gathered enough information about their assigned civilization, encourage them to brainstorm ideas for their animated gif using paper and pencils. They should consider how they can visually represent the origin story or major aspects of the civilization in an animated format.
  6. Introduce students to Brush Ninja and guide them through the basic features and functions of the tool.
  7. Allow students time to create their animated gifs using Brush Ninja based on their research findings and brainstormed ideas.


Assess student understanding through the following criteria:

  • Research: Did students gather accurate and relevant information about their assigned ancient civilization?
  • Creativity: Did students create an animated gif that effectively represents the origin story or major aspects of the civilization?
  • Presentation: Did students clearly explain their animated gif to the class, highlighting key elements?


To extend this lesson, consider the following activities:

  • Ask students to compare and contrast different ancient civilizations by creating a series of animated gifs.
  • Have students explore other features of Brush Ninja, such as adding text or sound effects to their animations.
  • Encourage students to research and create animated gifs on other historical topics or events, such as famous explorers, important inventions, or significant battles.

How to animate with Brush Ninja

This video teaches the basics of using Brush Ninja

More Tutorial Videos →

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Note: The lessons are written with the assumption that teachers will be using them as a starting point, and will be adapting them to suit the needs of their students and curriculum.

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