For thousands of years, pre-humans and humans lived nomadic lives. They moved from place to place, hunting wild game and gathering plants, roots, seeds and berries. Around 7,000 B.C.E., people started settling in one place. Mesopotamia, which lies between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is now Iraq, was one of the first settlements. It started out as a small village, probably with a few families. The people built irrigation canals so they would have water for their crops. They built homes and temples. They began writing and keeping records.
Great cities grew. When people live in a city, they tend to become divided into specific groups. Some people are farmers, others are doctors or laborers. People can also be divided by how much money or education they have. These divisions can make life easier because everyone is doing his part. They can also cause conflicts and wars.
Fun Facts About City Life for Kids
- Cities must have infrastructures. An infrastructure is the underlying services and support needed by a city. It includes roads, access to clean water, waste disposal and medical care.
- People in villages began trading with other villages. The villagers became wealthy and the villages grew into cities. Today, people still trade with one another.
- Nomads had no wealth or possessions beyond the basic necessities. Once they settled down, they gathered wealth. Bandits tried to steal their wealth. Soon, cities were surrounded by great walls to keep out the bandits.
- Ancient cities grew over time. They had winding streets and confusing layouts. Modern cities are usually planned on a rectangular grid of streets.
City Life Vocabulary
- Nomad: someone who wanders from place to place without a permanent home
- Settlement: a place where people gather and live
- Irrigation: watering crops
- Canal: man-made river or stream
- Conflict: disagreement, fighting
- Infrastructure: underlying support system
- Bandit: robber
All About City Life Video for Kids
Watch this awesome Life in the City video for kids about city life vs country life:
City Life Q&A
Question: Is it better to live in a city or in the country?
Answer: Both the city and the country have potential benefits and drawbacks. Life in the city is easier to find a job and there are more choices about what type of job to do. Cities usually offer good schools, medical care and cultural activities. But, they can be crowded and expensive to live in. Crime is sometimes a problem. Living in the country is quieter and simpler. Country living usually costs less. But there are fewer jobs. It might be hard to find a good doctor or school.
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