If I was teaching this I'd give a brief description of the major pre-Socratic cosmologists: essentially the Milisian Monists - Thales and the world as water, Anaximander and the world as indeterminate (apeiron); and Parmenides as the World as One.
And then follow through with some extracts on Lucretious On the nature of things to link up with the early-modern conception of the atom including the Clinamen; and point out that each individual atom is a Parmenidian One.
Also, focus on Empedocles theory of forces with Kants critique of Newtonian Force.
It might be useful to look at the very early part of Hegels History of Philosophy where he covers this - but the language is difficult; and also the first section of Russell's History of Western Philosophy.
This way I'd be connecting contemporary philosophy to its beginning - which I think would be useful; (well, it would have been for me).
The SEP entry is very good; as is the one by the IEP