Ancient India

We are doing an activity for Ancient India!

Role Play!

Today we are going to do a small Role Play, where we will split into 5 groups, representing the social hierarchy in the Vedic Period of Ancient India. The first group will represent the Brahmins, the top of the social hierarchy, representing the Priests. There will be 4 Brahmins in the class. The second group will be representing the Kshatriyas, or the Warriors and Rulers. There will be about 7 of these. The third group will be the Vaisyas, or the skilled workers and merchants. There will be about 8 of these in the group. Following the third group is the Sudras, the unskilled workers and the farmers and artisans. There will be about 9 of these. The last group is the Dalits, or the Untouchables. They are the Native Indians, and the people that do the work that not many other people want to do, such as cleaning up around the streets, burying the dead corpses, and dealing with the animals. They are also known as the slaves or servants. There will be about 7 of these people in the group. After the groups are divided up, the role playing will commence, telling each group their roles, and what they would have to do. Then there will be a discussion about how the students feel about their roles. You could tell the Brahmins to stand on chairs and order the Dalits to clean the desks, or sweep the floors. The Kshatriyas could stand by the doors to make sure that no one leaves the classroom, representing the warriors protecting the cities. The Vaisyas could be giving beaded necklaces or jewelry Brahmins and Kshatriyas, while the Sudras could be doing a paper fold craft.

Next Up, Debating!

After the Role Playing activity, we will set up a debate where we ask the students to think about questions that are asked to them as individuals, and we will give them about 3-5 minutes to think over each question. After we give them time to think, we ask each person to go to a certain side of the room if they think that they agree with the opinion assigned to the area. Once they are at the side that they agree with, they will talk to the other people in that group to come up with reasons why they agree with this opinion. After we give them about another 3-5 minutes, we will ask each group why they agree with each topic, and then they can try to persuade each group t agree with them. The debate will last about 10-15 minutes, or until a solution is reached. Multiple debate topics could be used, if possible. Some questions that could be asked are:

  1. What do you think the Great Bath was used for by the people in Ancient India?
Some of the solutions that could be divided up could be:

  • Religious Purposes
  • Cooling off
  • Rituals

2. Why do you think that the Harappan Period of Ancient India died out?

Some of the solutions could be:

  • Natural Disasters
  • War
  • Driven Out
  • Other

Matching Activity!

The next activity that could be used is a matching activity. Some of the things that could b matched are:

  • Social Hierarchy- List from highest to lowest.
What were the Priests called? | Brahmins

What were the Rulers and Warriors called? | Kshatriyas

What were the skilled workers and Merchants called? | Vaisyas

What were the unskilled workers, farmers, and artisans called? | Sudras

What were the slaves and Native Indians called? | Dalits (Untouchables)

  • Written Language-
Harappan Period | Indus Script

Vedic Period | Sanskrit

  • Government-
Harappan Period | Monarchy

Vedic Period | Caste System

  • Religion/Beliefs-
What is Reincarnation? | The belief that after you die, you will be born again.

What is Karma? | The belief that if you do something bad, something bad will happen to you, but if you do something good, something good will happen to you.

What was Ancient India's main religion? | Hinduism

What religion began in Ancient India in the Vedic Period? | Jainism

  • Innovations/Technology-
What was one of the inventions that were used in the homes in the cities?

| Sewage Systems

What did the Ancient Indians create to put on clothing? | Buttons

What type of surgery did the Ancient Indians invent? | Cataract

India was one of the first places to start doing what? | Mining Diamonds

  • Rise and Fall-
Harappan Period's Rise | Migrated from the Cradle of Civilization into India

Vedic Period's Rise | Indo-Europeans migrated from Europe, through the mountains, and into India

Harappan Period's Fall | Unknown Reasons

Vedic Period's Fall | War

Where did the Indo-Europeans pass through in the mountains when they migrated?

| Khyber Pass

  • Economy-
In the homeland, what was important to India's economy? | Farming

Which civilization did Ancient India trade with the most? | Ancient Mesopotamia

What did the people on the coast produce? | Salt

What did most of the farmers produce? | Wheat, Rice, Cotton