Ancient India: Back
to the Future
A WebQuest for
Ancient India was a place of
great beauty and mystery, a place that witnessed the birth of two great
world religions, a unique culture that survives to this day, and numerous
scientific and medical advancements. The ancient Indians also lived during
a very uncertain time when unpredictable weather and nomadic invaders forever
changed their way of life, their beliefs, and their future.
Although archeologists have made
important discoveries about this land and people that existed so long ago
(~2500 BCE), much remains to be discovered. What a help it would be if
the people of ancient India had created and stored time capsules for modern-day
researchers to find and examine, time capsules that contained important
artifacts from their religions, their culture, their empires, artifacts
that would reveal what life in ancient India was really like...
You are a researcher that has been transported back in time to ancient India.
Your team's mission is to construct a time capsule containing artifacts
and information to bring back to the future for study. Because the civilizations
of ancient India offer so much to sift through, you will go back
on this mission to find, analyze, compare and contrast various items, concepts
and works of art, then decide which to bring back in the limited space
of their time capsule.
Each research team will focus on
the following aspects of ancient Indian civilization:
At the end of this Internet-assisted
time-traveling experience, researchers will create a short paper explaining
to the chief researcher what they determined to be the most important artifacts and
information to bring back.
the daily life
- medical advancements
of ancient India
the origins, beliefs and spread of
the origins, beliefs and spread of
These final presentations should
entail an actual constructed time capsule containing artifacts that
can be taken out, discussed, and share with the entire class.
In this computer age the time capsule may be virtual, constructed with pictures, music, ect., but fully explained through the accompanied paper.
- First, you should go to the following
website and enjoy the slide show about the excavated ancient Indian city
of Mohenjodaro, which you can also read about in your textbook.
Now that you have an appreciation
for what ancient Indian civilization looked like, imagine that you are actually there through the miracle of time travel.
- It is time to begin research! You must focus on a specific area of each topic and you must find AT LEAST 5 important facts about each specific area. These should be in your paper. As you research, record your facts.
- Take notes you understand, in your own words. When you have your notes, you will create the paper discussing what you picked and why those items were important enough to put in the time capsule. Be prepared to present your team's project to the class or answer any questions the Chief Researcher might ask. Make sure your name is on your notes so you can turn them in with your time capsule.
is to build a time
capsule filled with the artifacts and information your team thinks
is most important and most revealing of what life was really like in ancient
India. Since time capsules have limited space, you will focus your efforts
on three aspects of ancient Indian civilization: daily life, medical care
To find out about daily life and medical care
visit the following websites, read
about Harappan civilization, examine the various artifacts and read their
descriptions. Based on all that you have seen and read, you and your team
members must determine which 2-3 artifacts should be brought back to the
future in your time capsule. Consider what would best reveal what daily
life was like for the ancient Indians and what seemed most important to
them. Be prepared to detail your reasoning, answer questions about your
presentation, and explain why you didn't choose other items.
Ancient India Daily Life/Medicine websites:
you and your group first need to decide
which religion you want to study:
Hinduism or Buddhism. Next,
go to the following sites and learn all you can about the origins, beliefs
and spread of either Hinduism or Buddhism. Then, for the religion your
team chose, determine the following:
You will have many
choices to make as you go about this project. So, it is expected that you
will have good reasons for choosing the items and information that you
bring back in your time capsule, reasons you will explain in your paper.
Now, on to your research...and remember: you're expected to also use the
books, including your textbook, and reference materials we have in the library in addition to the
websites below! This is not a complete list of sites that can be used. If you use other sites make sure you varify the validity of the site.
What object can you put in your time
capsule that best symbolizes the religion?
Which person or gods most influence(d)
Which work of art best reveals the
What two beliefs make either Hinduism
or Buddhism different from your own religion or different from each
Which one religious document should
be brought back in your time capsule?
What are the two most positive aspects
of the religion?
What is the most surprising thing
you learned about the religion?
Tips on organizing your findings:
Make sure to take notes during your group's discussion and reflection regarding
what will go in your time capsule, because what you write down will form
the content of your presentation. Why your group chose what they chose
is all important. Keep your group's notes together in class so that they're
available if one of you is absent.
For your time travel expedition, you will need:
- Our Social Studies Textbook
- Books on Ancient India from the library
- Check out artifacts from Ancient India
- Spend a day with a beadmaker's son, traveling the Indus River
- Find Out about Daily Life in the Indus Valley
- Explore ancient Indian culture and contributions
- Visit a great India website for kids
- Research the social class system of India
following chart shows what is expected in each area of the project:
shows minimal planning and research
shows some planning and research
shows substantial planning and research.
Some pride is taken in the work;
shows superior planning and research; went beyond requirements.
Great pride is taken in the work, evidenced by a near-perfect presentation.
|Belief part of paper was difficult to follow or inaccurate. No visual
||Belief not thoroughly explained. Visual not useful.
||Explains one Indian belief. Could be more thorough or interesting. Visual included.
||Thoroughly describes one Indian belief, including examples. Includes a useful visual.
Belief part of paper was difficult to follow or inaccurate. No visual
Belief not thoroughly explained. Visual not useful.
Explains one Indian belief. Could be more thorough or interesting. Visual included.
Thoroughly describes one Indian belief, including examples. Includes a useful visual.
Contribution was difficult to follow or inaccurate. No visual.
Contribution not thoroughly explained. Visual not useful.
Explains one Indian contribution. Could be more thorough or interesting. Visual included
Thoroughly describes one cultural contribution and its importance to the world. Includes a relevant visual.
Daily life was difficult to follow or inaccurate. No visual
Aspect of daily life not thoroughly explained. Visual not useful
Explains one aspect of daily life. Could be more thorough or interesting. Visual included.
.Thoroughly describes in an interesting way one aspect of daily life and gives examples. Includes a relevant visual.
Props and/or presentation aids
Few or no items/data, or quality of items is poor.
Some items/data; quality of items average/good.
of items/data; quality good.
of items/data; quality excellent, pride evident;
|research notes note included
||Research notes more than 1/2 incomplete
||Research notes incomplete
||All research notes turned in and complete
||Paper less than 1/2 complete
||Paper not complete
||Paper complete and includes 5 important facts from each member
Through this project you have gained
insight and knowledge about another time, another place, and different
ways of viewing the world. We hope this experience has generated a greater
understanding and appreciation of other cultures.
Designed by Russell Tomlin,
John Muir Middle School librarian & Stacy Kaplan JMMS History teacher
Credits & References
Original URL: http://www.california.com/~tomlinr/lesson-template1.htm
Graphics courtesy of Sudheer Birodkar at:
This WebQuest was originally created in
November/December of 2002 using a template available from the Bernie Dodge
WebQuest page (see below). "Ancient India: Back to the Future" was last
updated on December 10, 2002.
Permission is hereby granted to use this
"Ancient India: Back to the Future" WebQuest for educational purposes as
long as its designers are acknowledged.
Any suggestions for how to improve this
WebQuest should be sent to Mr. Marchese, email@example.com
on October 19, 2005 . Based on
a template from The