Welcome to India! The Indus River Valley!

The Indus River Valley was home to an ancient and advanced civilization. This page will include PDF files of texts to assist students. Additionally, homework and class assignments will be located at the bottom of this page. Just keep scrolling down!


Reading Texts

Websites on the Indus River Valley

BBC - Primary History - //Indus Valley//


//Indus Valley// Civilization - Ancient India Lesson Plans, Powerpoints **...**


//Indus River Valley Civilization// - The River Valley Civilizations



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The Indus River Valley Civilization started about 2500 B.C.E. along the south-western part of the Indus River. The largest city was Mohenjo-Daro, in present day Pakistan, and settlements stretched all along the river.
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Source: TimeMaps of Indus Valley

external image c_body_headunderline.jpg==Impact of Geography==
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external image wheel.png Large Area

Streches across present day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan

external image wheel.png Surroundings

Natural borders consisted of mountains and the Arabian Sea, sheltering the civilization from attack and disease. Water from the river fertalized and irrigated crops. Proximity to the river allowed boats to become a viable transportation option.

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external image c_body_headunderline.jpg==Economy==
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external image wheel.png Agriculture

The development of widespread irrigation systems allowed the indigenous population to provide food for themselves. Wheat and barley were primary crops, however rye, peas, cotton, and rice were also grown. Domestication of animals also served as an important tool for cultivation and as a source of food.

external image wheel.png Trade

The economy depended greatly on trade. Trade was conducted within the civilization as well as with Mesopotamia. Advancement in technology led to carts and early boats that were used as the main method of trade and travel.

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external image c_body_headunderline.jpg==Social Structure==
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external image wheel.png Caste system with four main classes

external image arrowhead.pngPeople were born into social classes that could not be changed.
external image arrowhead.pngBrahmins (priests and the king) external image arrowhead.pngKshatriyas (warriors and aristocrats - rulers) external image arrowhead.pngVaishyas (cultivators, artisans, and merchants) external image arrowhead.pngShudras (peasants and serfs)

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external image c_body_headunderline.jpg==Buildings/Structures==
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external image arrowhead.pngIndividual buildings for bathing and using the restroom (had an early "sanitation" system) external image arrowhead.pngCitadels were used for defense external image arrowhead.pngGranaries external image arrowhead.pngAll houses had access to water and were about the same size external image arrowhead.pngHouses had one or two stories external image arrowhead.pngMost buildings were made of dry bricks external image arrowhead.pngNo large monuments or structures

external image c_header_underline.jpg==Tools / Weapons / Technology==
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external image wheel.png Tools

external image arrowhead.pngConstructed from bronze and possibly copper and iron external image arrowhead.pngClay was utilized for both art and tool manufacturing external image arrowhead.pngDeveloped a measuring system and tools for measurement (first, and most precise of the time)

external image wheel.png Weapons

external image arrowhead.pngConstructed from bronze external image arrowhead.pngWeaponry was not as advanced as it was in the Mesopotamian society external image arrowhead.pngArrows were crafted external image arrowhead.pngSwords were not developed external image arrowhead.pngIsolated geography negated the need for advanced weaponary

external image wheel.png Technology

external image arrowhead.pngLarge irrigation systems external image arrowhead.pngFirst civilization in the world to develop precise measurement and weighing equipment external image arrowhead.pngMost technology was used to aid in agriculture external image arrowhead.pngOther trade technologies such as boats and carts were employed to facilitate trade

external image c_header_underline.jpg==Religion==
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external image wheel.png Hinduism

external image arrowhead.png~1700-1100 B.C.E. external image arrowhead.pngPolytheistic

external image wheel.png Buddhism

external image arrowhead.png365 B.C.E. external image arrowhead.pngMonotheistic (Buddha)

external image c_header_underline.jpg==Writing / Literature==
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external image wheel.png Vedas - Oldest Scriptures of Hinduism

external image arrowhead.pngWritings on prayers external image arrowhead.pngHymns external image arrowhead.pngReligious Rituals external image arrowhead.pngPhilosophies

external image c_header_underline.jpg==Gender Roles==
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external image arrowhead.pngMen worked within their designated caste social class external image arrowhead.pngWomen were valued because of their ability to produce offspring and nurse external image arrowhead.pngWhen children were old enough, they adopted their parents' role
Page last updated: September 12, 2011

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Caste System

Castes were the central feature of people's identities in ancient India. Beginning soon after the Aryan invasion, people in India began to divide everyone into one of five groups, or castes. People thought of the caste system as people's mirror of the way the universe worked. Just as the sun and the planets each had to follow its prescribed path, in the same way people had to live according to their caste. This parallel between the real world and the caste system made caste seem natural and impossible to change or avoid. Caste gave some people special rights and privileges that other people did not have.

Yale professor Mridu Rais talks about caste

The Rig Veda describes each of these castes. There were really four castes, and then the lowest group had no caste, and were known as Untouchables. Below the untouchables were the slaves.

Untouchables usually did the worst jobs, like cleaning up people's poop from the gutters, or collecting garbage.

The lowest of the castes was the shudras - the servants and farmhands who did not own their own business or their own land, and who had to work for other people. But gradually a lot of land-owning farmers fell into this caste, too. Probably the largest number of people belonged to this caste.

Above them were the vaishyas, or farmers and traders, who owned their own farms or businesses. There were a lot of them, too.



Above these were the Kshatriya, or warriors. There were not very many Kshatriyas. A lot of them were in the army, or leaders in other ways. Women could not be warriors, but they could be Kshatriyas anyway.

The most powerful caste was the Brahmans, the priests and leaders. There were only a few of them. Only Brahman men were allowed to go to school, or to teach in schools (Brahman women could not go to school).

There were also a lot of smaller groups within these castes. People who came from different castes could not eat together. Usually people from one caste did not marry or make friends with people from another caste.




Hinduism is the world's third most popular religion, with around 750 million followers. The religion of Hinduism originated in Northern India, near the river Indus, about 4000 years ago and is the world's oldest existing religion.

Hinduism is practiced by more than 80% of India's population today.

The //Hindu Kids// Universe - Multimedia


//Hinduism//: Background, Basic Beliefs and Sacred Texts - United **...**


Ancient India Unit



Buddhism began in northeastern India and is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. The religion is 2,500 years old and is followed by 350 million Buddhists worldwide.

Buddhism is the main religion in many Asian countries. It is a religion about suffering and the need to get rid of it. A key concept of Buddhism is Nirvana, the most enlightened, and blissful state that one can achieve. A state without suffering.

//Buddhism for Children// - Woodlands Junior School


//Buddhism//: Basic Beliefs - United Religions Initiative


Indian Coloring Pages

Another Interesting Website...Great Teacher Reference


Classwork, Assignments, and Homework

Wednesday and Thursday

November 2 and 3, 2016

India: Gegraphy

Students received their study guide and a map of India. Use both documents to assist you in your study of India.

Get out a piece of notebook paper, India Map and large world map.

On the piece of notebook paper - make a graphic organizer (with 3 parts - question, answer and visual) using the first essential questions - 1. How did physical geography shape ancient Indian Civilization?

Step #2

Read the information below. Add the blue information into your graphic organizer.

A. Mountains and Seas

The Indian subcontinent is surrounded by mountain ranges to the north and large bodies of water to the south. The mountains and bodies of water have divided South Asia from the rest of Asia and allowed it to become a unique subcontinent.

  • The mountains of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush separate South Asia from Central Asia to the north.

  • To the south, the Indian Ocean separates the subcontinent from Southeast and Southwest Asia.

  • South Asia’s separation from the rest of Asia created the subcontinent.

Why Does It Matter?

The mountains and ocean surrounding South Asia have influenced its climate. The monsoon winds that are affected by the mountains and bodies of water surrounding India create wet and dry seasons that make agriculture throughout the region possible. The mountains and ocean have also separated South Asia from the rest of the Asian continent. This offered some protection from outside invaders.

B. Rivers, Farming, and Civilization

South Asia receives the water it needs for agriculture from the rivers that flow through the region and from the monsoon winds, which bring rain each summer. This water allowed early farmers to produce a stable supply of food for the people of South Asia.

  • The Indus and the Ganges Rivers flow from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean, bringing water and rich sediment (silt) to the river valleys below.

  • The monsoon winds bring seasons of cool, dry air and warm, moist air to South Asia. The monsoon rains provide most of the subcontinent’s rainfall.

  • The Indus Valley civilization was well developed. It had agriculture, advanced cities, and a written language. The Indus Valley people also made technological advances, such as improved drainage systems, during this time.

  • Artifacts and archeological ruins found at two of the civilization’s major cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, provide much of the information we have about this time.

Why Does It Matter?

Without an abundant source of water, farmers could not have produced enough food for civilizations to form in South Asia. The Indus Valley civilization was as sophisticated as other early civilizations, such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. It had a system of writing, detailed city planning made possible by an understanding of mathematics, and natural resources that enabled its survival and growth. It was also located close enough to other civilization to allow its people to trade for essential resources to which they would not have otherwise had access.

2. After reading the handout. Please watch the videos located below.

Friday and Monday

November 4 and 7, 2016

India: Aryans and the Caste Sytem

Step #1

Complete a review on India Geography. Use your map to assist you.

1.Complete Schoolnet Reviews

India Geography Mapskills 2016-20

17 Passcode: NU3ZE5ME8

India Geography EQ's 2016-2017

Passcode: WE8HE8KA4


4. Make a graphic organizer with EQ#2 –

What effects did power and social class

have on the lives of ancient Indian


Step #3

Please click on the link to take you to DiscoveryEducation.com. Be sure to be on this page -------6.2 India's Rulers and Society........What effects did power and social class have on the lives of the ancient Indian people? You will focus on pages 1-4 only. Read the information

texts, charts, graphs, etc. Also, watch the video clips provided on the pages.=

Page #1 – Aryan Invasion

Read Page 1. Answer these questions in your
answer section of the graphic organizer – Who
were the Aryans? Where did they come from?

Page #2 – Aryan Cultural Contributions

Read Page 2. Answer these questions in your
answer section of the graphic organizer – What
was the name of the religion, language, and
social hierarchy the Aryans brought to the
Indian Sub-Continent?

Page #3 – The Caste System

Read Page 3. Complete this part in your visual
section of the graphic organizer – Draw the
Indian Caste System/social pyramid. Label
each part with its Indian word and English
explanation. What religious texts explained this

Page #4 – Rules of the Caste System

Read Page 4. Answer this question in your
answer section of the graphic organizer –
Explain each set of rules for each caste in
the social hierarchy. What are some pros and
cons of having the caste system?

Notes on the Aryan Caste System.

Step #4

This video focuses on the challenges that Indians continue to face in modern society. The video is from DiscoveryEducation.com and reviews the history of caste divisions and social standing in India. In Rishikesh, a group of Hindu leaders challenge the caste system by educating poor and orphaned children.


If you did not watch this video yesterday - please do so!!!

This video focuses on the challenges that Indians continue to face in modern society. The video is from DiscoveryEducation.com and reviews the history of caste divisions and social standing in India. In Rishikesh, a group of Hindu leaders challenge the caste system by educating poor and orphaned children.


India: Aryans and Accomplishments



Wednesday and Thursday

November 9 and 10, 2016

India: Hinduism

Today you will learn about the ancient religion of Hinduism.

Step #1

Obtain a handout/graphic organizer. Write Essential Question #3 on the top

How did religion influence ancient Indian Society?. Open the pdf document below. Read about Brahmanism and Hinduism Develops on pages 2 and 3. Read the information. Fill in your chart.=

Step #2

DiscoveryEducation.com.....Let’s Look at World Religions: Hinduism

Explores the roots of Hinduism as a religion and introduces the many facets of Hindu beliefs. The program also describes how followers of Hinduism worship, live, and celebrate their faith. Note: This video addresses topics including faith and spiritual practice. The video does not advocate a given faith, but is part of a series that informs students of the beliefs and practices of many world religions. The founding stories of the religions presented in this series are based on the texts, beliefs, and traditions of those religions and are not intended as historical analysis.


Step #4

Students will complete a scavenger hunt on: Aryans, Caste System and Hinduism. Partner and work using clues from your graphic organizers. On the back of your graphic organizer - "number" down from A to P. Please write the answers by the correct letter.

Step #5

Whole group review of scavenger hunt

Step #6

Complete these two questions on the back of your scavenger hunt.

1. How does the religion of Hinduism "encourage" people to stay in the caste system?

2. In your opinion, what are some pros and cons of Hinduism?

Hindu Symbol with Explanation


The site just below is REALLY good!

Information on //Hinduism for Kids// - Woodlands Junior School


//Hinduism// - World Religions for //Kids// - Google Sites


Hindu Temples


BBC - Schools - Religion - //Hinduism//

www.bbc.co.uk › Schools HomeReligion

//Hinduism// - History for //Kids//!

www.historyforkids.org › Ancient IndiaIndian Religion

The //Hindu Kids// Universe - Multimedia


//Hinduism//: Background, Basic Beliefs and Sacred Texts - United **...**



//Video// -- //Diwali//: Festival of Lights -- National Geographic


Divali (//Diwali) for Kids// - Woodlands Junior School


//Diwali for Kids// - KidsGen


//Diwali// -- National Geographic //Kids//


All About //Diwali// - Kidzworld


Brahman - Vishni-Shiva-Brahma


BBC - GCSE Bitesize: The nature of the Hindu god

www.bbc.co.uk › HomeReligious StudiesGod



//Vedas// - World History For //Kids// - By KidsPast.com


//Vedas// - //Kids// BAPS - Baps.org


BBC - Religions - Hinduism: Scripture


Monday and Tuesday

November 14 and 15, 2016

India: Buddhism


Step #1

Please complete the review on Hinduism. You may use your notes/vocabulary.

Social Studies 6 Unit 4 India Hinduism 2016-2017 Passcode: QE7NE5KY7.

Step #2

Please open the power point located just above. Make a chart on notebook paper like the one from inside the power point on slide #3.

Read the information from slides #4 - #14 and fill-in the chart. Additionally, move around the classroom to obtain information.

Step #3

Now, we will watch the video from DiscoveryEducation.com

The Middle Way of Compassion

Siddhartha Gautama was born a prince in what is now Nepal. His first experience with old age, illness, and death led him to eventually renounce his privileged life and become the Buddha. His teachings advocate a middle way between self-denial and self-indulgence.


Step #4

Conduct a mock interview with the Buddha. On a separate sheet of
paper, create three or more questions to ask the Buddha about his
experiences. Your questions should relate to these three general areas
of his life:
What his life was like before coming the Buddha?How he became the Buddha?What he believes happiness is and how one achieves it?
For each question, write a response that reflects what the Buddha might say.
You may begin your interview by using the beginning sentences below,
or you may write your own. Be sure to include Vocabulary Terms in your
mock interview.
Interviewer: Honorable Awakened One, I would like to learn more about
your life and teachings.
Buddha: I will share about my life and my teachings. What is your first
Interviewer: My first question is…….


These links can provide you with additional assistance in understanding Buddhism

//Buddhism for Children// - Woodlands Junior School


//Buddhism//: Basic Beliefs - United Religions Initiative


These videos below can assist you in your understanding of Buddhism.

Wednesday and Thursday

November 16 and 17, 2016


Students will continue their study of ancient Indian religion. One product they will create is a Mandala. Students will use the template located below (India-Hinduism-Mandala-Template).

•Objective: Work individually to create a mandala reflecting Hindu/Buddhist beliefs about:


Deities (gods/goddesses)







Four Noble truths

Eightfold Path



*This is a formal assessment....test grade.


•1. Brainstorm symbols to represent 5 of the Hindu/Buddhist beliefs from above (the orange terms).

•2. Use the mandala template provided or design your own.

•3. Place the 5 symbols in the spaces in the circle, using whatever order you feel makes sense.....One symbol per space.

•4. Draw at least four additional symbols or illustrations around the circle to represent the ways that these beliefs have influenced life in India.

•5. Use color and creative touches to make the mandala visually interesting.

•6. Cut out mandala and glue onto a piece of colored paper.

•7. Below your mandala (not on the back) write a two

paragraph (at least 4 sentences per paragraph) explanation of the reasoning behind your choices of symbols. Also, include which idea you feel would be most difficult to follow or understand and the reason why you feel this. Additionally, include which idea you feel has made the greatest impact upon society, and the reason why you feel this.



The link below shares additional information on Hinduism. Also, included are examples of Mandalas. A video link will illustrate how Mandalas are created and destroyed.

Creating a //Mandala// of //Hindu// Beliefs - Mr. Mitchell's Social Studies **...**



The link below has dozens of free printable coloring pages of Mandalas!

//Coloring pages Mandalas// | 139 //coloring pages// - Edupics


Ancient India Unit


Below is a youtube video showing Buddhist Monks Creating and Destroying a Mandala.



Friday and Monday

November 18 and 21, 2016




November 22, 2015

India: Formal Assessment

The study guide located below is to assist you in your study of India. Every component will be assessed on the Unit Test.