Unit Plan: Early River Civilizations – the Indus River Valley Overview: Students will study the geographic features of the Indus River valley, the rise and decline of the Harappan civilization, the Aryan invasion, the rise of Brahamism (leading to Hinduism and the caste system), and the consequences for the world today. Grade: 7th grade, Ancient History Standards: 7.4: Students analyze the geographic, political, religious, social, and economic structures of the Indus Valley Civilization. 1. Locate the early civilization of the Indus Valley. 2. Identify the origins of Indus or Harappan civilization in the Indus Valley, and describe how the major river system and the physical setting supported the rise of the civilization. 3. Describe the Vedic hymns and the beginnings of what would later become Hinduism. 4. Describe the development of Sanskrit literature and its relationship to the development of the caste system. 5. Identify the causes of the decline and collapse of this civilization (the first successive waves of Aryans invade portions of the subcontinent.) Concepts: Rise and fall of civilizations River systems provide the water for farming and the growth of cities Natural disasters and climate change Religious beliefs Skills: Geographic Students use a variety of maps and documents to identify physical and cultural features of neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries. Students interpret historical maps and charts. Students explain the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and the growth of economic systems. Students explain the effects of interactions between humans and natural systems, including how humans depend on natural resources and adapt to and affect the natural environment. Students use geographic knowledge and skills to analyze historical and contemporary issues. Skills: Chronology and Historical Interpretation Students construct various time lines of key events, people, and periods of the historical era they are studying. Students explain the central issues and problems from the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place. Students understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events, including the short-term causes or sparks from long-term causes. Students recognize that interpretations of history are subject to change as new information is uncovered. Big Ideas: Civilizations rise in certain geographic areas. Civilizations fall for various reasons. Invasions and migration bring new influences, ideas, beliefs, and cultural influences. Essential Questions: Why do civilizations rise in certain geographic locations? What do ancient civilizations contribute to today’s world? Performance Tasks: Lesson 1: The Geography of the Indian subcontinent. 1. Students locate the Indian subcontinent. Students will review the definition of a continent and determine what sub added means. 2. Students use dry erase maps and pens to identify the countries that are located on the subcontinent today. 3. Students distinguish between physical feature maps and political maps. Which change often over time and which change much more slowly? Use a historic time line to demonstrate when continents moved and when civilizations rose and fell. 4. In groups students use cardboard and map outlines to trace the shape of the Indian subcontinent. With blue yarn, clay, sand students create a 3-dimensional physical feature map of the Indian subcontinent. 5. Students explain, using information from the text, and using their maps, how the physical features of the sub-continent and it’s climate explain the rise of civilizations on the Indian sub-continent. Their written captions are attached to their maps. 6. Vocabulary: subcontinent, Hindu Kush, Himalayas, monsoon, Indus River. Lesson 2: The rise of the Harappan Civilization in the Indus River Valley. 1. Connect to prior knowledge of Mesopotamia and Egypt. What key physical features encourage the growth of civilizations and farming. 2. Harappan civilization developed in the Indus River Valley. What are the characteristics that make a civilization. Groups read the descriptions and compare to prior knowledge. Make a list of key descriptive words for a civilization. 3. Students go to www.Harappa.com to view a slide show of the archeological digs at Harappa. Students draw and label key places that indicate the Harappan civilization. Lesson 3: The decline of Harappan civilization and the invasion of the Arayans. 1. Harappan civilization declines. The people leave their cities. Why? Students read two different interpretations of the cause. Was it Aryan invaders or natural disasters – climate change, the drying up of a major river system and earthquakes. Why do historical interpretations change? What evidence do these interpretations rely upon? 2. Aryans invade and influence the culture. How do peoples of different cultures interact? How do cultures affect each other? For example, how did Europeans affect Native Americans in North America? How did Native Americans influence Europeans? How is your life affected by increasing waves of immigrants. How are their lives affected? Does one group change more than the other? What are the positive and negative consequences of cultural interactions? Lesson 4: Aryan Sanskrit literature and the development of the caste system 1. Students, in groups, read examples of Sanskrit literature and examine the values they emphasize. Are there any values that Americans share today? Make a venn diagram to indicate which. 2. What is class and what is the caste system. 3. Students read primary and secondary documents on the caste system in India today. 4. Analysis – were there any positive values in the class/caste system brought in by the Aryans? If not, were there any reasons that justified its existence? If it’s part of Indian culture today, how can they change that? Lesson 5: The Vedic hymns are the precursors to Hinduism. 1. Students examine graphs of popularity of world religions today. Hinduism is the 3rd most practiced religion. What are it’s main tenets? 2. Students will read examples of the Bhagavad Ghita and learn about the belief in many gods and the emergence of the idea of one god. 3. Students will examine pictures of Hindu sculptures to determine their elements. 4. Students will visit the Freer gallery to learn about Hindu sculptures and their meanings. 5. Students will read a newspaper article on the conflict over allowing a Hindu prayer in the Congress. Is it appropriate to deny that .prayer? Is the definition of Hinduism as a monotheistic or polytheistic religion important?