About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Early Civilization in India chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||Geography; Aryan influence||Early river systems and the great mountain chains of northern India; impact of the Aryan invasion, Sanskrit|
|Tuesday||Brahmanism and the Caste System||How Brahmanism evolved into early Hinduism; social structure of the caste system: varnas, Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisyas and Sudras|
|Wednesday||Buddha and the spread of Buddhism||Siddhartha Gautama, enlightenment, the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path; variations of Buddhism in neighboring countries, Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism|
|Thursday||Maurya Empire and Emperor Asoka||Chandragupta Maurya and the establishment of a new empire on the Indian subcontinent; Asoka the Great, dharma and the Rock Edicts|
|Friday||Sanskrit, the Bhagavad Gita and intellectual traditions in early India||History of Sanskrit and its role in religious life; Hinduism beliefs in Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yogas; medicine, metallurgy and mathematics|
1. Geography of Early Indian Civilization
India stretches from alpine glaciers to the hottest rainforests on Earth. Such a diverse group of landforms heavily impacted early civilization, starting with the very first settlements on the Indus and Ganges Rivers.
2. Significance of Aryan Invasions to India
Unlike any invasion to threaten India, the Aryans forever changed Indian culture, religious life, and even its languages. This lesson talks about the Aryans before they arrived in India, as well as the major cultural attributes of their society.
3. Brahmanism: Beliefs & Evolution into Early Hinduism
Brahmanism predates every other contemporary religion in India, but has had an impact, directly or indirectly, on all of them. This lesson discusses the mysterious past of Brahmanism and how Hinduism evolved from it.
4. The Caste System in Early India
Often misunderstood as an outgrowth of Indian religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism, the idea of social caste in India was actually started to maintain social order in the face of a diverse religious and social landscape.
5. Buddha: Life & Moral Teachings
With hundreds of millions of believers, Buddhism is one of the most influential religious traditions in the world. Learn more about its founder, his surprising early life and his basic teachings.
6. Buddhism's Spread in India, Ceylon & Central Asia
With the efforts of Ashoka, Buddhism soon spread throughout much of Asia. This lesson looks at how Buddhism spread, as well as how the faith split into two different systems. After you review the lesson, test your new knowledge with our quiz!
7. The Growth of the Maurya Empire
Almost immediately following the collapse of Alexander the Great's empire, the Mauryan Empire stretched from the limits of Alexander's frontiers well into the southernmost parts of India. Learn more about the Mauryan Empire in this lesson.
8. Emperor Asoka: The Height of Buddhism
This lesson will highlight the life and accomplishments of Asoka the Great. In doing this, it will explore the historical significance of his Rock Edicts as well as the role he played in spreading Buddhism to East and Southeast Asia.
9. The Tradition of Sanskrit Literature
Despite not being native to India, Sanskrit has had an enormous impact on Indian cultural life. This lesson explains both the history of Sanskrit's arrival in India as well as the role its writings played in religious life.
10. The Bhagavad Gita's Story of Arjuna & Krishna: The Three Paths to Salvation
This lesson will focus on the sacred Hindu text of the Bhagavad Gita. In doing so, it will also highlight Hinduism's belief in the Three Paths to Salvation, known as the Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yogas.
11. Science, Math & Metallurgy in Early India
For hundreds of years, Indian innovations in science, math, and technology were at the cutting edge of human achievement. In fact, Indian scientists managed to discover zero, create harder steel, and even perform plastic surgery.
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