Ch 4: Early Civilization in India: Middle School World History Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Early Civilization in India chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach about the history and development of early India in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

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.

DayTopicsKey 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
FridaySanskrit, 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

11 Lessons in Chapter 4: Early Civilization in India: Middle School World History Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Geography of Early Indian Civilization

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.

Significance of Aryan Invasions to India

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.

Brahmanism: Beliefs & Evolution into Early Hinduism

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.

The Caste System in Early India

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.

Buddha: Life & Moral Teachings

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.

Buddhism's Spread in India, Ceylon & Central Asia

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!

The Growth of the Maurya Empire

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.

Emperor Asoka: The Height of Buddhism

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.

The Tradition of Sanskrit Literature

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.

The Bhagavad Gita's Story of Arjuna & Krishna: The Three Paths to Salvation

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.

Science, Math & Metallurgy in Early India

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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