Activity Overview

Researching real people helps students to gain a more concrete understanding of the culture, lives and diverse perspectives of people who lived in ancient times. It helps them go beyond simply memorizing dates and names to acquire a more substantial, empathetic and realistic view of the period. In this activity, students will create a poster of a chosen person that highlights key events and accomplishments.

Teachers can assign students a specific person or they may give students a choice from a list. Teachers may wish to provide resources, such as books or the online encyclopedia Britannica, for students to read about their person. Giving students a graphic organizer to fill in as they read is helpful to pick out the most important facts and details.

These posters can be printed out, laminated, and hung around the room as a visual reminder of notable people from the time of ancient India. Students can also present their posters to their classmates, sharing their knowledge about their person, thus combining research, writing and public speaking skills into one powerful assignment.

Find more biography poster templates to add to this assignment if desired!

Examples of Historical Figures in Ancient India

  • King Ashoka (Asoka) the Great
  • Buddha
  • Chandragputa Maurya
  • Samudragupta
  • Varahamihira
  • Aryabhata
  • Kalidasa
  • Sushruta
  • Charaka

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Research a person from ancient India. Create a poster that includes important details and engaging imagery.

Student Instructions:

  1. Choose a famous person.
  2. Using school resources, conduct research on a famous person and take notes using a graphic organizer.
  3. On the poster, include your person’s name and dates of birth, death and major accomplishments in sequence.
  4. Add appropriate scenes, characters and items to illustrate each cell. To find images related to ancient India, type “India” into the search bar.

Requirements: Person’s image, name, dates of birth/death, major accomplishments

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/2] Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/7] Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation

How To Analyze Major Historical Figures in Ancient India


Identify Important Figures

Select prominent individuals from Indian history who made a substantial contribution to the politics, culture, or society of their era. Ashoka, Chandragupta Maurya, Gautama Buddha, Aryabhata, and others are among the examples. Students can also examine some other personalities that they find more interesting and relevant.


Examine Backgrounds

Help the students examine and research the backgrounds of significant historical figures in ancient India. Students can find out more about their origins, background and upbringing, life and experiences, and significant contributions towards society by looking into their lifestyles and gathering information from credible sources.


Analyze Contributions and Importance

Students should be asked to list and evaluate the historical figure's most significant accomplishments and contributions. Talk about the effects their contributions had on the larger historical story or on ancient Indian society. Ask the students to discuss why these figures were so famous and what sort of image did they have in the minds of the public.


Draw Comparisons

Students can also draw comparisons of two significant historical figures. Ask the students to select any two historical figures either both from ancient India or one from ancient India and another from a different ancient civilization. Making these comparisons will help the students reflect on different aspects, cultures, and traditions of different civilizations.


Discuss Modern Relevance

Students should be asked to think about the historical figure's contributions and behaviors in the long run. What impact did their legacy have on later generations and how did it affect the development of Indian history? Ask the students to identify how these figures are viewed today and their relevance to modern society.

Frequently Asked Questions About Historical Figures in Ancient India

Who was Chandragupta Maurya and what role did he play in the development of ancient India?

The Mauryan Empire was founded by Chandragupta Maurya. One of the first significant centralized empires in ancient India was founded as a result of his conquests and administrative reforms.

What is the relationship between Ashoka the Great and Chandragupta Maurya?

Ashoka, sometimes referred to as Ashoka the Great, is renowned for his attempts to propagate the values of compassion, tolerance, and non-violence throughout his kingdom as well as for his conversion to Buddhism. Ashoka was the grandson of Maurya who was the founder of the Mauryan Empire.

What were the main lessons that Gautama Buddha imparted?

Buddhism, or the teachings of Gautama Buddha, placed a strong emphasis on the Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths. He revealed the importance of knowledge and how mankind can use it to succeed and pursue a certain way of living.

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