Activity Overview

Using a G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart to organize information about ancient Civilizations is a useful tool to enhance students' analysis of the characteristics and contributions of a society. Going further and including visuals helps students to better retain the details of each category. In this activity, students will create a spider map focusing on the economy of ancient India. They should be able to focus on how the resources that the civilization had access to influenced how the economy developed and what jobs existed.

By focusing on just one category, students are encouraged to include more information and should complete at least three cells. Students can come together after they’ve created their storyboards to share what they’ve learned. The full G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart can be used as a post assessment after students have presented.

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: Create a spider map focusing on the different characteristics of the Economy or Jobs of ancient India.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Write a title for each cell and a 1-3 sentence description.
  3. Create an illustration that represents each category using appropriate scenes, characters, and items. Type “India” to find images that relate to ancient India.

Requirements: Minimum of 3-6 cells showcasing different characteristics of the Economy of ancient India. Appropriate scenes to illustrate each cell. 1-3 sentence description for each cell demonstrating your understanding.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/3] Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/1] Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/7] Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/9] Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/WHST/6-8/2/B] Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

How To Compare the Economies of Ancient Civilizations With Modern Economies


Talk About Civilizations

Discuss with students the concept of civilizations and their many aspects. Teachers can use the framework of GRAPES to explain different aspects of any civilization in an easier way. Give some examples of old civilizations and new civilizations and ask the students to select one civilization from each category to compare their economies.


Define Aspects of the Economy

Explain to the students how both old and modern economies have some similar and different aspects. For instance, agriculture was, is, and always will be a significant part of the economy. However, with the introduction of technology, many aspects have changed and now AI and the exchange of information play a significant role in the growth of the economy.


Give Framework for Comparison

Give the students a clear overview of the economic topics they should be researching and analyzing. Trade networks, economic ideologies, economic structures, and societal effects are a few examples of these. Teachers can clearly define the aspects of economies students should focus on and use for comparison.


Encourage Team Work

Ask the students to make teams and analyze the different aspects of the economy in different teams. For instance, one group may study industry and agriculture, another, trade and commerce, and so on. This will help students focus more on one aspect and induce collaborative learning with the help of presentations from different groups.


Foster Analysis and Thinking

Encourage the students to consider economic systems critically by posing thought-provoking questions. For instance, find out how trade networks affected cross-cultural interchange or how productivity was affected by technical improvements. Students can also connect this aspect of civilization with other aspects to induce critical thinking skills.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Economy of Ancient India

What kind of economy did ancient India have?

With agriculture serving as the main industry, ancient India had a varied economic structure. Trade, artistry, and the earliest industrial processes were also present. Considering the time period, the ancient Indian civilization made many advancements in this aspect by being the first economy to cultivate cotton and raise chickens.

What other common industries were part of ancient India?

Shipbuilding, pottery, metallurgy, and textiles were among the thriving industries of ancient India. Expert workmanship made a major economic contribution. Students can analyze the contributions of the ancient Indian civilization towards these industries.

What was the role of agriculture in ancient India's economy?

In ancient India, agriculture served as the foundation of the economy. In addition to complex irrigation methods, it entailed the cultivation of a variety of crops, including cotton, wheat, and rice.

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