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 that focuses on the geography of ancient India.

By focusing on just one category, students are encouraged to include more information and should complete 3-6 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 Geography of ancient India.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Write a title for each geographic feature and a 1-3 sentence description in each cell.
  3. Create an illustration that represents each feature using appropriate scenes, characters, and items. To find images that relate to ancient India, type “India” into the search bar.

Requirements: Minimum of 3-6 cells showcasing different characteristics of the Geography 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.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Present information after conducting research.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Examples of specific geographical locations are accurate, complete, well organized, and easy to understand.
Examples of specific geographical locations are somewhat accurate, complete, well organized, and easy to understand.
Examples are inaccurate, incomplete, disorganized, and difficult to understand.
Illustrations depict the written description with clear visuals of appropriate scenes, characters, items, etc.
Illustrations depict the written description but are unclear or incomplete.
Illustrations do not make sense with the written description.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is mostly accurate. Mistakes do not get in the way of understanding.
Spelling is inaccurate and hinders full understanding.
Text is difficult to understand.

How To Facilitate a Discussion on the Components of Geography of Ancient India


Define Geography

Begin by simply introducing the concept of geography. Ask the students what geography is according to their knowledge and why it is important besides knowing where a country or region exists. Explain to the students the significance of geography as a subject and how the knowledge of this subject can create a great difference.


Discuss Location on Map

One of the simpler aspects of geography is to locate a region on the map. Students can use an old map to pinpoint this location with the help of teachers and discuss all nearby regions as well. Once students are done with the old map, they can print out a modern-day map and try to match the pinpoint locations on the old map with the new one and discuss the transformation and evolution.


Analyze Landforms and Waterbodies

Explain to the students that analyzing landforms and waterbodies for a particular region is also included in geography and how this analysis gives a lot of meaningful and significant information about trade routes and agricultural practices. Students can search for any famous or significant landforms or waterbodies in ancient Indian civilization as a topic for research.


Perform Comparative Analysis

Help the students to compare the topography of ancient India to that of Mesopotamia, Egypt, or China. Students can also compare the geography of various ancient civilizations or modern civilizations to find out major differences and what other factors are coming into play here.


Encourage Active Participation

Include exercises involving maps, role-playing games, or simulations to help students engage with the geographic features of ancient India. Encourage the students to actively participate in discussions and debates for a better learning experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ancient India Geography

What were Ancient India's main geographical characteristics?

Ancient India's main physical characteristics included the Himalayan mountain range to the north, the plains of the Indus and Ganges rivers, the Thar Desert, and the Deccan Plateau.

Which difficulties did Ancient India's geography present?

Due to its dry environment, which made cultivation difficult, the Thar Desert faced obstacles. The Himalayas also functioned as a natural barrier, affecting trade routes and relations with adjacent areas. Some of these areas still face these challenges especially because of the change in climate and related activities.

What influence did the monsoon season have on ancient India?

Agriculture depends on the monsoon season, which is marked by torrential rainfall. Monsoons were crucial to Ancient Indians' economy and way of life since their timely arrival affected the success of their harvests. Agriculture was one of the major livelihoods of the ancient Indian society back then.

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