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.

When learning about ancient Civilizations, students may need teachers to provide a variety of resources. The use of diverse resources such as primary sources, videos, songs, readings from textbooks, encyclopedias and literature can be helpful for students to gain an accurate and complete picture of the time period. Students can use graphic organizers to write notes about the different categories as they learn.

Students Can Collaborate!

Teachers may wish for students to work together on this lesson which is possible with Storyboard That's Real Time Collaboration feature! With Real Time Collaboration, students can work on the same storyboard at the same time which is perfect for this lesson! As teachers know, collaborating on assignments allows students to think on a deeper level while increasing their communication and problem-solving skills. Collaboration can also help cut down on the time it takes to complete a storyboard. While there is no set limit to the number of users who can work on a storyboard at once, we recommend five users or fewer for optimal performance. All of our assignments default to individual. To make this lesson collaborative, teachers must enable collaboration for the assignment within the "Edit Assignment" tab.


In this activity students will break down what they have learned about Ancient India in a G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart. There are many different acronyms that can be helpful when analyzing ancient civilizations and this one is widely used. However, teachers may use whatever they prefer and can simply change the titles in the template.

G: Geography

  1. Where was ancient India located?
  2. What physical features did it have?
  3. What was the climate like?
  4. What natural resources were present?
  5. How does the location or environment affect the development of ancient Indian civilization? (How does where they live affect how they live?)

R: Religion

  1. What religions did ancient Indians practice?
  2. Who were the religious leaders?
  3. Who were their god(s)/goddess(es)?

A: Achievements

What were some key inventions or contributions of ancient India in the areas of:

  1. Art
  2. Architecture
  3. Writing
  4. Science
  5. Math

P: Politics

  1. What type of government did ancient India have?
  2. Who were the leaders?
  3. How were decisions made?
  4. What role did people play in the government?
  5. What was the structure of the government?

E: Economics

  1. What were ancient India’s natural resources? What did they make and grow?
  2. With whom did ancient India trade? What were their imports and exports?
  3. What jobs were available?
  4. What type of currency exists?

S: Society

  1. What were the different levels of the caste system and what jobs did they do?
  2. What groups had rights and what rights did they have?
  3. What groups didn’t have rights?

Please note: Further activities utilize spider maps to expand on each category. By focusing on just one category, students are encouraged to include more information. 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 pre or post assessment as well.

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 chart that describes the different aspects of ancient India: Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economy, and Social Structure.

Student Instructions:

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

Requirements: Minimum of 4-6 cells showcasing different aspects of ancient India. Appropriate scenes to illustrate each category. 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/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.)

G.R.A.P.E.S. Rubric
Create a storyboard that highlights the following: geography, religion, achievements, politics, economy, and social structures.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Text and images include a clear explanation of the 6 important categories: geography, religion, achievements, politics, economy, and social structure.
Text and images include an explanation of important facts, but the explanation may lack clarity or there may be some inaccuracies.
Text and images do not explain important facts. Information is mostly missing or inaccurate.
Storyboard Images and Effort
Student clearly shows effort to convey the facts through appropriate scenes, characters, items, symbols or infographics. Illustrations clearly show that time, care and effort have been put in.
Student attempts to convey facts through use of graphics, but the depiction may be confusing, disordered, or lack some detail.
Student does not clearly convey facts and the depictions are inaccurate or inappropriate.
Spelling and Grammar
Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.
Student makes one or two minor errors in spelling and grammar.
Student makes multiple errors in spelling and grammar.

How To Help Students Analyze the Social Structure of Ancient India


Explain Social Structure

Begin by explaining the concept of social structure to students. Teachers can give some textbook definitions and ask the students what they think a social structure is, what is the social structure of their country or society, and if they have any examples in mind. Further, explain the concept to students based on their responses and examples.


Discuss Fundamental Aspects

Discuss with students the fundamental aspects which make up a social structure. For instance, for the ancient Indian civilization, a major factor that contributed to this social structure was the caste system. Ask the students what other similar aspects they think are significant.


Talk About Impacts

Help the students analyze the impacts of the social structure of a society on its individuals. For instance, in ancient India, based on the castes some people were marginalized, and others were treated as royal. Discuss how this unfair treatment could impact society, give rise to conflicts, and challenge the social structure.


Compare and Contrast

Teachers can ask the students to contrast the social structure of ancient India with that of other civilizations from the past or with contemporary societies. This may offer a more comprehensive viewpoint on social structure. This comparison can be performed with the help of Venn diagrams or other graphic organizers.


Discussion and Reinforce

Encourage debates and activities that promote critical thinking about ancient Indian society. Encourage your students to challenge presumptions and pose questions about different aspects of social structure. Teachers can also introduce some other connecting events and concepts that can help the students develop an enhanced understanding.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ancient India G.R.A.P.E.S Chart

What kind of information can the students include in the Achievements and Economy section of the chart?

Ask the students to conduct research on the ancient Indian political system using authoritative web sources, scholarly papers, and historical texts. Encourage them to look for details regarding the governing structures, dynasties, and political milestones. For the Economy section, students can describe the economic structure, significant industries, trading routes, currency, and any other significant economic activities that were common in ancient India.

How can the GRAPES framework be used to analyze different aspects of ancient Indian civilization?

To start, students should learn as much as they can about the geography, religion, accomplishments, politics, economy, and social structure of ancient India. Encourage the students to utilize trustworthy resources such as historical texts, publications, and credible websites. Teachers can also show some videos of ancient Indian civilization sites in the modern world such as Moenjodaro or Harrapa to give them an idea about the society.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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