Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
A Message of Ancient Days
Lesson at a Glance
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Chapter 8, Lesson 1: The Indus Valley Civilization (pp. 222-228)
The Big Idea
Framework Concept: Culture The Indus River Valley was the site
of a complex civilization which lasted for 1000 years.
- Review the ways in which the geography of the subcontinent of India made the Indus
River Valley an ideal place for people to settle and cities to grow. Use the map on page
224 to help students understand the role the rivers played in both irrigation and trade.
Be sure students realize that a stable food supply drew more and more settlers and enabled
cities to develop.
- Describe the Indus River Valley civilization. Discuss the evidence showing a strong
central government, extensive trade, and skilled builders. (You can Use A Closer Look on
pages 226-227 to give students a specific sense of one city.) Remind students that this
civilization lasted 1000 years.
Use the Lesson Outline to preview the content of the lesson. You may wish to print it for your students as a guide during reading.
Check for Understanding
- Have each student take on the part of an archaeologist excavating a city in the
Indus River Valley. Ask each to write a brief report describing what objects or
buildings he or she has found, and what these items show about the culture of the
Indus River Valley people.
- Organize students into working groups. Have each group copy the map of the Indus
Valley c. 2000 B.C. on page 224, and label the rivers and cities. Then have each
group work together to label the map with the various geographical and weather
features that made this region such a good place to settle. Such features should
include: mountains that produce snow-melt, flooding that produces silt, and
monsoons and dry seasons that happen regularly and predictably.
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