Indus Valley Unit Study

Ancient Indus Valley Unit Study

In this lovely Ancient Indus Valley Unit Study, I will be sharing all the wonderful activities my children and I did. This was a fairly short study, but really interesting, not to mention unusual.

The Ancient Indus Valley civilisation was not known about until the early twentieth century. Lost until archeologists discovered it the Indian subcontinent, it is a fascinating site which existed between 2600-1900BCE. We perused this excellent article on the Indus Valley Civilisation.

Ancient Indus Valley Unit Study Resources

Books are always the place to start:

Activities: Map Making

In order to put the Indus Valley into a geographical concept, I had the children make a cookie map.

Seriously, who doesn’t love edible geography?

We looked at paper maps of India and tried to replicate it:

Indus Valley Unit Study
Just baked India shaped cookie

We added lots of decoration and icing:

Indus Valley Unit Study
Just baked India shaped cookie
Just baked India shaped cookie

I think next time I would get them to add a key to show which sweet represented which land mark as it’s not terribly clear (!).

I also had them fill in a paper map for good measure:


Writing about the Indus Valley Civilisation

We read most of the books together, although they did take some of them up to read during their quiet time.

I had them write quick paragraph about the Indus Valley:

Indus Valley Unit Study

Over the course of this Indus Valley unit study, we read some of the myths from these two great books:

I had them choose two of the myths .  They wrote a key word outline or spider diagram (T prefers these) and rewrote them in their own words.  These are Thomas’, who was maybe 9 at the time, and chose to write about the Brand New Cosmos and Ganesh:

Just baked India shaped cookie

Critical Thinking: What Ended the Indus Valley Civilisation?

In my search through the web, I happened upon this fun activity, which they all did with aplomb!  The children had to read all the evidence and make up their own conclusion about what happened to the Indus Civilisation.

We read Savitri and used these extra sheets for information.  The children put on a play, acting out Savitri.

We also filled out a lapbook from Hands of a Child whilst doing lots of hands on activity:

Indus Valley Unit Study Dressing Up and Making our own Saris

We always try to either make or buy in dressing up.  Our children seriously LOVE dressing up and play acting.  Even as I write this they are in the living room acting out kings, princes and servants, have made a huge beduin tent over our beams and are generally having a ball (this is all 5 including the baby – too cute!).

This time we thought saris would be fairly easy to make and I decided I could teach them a new skill by tie dying the material.  I bought the cheapest white material I could buy.  I was informed that I needed 6 meters for each child.  We bought some pink and blue cold water dye and followed the instructions to a tee. 

First though we made sure we had tied mounds of fabric to create a circle pattern and simply tied rope around the material to create straight lines.  We did all this in the bath (so much material) and dried it on the line.

Using the Wonderful Local Resources

The lady who runs our newsagent very kindly offered to come around on her only afternoon off and teach the children to put on a sari properly and Thomas to put on a turban.  She also, bless her, brought some Indian jewelary and sticker-bindhi, which she genorously allowed our children to keep:

Indus Valley Unit Study
Indus Valley Unit Study

Henna Painting

Another activity included applying henna to our hands.  I also cut out hand shapes for all the children and gave them sheets with henna patterns on to copy, so they could have a go themselves:


Indus Valley Unit Study: Making Chapati

As a final activity we made chapati:


This Indus Valley Unit Study was so much fun! If you want to look deeper into this fascinating subject then I can highly recommend Harappa website which contains links to a heap of extra information and further reading you can do until your heart is content!

For more history posts, please do visit my History page where you fill find history unit studies galore!

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