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Cross Curricular

ANCIENT INDIA AND CHATURANGA

Assuming the role of a Indian civilian in the Gupta Empire, design your own board game inspired by the game Chaturanga.

grade level:
6-12
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GameDesk
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ANCIENT INVENTIONS overview

The Ancient Inventions curriculum explores the creation and spread of eight inventions across eight ancient cultures. Each invention/culture is a module composed of five lessons.

The inventions and corresponding cultures are:

  1. The wheeled vehicle in Ancient Mesopotamia (1700 BCE)
  2. The shaduf in Ancient Egypt (1470 BCE)
  3. The crane in Ancient Greece (465 BCE)
  4. Paper in Ancient China (105 CE)
  5. The arch in Ancient Rome (117 CE)
  6. The game Chaturanga in Ancient India (450 CE)
  7. The windmill in the Early Muslim Civilization (705 CE)
  8. The camera obscura in the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization (1000 CE)

The Ancient Inventions curriculum is designed to be an interdisciplinary STEAM experience. Within one module students are engaging in the disciplines of history, science, engineering, math, and English language arts. Using the Ancient Invention Kit materials, students learn about the ancient world, its key figures and histories, the engineering process, the physics and science behind the invention, math concepts behind the invention, different social roles, geography, and the importance of the invention for that civilization. The backbone of the experience has students engaging in the engineering design process. This is done by presenting students with a problem that a given culture faced. In order to solve that problem, they must build an invention. Students use common materials to fabricate simplified but functional versions of renowned inventions from these historical periods.

In each module, students:

  1. Immerse themselves in the historical culture through role­playing characters of the past
  2. Build a working model of an invention, and test and improve it
  3. Learn the scientific and mathematical principles behind the invention
  4. Exercise their knowledge of both the civilization and the invention through a board game
  5. Learn about the Engineering Method
  6. Apply engineering principles to a new, personal context
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Experience breakdown

Module Overview

In the India module, students are introduced to ancient India through the civilization of the Gupta Empire and the social structure imposed by the Hindu religion. Students learn about data collection and research. They use the principles of game design to create rules for the mysterious Chaturanga game. They are introduced to the concepts of validity and reliability in order to design and conduct a play-test of their game. Students analyze their research and improve their invention. Students understand that games were invented in India because people had more free time in a settled society and still wanted to be engaged.

Goals:
• Apply and understand the Engineering Method.
• Understand the principles behind game design.
• Understand the principles of conducting research.
• Design and create a board game based on the ancient Indian game of Chaturanga.
• Give examples about daily life in Ancient India by taking on the character of a person in that society.

Module Breakdown

Lesson 1: Who Were the Ancient Indians? (1-2 hours)
The class is broken into six different social groups from the ancient civilization. Each student will receive the role of a different character.
Lesson 2: What Did They Invent? (1-2 hours)
Students are introduced to an invention that is associated with the ancient Indian civilization. In their character groups, proceed through the engineering process and build a physical model of that invention.
Lesson 3: How Did They Do It? (2-3 hours)
Students learn the fundamentals of game design and research methods. Students design a game assessment around the research principles of reliability and validity. Students conduct a play-test and analyze the data to improve their games.
Lesson 4: Civilization Game (1-6 hours)
Students synthesize information about the ancient Indian culture through a game. Students answer questions, perform challenges, provide other groups with knowledge, and judge the quality of each other’s responses. Progress (and knowledge) is tracked through a game board, which offers the additional possibility of strategic play.
Lesson 5: Processing and Application (1 hour)
Students reflect on their experiences during the module. They apply their engineering and historical knowledge to solve a new problem.

Documents

INDIA_ASSET_LIST.pdf | 78Kb
INDIA_LESSON_PLANS.pdf | 208Kb
INDIA_STUDENT_JOURNAL.pdf | 3595Kb
INDIA_CIV_GAME_INSTRUCTIONS.PDF | 53Kb
INDIA_KNOWLEDGE_SCROLLS.pdf | 3298Kb
INDIA_CHARACTER_CARDS.PDF | 9362Kb
INDIA_CHALLENGE-ANSWER_CARDS.pdf | 13284Kb

Student Boards

INDIA_TEAL_BOARD.pdf | 1423Kb
INDIA_PURPLE_BOARD.pdf | 1225Kb
INDIA_RED_BOARD.pdf | 999Kb
INDIA_GREEN_BOARD.pdf | 1508Kb
INDIA_ORANGE_BOARD.pdf | 1594Kb
INDIA_GREEN_BOARD.pdf | 1508Kb
INDIA_BLUE_BOARD.pdf | 8304Kb
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