Upper Key Stage 2 Earliest Civilisations: Indus Valley
Religion in the Indus Valley

This is a thought-provoking block about the religion of the Indus Valley people. Learn about some similarities between modern religions in the Indus Valley region and evidence of religious practices during the Indus Valley civilisation, such as seals and figurines. Discover the indecipherable Indus Valley script.

Session 1 Seals and figurines

Objectives

History

  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Understand historical concepts such as similarity, difference and significance.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between economic, religious and social history.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing and sculpture.

Planning and Activities

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To describe the seals of the Indus Valley people and understand that images of people may represent gods or goddesses.
  • To design, create and use a seal and explain the choice of imagery.

Children will:

  • Describe Indus Valley seals.
  • Design and make their own seal.

You Will Need

  • Air-dried clay
  • Clay modelling tools
  • Plasticine or playdough (make your own – see session resources!)
  • Computer/laptop for each pair of children

Session 2 Writing

Objectives

History

  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Understand historical concepts such as similarity, difference and significance.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between cultural, religious and social history.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing.

Planning and Activities

Discover that no-one is able to read the Indus Valley script; appreciate how significant it would be if the writing had been deciphered; describe some pictograms that we use today toconvey information; design your own pictogram.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand that the Indus Valley script has not yet been deciphered and how important its translation would be.
  • To design a pictogram for today.

Children will:

  • Understand that no-one is able to read the Indus valley script.
  • Appreciate how significant it would be if the writing had been deciphered.
  • Describe some pictograms that we use today to convey information.
  • Design their own pictogram.

Provided Resources

  • Pictograms used today
  • Indus Valley pictograms
  • Pictogram template

You Will Need

  • Access to computer/laptop for each pair of children
  • Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Black felt tips or paint and brushes

Session 3 Links to other religions

Objectives

History

  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change.
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry.

English

  • Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations.
  • Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, imagining and exploring ideas.
  • Participate in discussions.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing and sculpture.

Planning and Activities

Learn about some similarities between modern religions in the Indus Valley region and evidence of religious practices during the Indus Valley civilisation; discuss objects that might be buried with people today and compare with the Indus valley civilisation; draw an image of a grave with buried objects that an archaeologist may excavate in thousands of years.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To make connections between modern religions and evidence of Indus Valley religious practices.
  • To discuss what might be buried with children today and what they would tell archaeologists of the future.
  • To draw an imaginary grave with objects from today that might be excavated by an archaeologist in the future.

Children will:

  • List some similarities between modern religions in the Indus Valley region and evidence of religious practices during the Indus Valley civilisation.
  • Discuss objects that might be buried with people today and compare with the Indus valley civilisation.
  • Draw an image of a grave with buried objects that an archaeologist may excavate in thousands of years.

You Will Need

  • Drawing pencils and paper

Weblinks

The childhood bereavement network from childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk – you may wish to consult with this organisation and/or utilise their resources to ensure sensitivity when dealing with issues surrounding death.