JMMS Home Page
Back to the Future
A WebQuest for
6th Grade History
John Muir Middle School librarian
JMMS History teacher
| Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion |
India was a place of great beauty and mystery, a place that witnessed
birth of two great world religions, a unique culture that survives to
day, and numerous scientific and medical advancements. The ancient
also lived during a very uncertain time when unpredictable weather and
nomadic invaders forever changed their way of life, their beliefs, and
Although archeologists have
made important discoveries about this land and people that existed so
long ago (~2500 B.C.), much remains to be discovered. What a help it
would be if the people of ancient India had created and stored time
capsules for modern-day researchers to find and examine, time capsules
that contained important artifacts from their religions, their culture,
their empires, artifacts that would reveal what life in ancient India
was really like...
a member of a four-person team of researchers that has been transported
back in time to ancient India. Your team's mission is to construct
a time capsule containing artifacts and information to bring back to
the future for study. Because the civilizations of ancient India offer
so much to sift through, many teams will go back on this mission to
find, analyze, compare and contrast various items, concepts and works
art, then decide which to bring back in the limited space of their time
Each research team will focus on the following
aspects of ancient Indian civilization:
- the daily life of the
ancient Indian people
- the origins, beliefs
and spread of Buddhism
- the origins, beliefs
and spread of Hinduism
end of this Internet-assisted time-travelling experience, each group
will make a presentation and explain to the class what they determined
to be the most important artifacts and information to bring back.
These final presentations will occur in the library
and may be PowerPoint generated, use an actual group-contructed time
capsule containing facsimile artifacts that members can take
out and discuss, or a combination of the two.
- First you'll be
assigned to a team of four students by your teacher.
Next, your team
go to the following website and enjoy the slide show about the
ancient Indian city of Mohenjodaro, which you read about in your
- Now that you have an
appreciation for what ancient Indian civilization looked like, imagine
that you and your team are actually there through the miracle of time
travel.Your mission is to build a time capsule filled with the
artifacts and information your team thinks is most important and most
revealing of what life was really like in ancient India. Since time
capsules have limited space, you will focus your efforts on two
aspects of ancient Indian civilization: daily life and
- To find out about
daily life, visit the following websites, read
about Harappan civilization, examine the various artifacts and read
their descriptions. Based on all that you have seen and read, you and
your team members must
determine which five artifacts should be brought
back to the future in your time capsule. Consider what would best
reveal what daily life was like for the ancient Indians and what seemed
most important to them. Be prepared to explain your reasoning and why
you didn't choose other items.
Ancient India Daily
Ancient Indus Valley
Civilization: Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Lothal
Civilization Timeline and Description
religion you and your group first need to decide which
religion you want to study: Hinduism or Buddhism. Next,
go to the following sites and learn all you can about the origins,
beliefs and spread of either Hinduism or Buddhism. Then, for the
your team chose, determine the following:
- What object can you
your time capsule that best symbolizes the religion?
- Which person or
gods most influence(d) the religion?
- Which work of art best
reveals the religion?
- What two beliefs make
either Hinduism or Buddhism different from your own religion or
different from each other?
- Which one religious
document should be brought back in your time capsule?
- What are the two most
positive aspects of the religion?
- What is the most
surprising thing you learned about the religion?
your group will have many choices to make as you go about this project.
So, it is expected that you will have good reasons for choosing the
and information that you bring back in your time capsule, reasons you
explain during your presentation. Now, on to your research...and
you're expected to also use the books and reference materials we have
the library in addition to the websites below!
Tips on organizing
findings: Make sure to take notes during your group's discussion
and reflection regarding what will go in your time capsule, because
you write down will form the content of your presentation. Why your
chose what they chose is all important. Keep your group's notes
in Ms. Kaplan's class so that they're available if one of you is absent.
will be graded on your presentation to the class. That grade will apply
the group, so it's important that everyone do his or her share and that
everyone participates equally. The following chart shows what Ms.
and Mr. Tomlin expect in each area of the presentation:
shows minimal planning and research as well as evidence that not all
group members contributed. Practice not evident.
shows some planning and research and that all group members
contributed. Some practice evident.
shows substantial planning and research and that all group members
contributed. Some pride is taken in the work; substantial practice
shows superior planning and research; many members went beyond
requirements. Great pride is taken in the work, evidenced by a
members show little excitement or interest in the subjects, not
members contribute a fair share, little valid reasoning is revealed
why items/data were chosen. Little eye contact with audience.
members reveal some interest in subjects. All group members
contribute something. Reasoning behind time capsule choices
understandable. Some eye contact with audience.
members reveal honest interest in subjects. All members contribute a
share. Reasoning interesting and instructive. Good eye contact with
exceptionally well organized and confidently delivered by all members.
Reasoning behind choices interesting, instructive, and fresh. Group
sounds "expert" on their subjects.
members can't answer audience questions.
members can answer some audience questions.
members can answer many audience questions.
members can answer all audience questions.
and/or presentation aids
or no items/data to "show" during presentation, or quality of items is
items/data to show during presentation; quality of items average/good.
number of items/data to show during presentation; quality good.
number of items/data to show; quality excellent, pride evident;
audience "wants to see."
this project you have gained insight and knowledge about another time, another place, and
different ways of viewing the world. We hope this experience has generated
a greater understanding and appreciation of other cultures, your group
members who helped, and the WebQuest learning experience.
Graphics courtesy of Sudheer
This WebQuest was originally created in November/December of
2002 using a template available from the Bernie Dodge WebQuest page
(see below). "Ancient India: Back to the Future" was last updated on
February 16, 2009.
Permission is hereby granted to use the above "Ancient India:
to the Future" WebQuest for educational purposes as long as it remains
unaltered and its
are acknowledged. If a link no longer works, please report it and it
will be replaced.
All suggestions for how to improve this WebQuest should be
to Russell Tomlin, email@example.com or
updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page