UNIT

2

Early Centres of Power

LESSON 4: How big were ancient kingdoms?

Let’s examine the art and architecture of the ancient people in Pyu city-states through comparison of evidence. The students will consider the evidence for two competing theories about history and decide which one they find more convincing. Students will also cultivate respect for people from neighbouring countries by considering their similarities.

Subject History / Social Studies
Topic How big were ancient kingdoms?
Key idea There are several theories about the history of the Pyu kingdoms and various sources provide evidence for competing versions.
Key concepts Architecture
Cities
Influence
Invasion
Kingdom
Theory
Level Lower secondary
No. of periods / lessons 1 period (1 period is approximately 50 minutes)
Facilities needed Sources and handouts for distribution
Prerequisite knowledge: Students should gain prerequisite knowledge by completing Handout 1: Pre-reading. This could be done for homework before the activities described below, or in a prior class period


Learning objectives
By the end of the lesson, the students will be able to:

KNOWLEDGE SKILLS ATTITUDES
  1. Demonstrate knowledge about the art and
    architecture of ancient people (the Pyu).
  2. Explain how archaeologists use evidence to
    support their theories
  1. Consider the evidence for two competing
    theories about history, and decide which
    one they find more convincing.
  2. Develop the ‘historian’s habit’ of considering
    their peers’ views and presenting their own
    views respectfully.
    3. Use evidence-based reasoning to defend
    a historical theory about the nature of an
    ancient Southeast Asian kingdom.
  1. Question the assumption that countries/
    kingdoms are culturally homogenous, or all
    the same.
  2. Cultivate respect for people from
    neighbouring countries by considering their
    similarities.

  Structure

Download the lesson plan for details on the talks and activities suggested below.

Pre-reading

This text explains the ways influences from some civilizations may have spread on other cultures.

1. Hook activity: Comparing cities

Students reflect on the similarities and differences between their city and another city of  their choice. This activity encourage students to analyze and compare in a way similar to the activity they will undertake during the lesson.

2. Teacher talk

The teacher introduces 2 theories elaborated by historians on the organization of the Pyu Ancient Cities (in nowadays Myanmar).

3. Group work

Students analyse several maps and sources to find evidence supporting each theory on the Pyu Ancient Cities.

4. Sharing our theories

  • Representatives from each group explain which theory their group supported and why. Sharing theories allows students to share their own ideas, hear other students’ ideas, and consolidate what they learned
  • The teacher reminds students that either theory could be correct. Historians are still discussing this issue, and now students are also part of the discussion
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