Early Centres of Power
LESSON 5: How did cultures mix in ancient Southeast Asia?
This lesson plan explains the spread of the Ramayana throughout Southeast Asia and introduces the concept of cultural diffusion. The students will be able to cultivate respect for, and understand the interdependence of, cultures throughout Asia and appreciate how history impacts their lives today.
|Subject||History / Social Studies|
|Topic||How big were ancient polities?|
|Key idea||The Ramayana provides a good example of cultural influence. It has spread from India throughout Southeast
Asia into many languages and locally inspired versions.
|Key concepts||Cultural influence
|No. of periods / lessons||2 periods/1 lesson (1 period is approximately 50 minutes)|
|Facilities needed||Sources and handouts for distribution
Blank paper and coloured pencils
|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 gain…
Download the lesson plan for details on the talks and activities suggested below.
This text introduces the story of the Ramayana and how it was adopted and it evolved throughout Southeast Asia.
1. Hook activity: Telephone game
This game helps students experience the concept of culture diffusion through the “diffusion” of a message among themselves.
2. Teacher talk
This lecture presents the example of the Ramayana and how it spread from what is now India to Southeast Asia.
3. Group Work
In groups, students compare the characters and actions in various depictions
of the Ramayana.
4. Fishbowl Discussion
A group of students is encouraged to go deeper in their analysis while other groups observe and later join the discussion.
Students sketch and expose a character from the Battle of Lanka in their own way. Their drawings will show how the Ramayana is diffusing into their culture today and how they are part of the process of cultural diffusion.