Lesson Plan

An Examination of the Indus Valley Script

River Valley Writing? - The Indus Valley Script
Stephen B.
Classroom teacher
Mary E. Volz School
Runnemede, NJ
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects Social Studies

Students will be able to... take on the role of forensic anthropologist and learn the tricks in deciding whether or not the small bits of writing found in the Indus Valley represent a fully formed language.  

Social Studies
Grades 6 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Direct Instruction

This lesson gives representation to the Indus Valley Civilization when going over the four major river Valley Civilizations.  

Have students view the video, whole group or independently.  

Students should then answer the attached questions.  


Answer Key: 


  1. India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan
  2. the size of a postage stamp
  3. the Rosetta Stone
  4. No Rosetta Stone, very brief samples of writing
  5. cramping on the right
  6. notice odd patterns of letters which means the script was writing a different language
  7. Mesopotamia
  8. that the Indus Valley script represents a written language
Student Instructions
  1. What modern countries did the Indus Valley civilization occupy?
  2. Approximately how big are the clay seals that represent a majority of Indus Valley writing?
  3. What did linguists have to help them decipher hieroglyphics that they do not with the Indus Script?
  4. What are two reasons this script is so difficult to decipher?
  5. How did linguists determine that the Indus Script was written from right to left?
  6. Why did Mr. Rao give the example of writing Dutch with English letters? How does that relate to the Indus Valley Script?
  7. Which civilization did the Indus Valley Civilization have a trading relationship with, based on this video?
  8. What is the point of this video? In other words, what is Mr. Rao trying to prove?