Pre Historic India- Sources of history

Target group: 5th STD to 8th STD

Objectives of the session:

  • by the end of the session, students will be able to understand how history is divided into the prehistoric and historic period and what are the reasons behind it.
  • by the end of the session, students will be familiarized with the different methods to obtain information about historic events, especially pre-historic times.

Activity 1: Start the session with probing questions about the topic  

The teacher can raise the following questions in the beginning of the class as prompting questions to build curiosity among students.

Some guiding questions may be as follow:

  1. What do you understand by the term ‘PREHISTORIC Humans’?

Student Response: It is about people who lived a long time ago, who lived in caves etc.

  1. What do you think is the difference between the terms Historic and Prehistoric?

Student Response: We have some form of written evidence about the events in the historic era while we have no such written evidence about the prehistoric era.

   3. Today we know a lot of things about people lived so many years ago. But what are the ways we get information about those people?

Student Response: From textbooks, stories heard from teachers, parents, older people

Step 1: Raise the prompting questions in the beginning of the session

Step 2: Provide small group discussion time (7 minutes)

Step 3: Collect the responses from students and write it on the board

The discussions and lectures in the class should be addressing these questions and finding an answer to it. It will give clarity on what does it mean by

(a) pre-historic period and

(b) what are sources of history

Activity 2: Bring any historical issue which students are familiar with to the discussion in the classrooms. (eg.  Pyramids in Egypt, Vedic people in India).

Step 1: Put them into groups (5-6 students per group)

Step 2: Introduce the topic for discussion

Step 3: Ask them to write down the maximum ways possible to know about the event which happened in the ancient times. Ask them to mention the source of information. Let them write it down on each wing showed below (you can use board or chart paper for the same)


At the end, the chart may look like this.

Activity 3: Differentiate between written sources and non written sources

Step 1: Ask students to differentiate the sources they brought about in terms of whether they are written or not.

Step 2: Students would draw a circle or change color accordingly. [It will look like as follows]


It will help the teachers to describe the written sources and non-written sources of information (history), giving the examples of each as follows:


(Any written language in any format)

Non Written







Oral traditions

What is pre-historic era?

The people who lived long years ago and we don’t have written record or history of them, so they are described as pre-historic era/ people.


Project work for students

Ask students go back home and interact with the oldest person in their family/neighborhood and ask them on  what do they think of how people lived in the ancient period

Eg Question: “How do you think people lived during the prehistoric period? what did they eat, wear etc”. Make notes of their responses.

Video: You can use this link for the video talks about the ideas we covered: [focus on 2.55 minutes to 5.50 minutes]

[The next blog covers the people who lived in pre-historic era and ancient civilizations in India]

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