WAS THE SILK ROAD THE INTERNET HIGHWAY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD?

Sheila Hanley, Social Studies
James Madison High School

Content and Performance Standards

Students will be able to:

Motivation

INTERNET

Transition

In the ancient times there was a growth of global trade routes that provided the same services at a slower rate than the Internet.  Today we are looking at the Silk Road and determining

Aim:  Was the Silk Road the Internet highway of the Ancient world?

Materials

Physical Maps of China and Eurasia Maps of the Silk Roads in China Adapted readings from "Life along the Silk Road" by Susan Whittled

Activities

  1. Distribute the Physical Maps of China and Eurasia to each student
  2. Divide the students into groups of four and assign them the following Group Tasks
Group I - Have the students examine the maps and perform the following tasks Group II - Have the students examine both maps and perform the following tasks

Have students debrief their group or pair-share work to the class.

Ditribute to the class the Merchant's Tale

Summary:

  1. How important was the Silk Road to the ancient and classical world?
  2. In what ways did it act as a tool of cultural diffusion?
  3. Do you think it was more important for the exchange of goods or ideas?
  4. Is the Silk Road as important as the internet today?  Explain

Application:

  1. Examine other important trade routes or societies during that time. Suggestions: Indian Ocean Route, Phoenicians, Salt-Gold Route

Questions:

  1. Find on a map where Nanaivandak originated from and where he traveled along the Silk Road
  2. Describe the topography and environment that this merchant saw along the road.
  3. Why would Nanaivandak go on this journey every year?
  4. Besides goods and people, do you see any evidence that ideas also travel along the Silk Road?  Explain.
  5. How is the Silk Road similar to the Internet highway today?