India Simulation Game through a Web Quest
© Joni Shahrani and Mika Oriedo



Grade: 6 th-8 th

Subject: Social Studies

Estimated time for the activity: 15 days

Teacher Note: This simulation game can be shortened or broken down into different parts of India . The entire simulation does not need to be completed. Classes could cover Northern or Southern India or just certain states of India . The length of the simulation depends on individual teacher time and preference. The following areas are covered:

  • State of Tamilnadu
  • State of Kerala and the cities of Thekkady and Munnar
  • State of Karnataka and the city of Bangalore
  • State of Haryana
  • State of Uttar Pradesh and the city of Delhi

Teacher Note: Computer Lab time is required to conduct this simulation.

Essential Understanding

Through researching information on India students will gain a greater understanding of the diverse cultures and differences that exist in India. This understanding will help students to appreciate the diversity among Indians and peoples in the United States . 


This will be a 15-day interactive game/project where students will “travel through India .” During this game students will research geographic locations, climate, economics, religion, government and cultures from specific regions of India . Students will use this information to complete a variety of mini-projects and The Destination Info Worksheet for each specified area.

As students satisfactorily complete each mini-project they will receive a certain amount of rupees (India ’s currency) based on quality of their work. Teacher or students can do a google image search for the Indian Rupee – notes come in the following denominations: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 1000. Teachers can reproduce these rupees so students know what they look like and possible use them to purchase candy items in a classroom store. In order for each group to successfully complete their travels through India they must earn a determined amount of rupees.

  • Information from each mini-project can be shared and displayed so all can learn and reflect. This display could be accomplished in many ways:
    • Each group could design a 3-sided poster board presentation of their mini-project(s) to share with the entire class.
    • A giant wall map of India could be created. Each group would cut out the “puzzle piece” of the area they studied. Groups would add interesting facts to the map based on their work.
    • Another culminating activity would be to hold an India Festival at the end of the simulation game. Each group(s) sharing the information they learned about India.

Background Information for Teachers:

Go to to get familiar with India ’s states, languages, religions and size relative to the United States. Review websites chosen for the hot list set up at:

Objectives (Skills)

  • Students will synthesize information about India from class activities, web sites and texts.
  • Students will identify major geographic and cultural areas of India .
  • Students will give examples of India ’s cultural diversity.
  • Students will compare and contrast wildlife areas in India and the United States .


Instructional Activities:



Introduce this unit on India by informing students of the places to be studied:

States of Southern India


-Chennai (Capitol)


-Thekkady (Wildlife Sanctuaries)

-Munnar (Tea Plantation )


- Bangalore (Capitol)

Cities in Northern India

- Delhi

- Agra

After introducing the areas to be studied give students time to locate these specific places on the India map. Share these areas on a large wall map or overhead transparency with students as well to insure correct information and spelling. Also have students determine the number of states in India and the languages used in each state.
  1. Using the overview description from page one of this lesson plan explain the interactive game and time-line for each site’s research to the students. Students will also need to have the grading rubric explained for the mini-projects.
  • Students also need to be arranged into small groups of 3 to 4 students.
  1. At this point explain that each group will need to complete Destination Info Worksheet for each area. This worksheet will ask for specific place/site being studied, population, languages spoken, geography, climate, religions, head of state, capital and other interesting information of the area.

5. The first state to be explored by students will be Tamilnadu. For this first mini-project students will use the internet to research on Hinduism looking at rituals, temples in Tamilnadu.

Students will explore a total of 3 temples in the Tamilnadu state:

One temple in Chennai, one temple in Thanjavur (Shiva) and one temple in Madurai (Meenakshi)

Students will need to identify the following information for each temple:

      • Name of the temple
      • When was the temple built
      • Name of ruler when temple was built
      • Identify God/Goddess of the temple
      • To be able to tell the story of the major God/Goddess go the The Smithsonian Website (Puja)
  • Information on a different temple is provided as an example.
  • Each teacher will need to decide how this information will be recorded. Examples would be formal writing, poster presentation travel brochure, etc.
  1. The second southern state to be studied will be Kerala, specifically the city of Thekkady. For the second mini-project students will use information from web sites provided on the Hot-List to compare and contrast two major animal sanctuaries of America and India .
  • Students will investigate to find out why the Periyar Tiger Reserve in India and the Yellowstone National Park in the United States became wildlife sanctuaries/parks?
  • Students will also investigate why each country developed these lands for specific animals: elephants and tigers in India and buffalos and wolves in the United States.
  • Finally students will create a Venn Diagram to illustrate the similarities and differences between these two sanctuaries/parks.
  1. The third mini-project will be in the city of Munnar in Kerala . Tell students to generate answers to the following questions concerning tea production in the state of Kerala.
    • How is tea grown?
    • How long does it take to grow tea?
    • What do tea plants look like?
    • What type of climate is needed to grow tea?
    • Why do you think the British grew tea in India ?
  1. After students have generated answers to these questions discuss. Once discussion is complete students will make inferences based on data collected on the history of tea, the process of farming tea and why the British colonized this area.
  2. The fourth area to be studied will be the city of Bangalore in the state of Karnataka.  After the D.I.W. is completed, this stop will focus on the city itself looking at two issues: industry in Bangalore (IT and other) and the cosmopolitan atmosphere found there.
  3. Students first will research and collect data using the Passage to India hot list as well as other resources on the number and types of jobs moved/created in the technology/computer industry and come up with a hypothesis as to why Bangalore is such a popular destination. 
  4. Secondly, students will view pictures and video clip placed on the UW South Asian studies website of Bangalore and pick out at least ten different things that are similar and five that are different to metropolitan areas within the U.S. (This could include things such as retail stores, buildings, people, traffic, vegetation, etc.)
  5. Students will use the information collected and observations to complete a travel brochure/pamphlet on Bangalore .
  6. 17. The fifth mini-project will focus on the life of M.K. Gandhi and his assassination in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh.
  1. Students will research Gandhi using the Passage to India hot list and other resources available to create a timeline of the major points in his life.  Such points could include: his birth, education, life in South Africa , philosophy on non-violence, political struggles for independence for India , assassination.
  2. Students will compare these main points to those of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. (who followed in Gandhi’s footsteps by using non-violent protests to help change American society) looking for similarities.  Students may use the hot list or other resources to gather information about Dr. King.
  3. Teachers will hold a class discussion to bring out all of the students’ ideas in their comparisons.  Although there were many differences, their similarities should be emphasized and displayed either on a chalkboard or overhead.  The theme of change through peaceful non-violent protest should come out of this discussion.
  4. The final area to be studied will be the Taj Mahal, located in the city of Agra , in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
  5. Students will be given a worksheet (“Famous Landmarks”) to research basic details of the Taj regarding its history, architecture, etc.)  Once completed, they will be asked to pick out a famous American landmark (examples include Mt. Rushmore, the Golden gate Bridge, the Washington Monument, the Sears Tower) and use the worksheet to collect information about it in order to compare the two.  Comparisons can be made via Venn diagram or other method.       



Hot List Web Site:

(Use identified web-sites to locate information for each mini-project and Destination Info Worksheet.)


Destination Info Worksheet (This sheet will be needed for the start of each mini-project.)



Venn Diagram Work-sheet (To be used when comparing and contrasting wildlife sanctuaries and Martin Luther King Jr. to Gandhi.)




Assessment Activities

  • Students will be assessed at each of the 4 main checkpoints of the game. The classroom teacher will evaluate each group’s min-project and rupees will be awarded based on quality of the group’s work. See attached rubric. (Generic sheet filled out correctly, correct information contained in mini-project, correct grammar and spelling usage.)
  • Students will also be evaluated at the end of the game. Each group must have a determined amount of rupees to end their passage through India .

Students will also be evaluated using a quiz on the geographic information learned during the game and a final test on all information covered during the game.

Content Standards

  • Students will describe the steps involved with growing and processing tea.
  • Students will explain the ideas that define one of India ’s major religions, Hinduism.
  • Students will analyze information and hypothesize as to why technology related jobs are drawn to Bangalore India .
  • Students will compare the city of Bangalore to where they live.
  • Students will research the life of M. Gandhi for major points.  Students will then compare these points to M.L. King’s life looking for similarities and differences.

Performance Standards

A 8.1  A 8.3  A 8.6  A 8.9  A 8.11  B 8. 1 B 8.2 B 8.5   B 8.6   B 8.9   B. 8.12  D.8.2  D.8.4 E 8.2 E 8.3  E 8.4  E 8.6  E 8.7  E 8.12 


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