unit banner

Unit 1: Redefining World Society and Culture

Lesson D: Life and Times in the Pre-Modern World

Activity 8: Intellectual and Technological Achievements

Chinese spinning wheel, 10th Century Chinese spinning wheel, 10th Century

Chinese Spinning Wheel, 10th Century. [1]

Notebook Icon

Written Activity - Notebook

Examine the image to the right and answer the following questions in your notebook. A reminder, you may not be able to fully answer all of these questions.

  • What event does the image portray?
  • Who created the image and why?
  • What does the image suggest the creator and the civilization valued? What makes you say this?
  • Who is in the image, and who is not?
  • What conclusions can you draw about the way people lived based upon the image?

You just analyzed an image of a Chinese spinning wheel. A spinning wheel was an invention that allowed a faster method to produce cloth. In the next activity, you will work in a jigsaw group to analyze different technological and other inventions from India, China, and the Islamic World. While you work in your jigsaw group, you will be responsible for both teaching others and learning from others.

Jigsaw puzzle pieces fit together to create a whole image. Sometimes in class, you will be asked to participate in something called a jigsaw activity. In these types of activities, you will be in a group. Each student will be given one part of a larger puzzle to work on. For example, your group might be studying western Europe. Each student in the group might have a separate reading or activity to do. It is then the responsibility of the student to "teach" what he or she learned to the rest of the group. Likewise, all the other students in the group have a responsibility to learn while the other students are teaching what they learned.


image of classroom blackboard with world history written on it

Classroom Activity - Technology in the Pre-Modern World

jigsaw image Jigsaw

Directions: In this activity, you will complete a jigsaw activity in a group about the technological and other inventions from India, China, and the Islamic World. Use the fact sheets to examine information about these countries. Your teacher may assign additional research about these regions.

Download Icon Download the Intellectual Achievements Jigsaw (pdf).

Download Icon Download the Intellectual Achievements Jigsaw Organizer (doc).


Discussion Icon Discussion

Directions: Prepare a response to the discussion questions below. Follow your teacher's directions to participate in your class discussion.

  • How advanced were pre-Modern India, China, and the Islamic World? How do we define what we mean by "advanced"?
  • How reliant were these different civilizations upon each other for their ideas and the spread of their ideas?
  • Why is knowing about technological and other intellectual inventions important in our study of world civilizations?
Download Icon

Select the link to review the Discussion Scoring Tool (pdf).


❖  ❖  ❖  ❖  ❖  ❖  ❖  ❖  ❖


Page Notes:

[1] This image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wang_Juzheng%27s_Spinning_Wheel,_Close_Up_2.jpg is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.