Ashoka appears in several of the HSIE syllabuses. There are ungoing debates about the place of India in History syllabuses. Discussions on the new draft Modern History syllabus have addressed the exclusion of some important topics and events related to modern India. This is despite the push with the 7-10 Australian Curriculum and new NSW syllabuses to include the Cross Curriculum Priority of Asia and Australia's Engagement with Asia. In terms of ancient India, Ashoka, an important personality in ancient India is actually included in three separate syllabuses: 7 History, Studies of Religion and Ancient History (new draft syllabuses). Most of the resources below have been designed for Studies of Religion, but you may like to modify them for a History class.
History - Stage 4 - The Ancient World - The Asian World Depth Study - India
The role of a significant individual in the ancient Asian world, for example ... Ashoka.
Studies of Religion - Stage 6 (HSC) - Buddhism
Significant People and Ideas
Ancient History (Draft syllabus) - Stage 6 (Prelim) - Investigating Ancient History - Case Studies
For Studies of Religion, students could complete a research activitiy in pairs or groups on Ashoka. Each pair or group investigates one of: his pilgrimages, his missionary activities, monuments and stupas built by Ashoka, and his life as a model Buddhist. Students can then present their findings to the class (try to make sure there aren't too many groups or this kind of activity can become a bit drawn out).
The file below is a (very long) cloze passage on Ashoka. I know some people have issues with cloze passages, but they are a good way to ensure students are actually reading the texts provided, it is a change from the usual reading and answering questions, it provides a summary they can later read through, and it builds some basic literacy skills. Also, my theory is, providing a bit of variety is a good thing. Obviously don't use cloze passgaes all the time, but one here and there just means they aren't doing the same type of activity over and over again.
The Ashoka cut and paste activity is a good activity to help students organise their learning about Ashoka's impact on Buddhism in a hands on way.
Essay scaffolds may be useful for training students to organise their writing into structured paragraphs. These may be useful for a first draft of an essay. Obviously they don't provide enough space for the students to write a complete essay, but they may need them to write the key points that they will then expand on.
Teach India Project
Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the new Geoactive book series.
Student resource sites: