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Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Afghanistan and the Silk Road Map Project

Objective: Students will use map resources to label a map of Afghanistan with its current bordering countries, current key cities, and ancient sites/cities: Students will learn the geographical placement of Afghanistan in Asia and its neighboring countries. This knowledge will bring a heightened awareness of the influence and exchange among nearby countries with Afghanistan—culturally, politically, and militarily. They will also become familiar with the names of ancient sites and their location in present-day Afghanistan. 

Content Standards (California): HSS 6.6.7: Cite the significance of the trans-Eurasian “silk roads” in the period of the Han Dynasty and Roman Empire and their locations.

Materials and Preparation/Downloads:
1.) Afghanistan Map: Teacher Version (with cities, ancient sites, and bordering countries labeled—as a teacher resource/answer sheet); 2.) Afghanistan Map: Student Worksheet (teachers should make copies for the class; 3.) Map resources for the students (e.g. student atlas books); 4.) Colored pencils for students to label maps; 5.) Silk Road Map; 6.) Silk Road Trade List worksheet


Part A: Afghanistan Map

  1. Distribute to the students:
    • Afghanistan Map worksheets
    • student atlas reference books
  2. Using atlas references, students label with colored pencils the following in this order:
    • current neighboring countries: Label and color according to the list on the worksheet.
    • mountain and river features: Label those listed on worksheet.
    • key cities of today: Label those listed on the worksheet.
    • ancient sites/cities: Underline or highlight.

Maps can become a resource for other activities. For example, students could: 1.) Map the route of Alexander the Great, including key cities during his stay in Afghanistan and the location of various battles; 2.) Make drawings representing natural resources found in Afghanistan; 3.) Use it to log events currently occurring in Afghanistan, politically and militarily.

Part B: Silk Road Map

  1. Distribute to the students:
    • student Silk Road Map worksheets
    • student atlas reference books
  2. Create an icon for each of the trade items located on the back of the Silk Road Map. Draw and label the icons for the traded items placing them on the map in the country from which they were traded.

This lesson was created by Agnes Brenneman, Curriculum Consultant and retired 6th Grade Teacher, Park Day School, Oakland, CA, in conjunction with the exhibition, Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul.