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What, Where, How and When? Class 6 Notes CBSE History Chapter 1 [Free PDF Download]


What, Where, How and When? Class 6 Notes History Chapter 1 - PDF Download

Class 6 History notes are on all matters related to history and the subject matter mainly concerns itself with students who wish to pursue a humanities course in the future. However, since it is only middle school, Class 6 History Chapter 1 notes pdf is more of an introduction into the history that precedes us humans; it provides students with a window into history as a subject itself. The cultural and historical relevance of places is what history is all about, and giving students a chance to be introduced to it in their early years is something that can enhance their critical thinking abilities and can mould their cognitive biases to be more open towards understanding histories behind archaic architecture and civilization. That being said, this article will talk about the history behind India’s land and how previous civilizations used to exist within its setting. To understand their way of living, you have to ask yourself three questions:

  1. How they crafted their clothes and what types of materials did they use?

  2. What were the various distinguishing roles within communities that lived together then?

  3. When did they start moving from just scavenging for their basic needs towards attaining traits of civilizations, such as making up games, caring for the designs of their clothes, etc.?

Last updated date: 04th Jun 2023
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Access Class 6 Social Science (History) Chapter 1 - What, Where, How and When?

History Throws Light on Various Aspects Like:

  • The standard of living of people who resided many years ago.

  • Their eating habits, clothing, and types of houses they used to live in.

  • The lives of hunters, herders, farmers, rulers, traders, priests, craftspeople, artists, scientists, and musicians are among the people featured in this chapter.

  • The Places of Living of the People: In the past, People lived on the banks of the river Narmada and they were skilled gatherers. They used to gather their own food. The abundance of plants in the nearby forests was well known to them and they used to gather roots, fruits and other products of forests for survival. Animal hunting was also known to them.

  • Approximately 8000 years ago growing crops such as wheat and barley was started by the people of Sulaiman and Kirthar hills in the northwest.

  • Apart from the growing of crops the people of Sulaiman and Kirthar also learnt about rearing animals such as sheep, goats and cattle while they commonly lived in the village.

  • There was a significant development of agriculture in the Garo Hills in the northeast.

  • Rice was first grown by the people in the northern part of Vindhyas.

  • Around 4700 years ago two most developed cities of the past namely Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro flourished on the traces of river Indus and its tributaries (the smaller rivers that flow into a larger river are termed as tributaries). This civilization came to be known as Indus Valley Civilization.

  • A few centuries later, 2500 years ago, various civilizations were formed on the banks of the river Ganges and its tributaries and along the sea coasts.

  • The southern part of the Ganges and its tributaries was known as Magadha in ancient times. Presently, the city is within the state of Bihar. The rulers of Magadha were very powerful; a huge kingdom was established by its rulers. Different kingdoms were set up in various parts of the country.

  • In those times also people used to travel from one place to another. There were various hills and high mountains (including the Himalayas), deserts, rivers and seas which acted as obstacles and made travelling very dangerous at times. It was difficult but not impossible.

  • People used to travel a long distance in search of food and also to escape from natural disasters such as floods, droughts or earthquakes.

  • Often, people used to travel together and conquer the lands of other people.

  • Merchants also used to move with caravans or ships. Generally, merchants used to carry valuable commodities from one place to another.

  • There were many religious teachers who wished to propagate various religious speeches among the people. For this purpose, they used to wander from one place to another. They offered religious instructions and advice to the people of villages and towns.

  • Only a small percentage of people used to travel only in the thirst for adventure and discovering new places. The cultural traditions of India have been enhanced by the travelling of people. 

  • The various ideas about the carving of stones, composing music, cooking of food were exchanged by the people of different areas through travelling.

  • The natural frontiers of the subcontinent are formed by hills, mountains and seas. It was very difficult to cross these frontiers still it did not become a barrier for the ones who wanted to. Many people came and settled in the subcontinent.

Names of the Land

  • Our country is known by two names– India and Bharat.

  • The word India originates from the Indus, alternatively known as Sindhu in Sanskrit. 

  • The land was called Hindus or the Indos and the land to the east of the Indus River was termed India by the Iranians and the Greeks around 2500 years ago. They reached here through the northwestern part of the subcontinent.

  • The people of the North-West portion of India called the same piece of land Bharat. A vivid description of these people was given in Rigveda. Rigveda was composed around 3500 years ago and is the earliest composition in Sanskrit.

Finding Out About the Past

  • The past of our country can be searched in different ways. One of the major sources of finding out the past is the books that were written at that time. These books are referred to as 'manuscripts' which were written by hand. The word originates from the Latin word ‘manu’ which means hand.

  • Generally, the manuscripts were written on palm leaves or on the bark of a tree. The bark of the tree, known as birch, was particularly treated for writing. This particular birch tree was found in the Himalayas.

  • Several manuscripts were destroyed due to a lack of proper preservation of the same. But, many of them also survived the test of time and are preserved in temples and monasteries.

  • Various subjects were covered in these above-mentioned books such as religious beliefs, epics, poems, plays etc.

  • The main language used in writing those books was Sanskrit. Apart from Sanskrit, Prakrit and Tamil were also used.

  • Another significant source of finding out the past is the inscriptions. Inscriptions are writings written on hard surfaces such as stone or metal.

  • Generally, the orders of kings were inscribed for the convenience of people.

  • Another type of inscription was famous at that time which was recorded by the men and women themselves. Even the kings and the queens maintained it. For example, records of victories in battles were kept by the kings.

  • In the present day, the inscriptions and manuscripts are studied by archaeologists. The remains of buildings made of stones and bricks, paintings and sculptures are examined by the archaeologists. The lands of various areas are explored and excavated by them in search of different tools, weapons, pots, pans, ornaments and coins utilized by the people of that period.

  • The above-mentioned items were made of stone, bone, baked clay or metal. They were made of rigid, permanent components and usually survived for a long period.

  • To find out the eating habits of the people in the past, the bones of animals, birds and fish were also examined by the archaeologists. The remains of plants were found in charred form as the seeds of grains or parts of the wood were burnt.

  • So, there are three sources of finding out the past of the people namely, manuscripts, inscriptions and archaeology.

Different Past of Different People

  • Every group of people had a different past. The past of the herders or farmers was entirely different from the past of kings or queens. The merchants and the craftsmen also shared different pasts.

  • The practices and customs were also different for the people in different portions of the country.

  • Not many records were kept by the hunters, fishing folk, gatherers, farmers or herders. So, the maximum portion of the lives of these people remains in the dark.

Important Questions and Answers 

1. What do you mean by dates?

Ans: In the present day, each of the months, days and years are counted based on the birth of Jesus Christ. He was the founder of Christianity. Hence, 2021 means 2021 years after the birth of Christ. The dates before the birth of Christ are calculated in the backward direction and are suffixed with the letters BC. The letters BC stand for ‘Before Christ’. It is one of the most important phenomenons for counting the years. The years after the birth of Jesus Christ are often suffixed with the letters AD. The letters AD stand for ‘Anno Domini’ which means ‘in the year of the Lord (Christ).

2. Write a short note on inscriptions

Ans: Inscriptions are written records of many things, most commonly accounts of kings and queens' conquests and heroic performances, written on hard surfaces. The records that the archaeologists have found today were inscribed thousands of years ago. Each inscription consists of scripts and languages. There was a continuous transformation of languages and scripts from time to time. There is a specific technique of identifying the languages and scripts on the inscriptions. The procedure of identification is termed decipherment. In most of the cases, inscriptions were written in pictorial forms. It was the easiest way to express feelings.

3. Write a short note on manuscripts.

Ans: One of the most significant sources of searching the past is the books that were written at that time. These books are known as manuscripts. Manuscripts were written by hand. The word ‘manuscript’ originates from the Latin word ‘manu’ which means hand. The manuscripts were written on palm leaves or on the bark of a tree. The bark of the tree birch was specifically prepared for writing. This birch tree was found in the Himalayas. Several manuscripts were destroyed due to a lack of proper maintenance. Unlike the inscriptions, manuscripts were not permanent. The manuscripts of the Indus Valley Civilization were known as the Harappan script.

4. What do you mean by numismatics?

Ans: The study or collection of currency is known as numismatics. Coins, tokens, paper money, and other related objects are all examples of currency. Numismatics is one of the significant studies which throws light on finding out the past of the country. A long time ago, various coins in the Indus Valley Civilization were used as a medium of exchange. Gradually, the types of coins and their characteristics had changed from time to time. The coins of different periods represent different eras. The reigning kings and queens inscribed their pictures on the coins. Numismatics is the process of examining coins to know about the past of our country.

5. Write a short note on Indus Valley Civilization.

Ans: Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) is one of the oldest civilizations of the world contemporary with the civilizations of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. It is also termed the Bronze Age Civilization. IVC was established in the north-western regions of South Asia in the period from 3300 BC to 1300 BC. The civilization flourished on the banks of the Indus River. The civilization developed around the two cities namely Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Other important sites of the Indus Valley Civilization were Dholavira, Surakota, Chanhu Daro etc. Lothal was the major port of the Indus Valley Civilization. The main centre of agriculture was Kalibangan.

Revision Notes for Class 6 History Chapter 1 What, Where, How and When

Civilizations & How People Used to Live

For the longest time (as long as hundreds of thousands of years), people have found shelter and established a lifestyle at the banks of the Narmada river. The lifestyle that they created for themselves stemmed from their knowledge and utility of the wealth of plants that grew in the forests and land nearby. Since such rich vegetation existed at that time, one can also assume that animals lived there too. Keeping that in mind, the people living at that time collected and ate roots, fruits, etc. and hunted animals to sustain themselves and their families. Individuals 8000 years ago started showing signs of civilization because they began growing crops such as wheat and barley. Moreover, they started to domesticate animals like sheep and cattle and started living in villages.

You can find the areas where rice was first grown in the north of the famous Vindhyas. To encapsulate humanity’s growth, we conclude with 2500 years ago being the most remarkable step-up for the civilization living at the Narmada Banks. This was when cities were developed and their foundation was laid on the banks of the Ganga, even along the sea coasts. This is the type of knowledge the where how and when class 6 history notes attempt to give to students to help them get prepared for their examinations. 


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Magadha, which is now situated in the state of Bihar, was previously found south of the Ganga and its tributary rivers. Places like Magadha are responsible for a humongous chunk of the cultural traditions of India because they mark migratory behaviour like men and women seeking refuge from natural disasters by moving to different areas. These movements had influenced their upbringing and the types of tastes they have in terms of food habits, music composition, etc. and how they evolved over so many years. Understanding Magadha is one of the things that is included in what where how and when class 6 notes. 

The Land

Our country’s definitions gave birth to two names: India and Bharat.


‘India’ originates from the word Indus. It was called Indos or Hindus by greeks when they arrived northwest of our country 2500 years ago. The word India itself came from greeks calling the east of our land India.


The word ‘Bharata comes from the word Bharatvarsha - it was a name arising out of the name of the kind Bharata Chakravarti, who was the founder of the Bharata Dynasty and was the legendary ancestor of the Pandavas and Kauravas. 

Understanding the Past

Understanding the past can only occur by doing one thing, reading about it. Earliest materials used to write on were leaves like palm leaves and banana leaves, sometimes wood was used too. 


They are historically relevant documents which have recorded instances of the development of ideologies and philosophical/religious beliefs. It even contained religious texts and interpretations of the ruling of kings. Even texts about gods were found to be in such manuscripts.  


They consisted of writings and orders by kings which were engraved into metals and stones as an act of permanent establishment. An inscription was one of the earliest forms of recorded history and contained notes and discoveries made by people of that time.

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FAQs on What, Where, How and When? Class 6 Notes CBSE History Chapter 1 [Free PDF Download]

1. What book to use when studying for Chapter 1 of Class 6?

‘Our Pasts - I’ is a book that is used to give a holistic interpretation of the various pasts of groups in the past. It is a book written by experts in the field of history and contains information regarding the classification of people in a group, for example, herders/farmers, the lives of merchants and manufacturers (crafters). Studying about such roles gives an insight into the heritage of people in the modern world, in other words, the foundation because of which the modern world was birthed.

2. What is the importance of dates in the book?

Dates are one of the easiest ways of marking important land-mark events in history that are supposed to be remembered by future generations. E.g. the birth of Jesus Christ, all dates before it are counted backwards and are marked as ‘BC’. For the sake of clarification, all the dates in the book are marked as 2000 to indicate Indian civilization’s starting point - 2000 meaning 2000 years after the birth of Jesus Christ. In this way, the what where how and when class history summary notes make it easier for students to remember the events of the past.

3. What do you understand by the statement “The people of India shared their ideas since the earliest days”?

The meaning of the statement is given below:

  • Crossing high mountains, the people of India went from one subcontinent to another. Their journeys were dangerous but not impossible.

  • They moved in search of a better place to live and food.

  • They travelled from place to place with ships and caravans carrying expensive things.

  • The religious teachers went from towns to towns, villages to villages, etc to give their teachings to the people.

  • These were the reasons which led to the sharing of ideas in the earliest days.

4. Explain why it is important to study our past.

It is important to study our past due to the following reasons:

  • It provides lots of information about the social, economic, cultural and political life of the people in the earlier days.

  • Through this, we get to know about the housing and clothing patterns, eating habits, etc of the people living in the earliest times.

  • We can collect information about the jobs they did to run their houses.

  • We can find about the lives of the singers, merchants, farmers, priests, etc.

For more knowledge on these topics download the Vedantu app.

5. Describe the following term:

  • BC

  • AD

The following terms are described as:

  1. BC -

  • BC stands for “Before Christ”.

  • Generally, the dates are counted to the birth of Jesus Christ who is the founder of Christianity.

  • For example, 3000 BC means 3000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.

  • We add “BC” to all the dates which are counted before the birth of Jesus Christ.

  1. AD -

  • AD stands for two Latin words “Anno Domini '' which means in the year of the lord i.e. Jesus Christ.

  • For example, 2006 can be also written as AD 2006.

6. How can I make a study plan for Class 6 Social Science Chapter 1?

The following tips can help you to make a fruitful study plan for Class 6 Social Science Chapter 1:

  • Read the chapter thoroughly from the NCERT book to comprehend each topic easily.

  • Solve all the questions given in this chapter from the NCERT book to have a strong grip over the chapter.

  • Practice the previous years’ question papers to get an idea about the type of questions asked as well as the exam pattern.

  • Try to solve extra questions also for a better understanding of the chapter.

  • Then students can revise from the NCERT notes of Class 6 Social Science.

7. What is the procedure to download the notes of Chapter 1 of Class 6 Social Science?

The following steps should be followed for downloading the notes of Chapter 1 of Class 6 Social Science:

  • Visit the page NCERT notes of Class 6 Social Science.

  • This link will land you on the page of Vedantu.

  • After the opening of the link, you will see that this page of Vedantu will appear on your device screen.

  • On that page, the notes of Chapter 1 of Class 6 Social Science are accessible.

  • On the same page, you will be provided with the option of “Download PDF ”.

  • By clicking that option, the PDF file of the notes will get downloaded.