The Topic:
Ancient China

Easier - China is located in Asia. It has the oldest surviving civilization in the world. Ancient China began between 500,000 and 5000 years ago. The first villages were built about 5000 years ago. No single date marks the end of Ancient China.
The Chinese have many ancient traditions and celebrations. The dragon is a sign of good luck.
Harder - The early China civilization was ruled by a series of emperors from different dynasties. These dynasties were royal families. Shih Haung Ti established the Ch'in Dynasty, united the Chinese kingdom known as the Warring States, became the first emperor (221 B.C.), and began building the Great Wall of China. Thousands of terra-cotta clay statues were placed to guard his tomb. The Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.) was a peaceful time when paper and ink were invented and schools built. The Tang Dynasty (618 A.D.-906 A.D.) was known for their public systems, art including pottery, sculpture, and painting, as well as their gunpowder.
The "Three Teachings" including Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism greatly influenced the Chinese. Confucius (551-479 B.C.) taught people about the importance of being loyal, unselfish, and courteous. The roots of Taoism go back to prehistoric times but were described around 600 B.C. by Lao Zi. He explained the "path" to contentment. Buddha (563 B.C.) who was born in India focused on achieving absolute peace through a "Eightfold Path" including rightness of views, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration.
Early China was very isolated from the rest of the world. This isolation is reflected in the creation of the Great Wall. This wall is 2,150 miles long. This isolationism extended to the interior of the country. For example, the Ming dynasty lived in a palace called the Forbidden City. Ordinary people were prohibited from entering. The Silk Road was used to open trade between Ancient China and Rome. This 7,000 mile route was owned by China but traveled by merchants who traded products such as silk.
The Ancient Chinese are known for their many inventions and technological advancements including the development of writing, a calendar, gunpowder, printing, silk, paper, and the compass. The earliest book was printed in 868 A.D.
As you explore online resources you'll notice conflicting names and titles. In 1957, a new system for translating Chinese into Roman letters resulted in many language changes. For example, the first emperor's name changed from Ch'in Shih Huang to Qin Shi Huangdi. Although some historians changed to the new system, others continue to use the original translations.
China the Beautiful
This website contains information and resources on all aspects of China both past and present.
Pages Within this Site:
2) Dragons in Ancient China HTTP://
3) Calligraphy HTTP://
4) Paintings HTTP://
Daily Life in Ancient China
Donn's website provides excellent resources for teachers and middle school students. Learn about Taoism with Winnie-the-Pooh. Explore daily life in four different Chinese dynasties. Meet strange emperors like Hu the Tiger. Read things written in B.C. times!
Other Teacher Websites on Ancient China:
2) Ancient China
3) Ms Hos-McGrane's Grade 6 Social Studies Class
4) Electronic Passport to Chinese History
Discovery Online: Secrets of the Great Wall
This website is basd on a Discovery program on the Great Wall.
Related Websites:
2) The Great Wall of China
3) Great Wall of China (Photograph)
4) The Great Wall of China (Photographs)
5) Great Wall Of China
6) A Great Wall/A Guarded Tomb . . .
7) The Great Wall (easy to read)
Historic Legends and Tales
Read over a dozen historic legends and tales of China.
Other Myths, Tales, and Stories of Ancient China Websites:
2) Chinese Folktales
3) Chinese Folktales Archives
4) Chinese Myths and Fantasies
5) Chinese Stories
6) Folktales from China
7) Stories and Pictures Books-China from Stories, Legends and Folktales from Around the World
8) Tales from China
9) Historic Legends & Tales
Using the websites, complete the following activities:
Explore Ancient Inventions. Start with the Ancient Chinese Technology page. Read the article Age of Invention. Explore a Chinese accomplishment, invention, or creation such as paper making, printing, gunpowder, compass, and the Great Wall. Explore other Ancient Chinese inventions at Chinese Invention, and Impressive Inventions. Create a class invention database or series of web pages. Which invention do you think was the most critical to world history? Why?
Trace the History of Gunpowder. Chinese is the center of gunpower, firecrackers, and other explosives. Learn about the history of firecrackers. Why was the invention of gunpowder so important? How would history be different without explosives?
Make a Silk Road Mural. What's silk? What's the silk road? Was it really made of silk? Read about the Silk Road and Silk Road. What role did the silk road play in the history of trade between China and the rest of the world? Create the silk road as a mural on a wall. Include all the products that may have been traded.
Create a Chinese Calligraphy Banner. Try some Chinese Calligraphy. See some examples at Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Calligraphy, Traditional Culture Calligraphy, Chinese Calligraphy, and Calligraphy. Create a banner using calligraphy.
Create a Chinese Banquet. China is known for its food. Learn about all the different forms of chinese foods. Hold a class Chinese banquet.
Write a Chinese Myth. Like the Greeks and Romans, the Ancient Chinese had a world filled with mythology. Read about the history of Chinese Mythology. Read Historic Legends and Tales. Read about the Chinese myths, then compare them to myths in other parts of the world. Write your own myth set in a particular time period of Ancient China. Mix facts with your fiction story.
Design an Umbrella. China is the home of umbrellas. Read about the history of umbrellas. Create your own umbrella design.
Create a Chinese Folktale Mural. Read a piece of classic Chinese literature. Try Chinese Folktales, Chinese Literature Classics, Classic Chinese Poetry (real audio), Chinese Stories, and Chinese Stories. Read Headless Tao. Create a wall mural illustrating your favorite Chinese stories. Explore folktale murals.
Explore the Three Teachings. Learn more about the "Three Teachings" including Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. Print out and read the basics of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Compare these teaching to the Six Pillars of Character many schools use today in Character Education.
Hold a Festival. Read about Traditional Chinese Festivals and Traditional Festivals in China. Celebrate a Chinese holiday. Go to the Chinese Festival and Chinese New Year page for ideas. Learn about the Chinese New Year, Moon Festival, Moon Festival, and Lantern Festival. Create your own class festival.
Celebrate Tea. China is known as the home of tea. Learn about the history of tea. Read about the Art of Drinking Tea. Hold a class tea celebration.
Build a Chinese History Timeline. Use the China Chronology, Ancient China Timeline, EAWC Timeline, History Timeline, Chinese Dynasties, and History of China website for ideas. Use Tom Snyder's Timeliner software to create your timeline or create a class timeline down the hallway.
Create Paper. Learn about Chinese Papermaking and explore 42explore: Papermaking for ideas on how to make paper. Create your own paper and ink! Do some calligraphy on your paper.
Make a Map. Explore Maps of Ancient and Modern China. Explore the map of the Han Dynasty and the C'hang-An in the Sui and T'ang Dynasty. Use the map outline to create your own map for a particular time period. Compare this to the present day country and cities.
Compare East and West Medicine. Learn about Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Chinese Medicine, and Chinese Medical History. How are eastern and western medicine merging? What aspects of Chinese medicine do you like and dislike? What would you like western doctors to know about Chinese medicine? Use Inspiration software or create a chart of paper showing your comparison.
Create a Proverb Mobile. Learn about Chinese Proverbs. Write the proverb on the mobile and create illustrations that relate to the proverb.
Trace the Tibetans. The plight of the Tibetan people is in the news today. Learn about the history and location of Tibet. Take a stand on the current situation related to the Tibetan people.
Recreate the Great Wall. Learn more about this marvel at the Great Wall of China (easy), Discovery Online: Secrets of the Great Wall , Great Wall and the Great Wall page. Draw the wall on a map or use the map outline. Create the a three-dimensional wall and part of a village.
Create a Work of Chinese Art. Check out the Picture of the Month on Ancient China. Study a piece of artwork from Ancient China such as The Art of China, Painting, Splendors of Imperial China, Tales of the Land of the Dragon, and World Art Treasures. Discuss some of the techniques used in the artwork. Try to replicate some of these ideas in a piece of artwork. Write a paragraph describing the techniques you used.
Make Some Music. Read about the Music of Ancient China. Listen to Ancient Chinese Melodies and Chinese Music. Look at photos of Traditional Chinese Instruments.
Cut some Paper. Papercutting is an ancient Chinese craft. Read about papercutting and the Art of Chinese Papercut. Try some papercutting.
Explore Numbers. Numbers have great importance in Chinese history. Learn about the abacus. Check out the Chinese Mathematics, History of Mathematics, and Mathematics page to learn about the important contributions of the Chinese to Mathematics. Write an article for a pretend journal called Math Mania.
Explore the World of I Ching. Have you ever heard of I Ching? Some people believe it's the oldest book ever written. It mixes elements of Taoist and Confucian philosophy. Learn more about I Ching. Share your findings with a friend.
Design a Room. Feng Shui is the ancient art of placement. It involves bringing balance to one's home through the careful placement of objects. Check out Feng Shui for Children. Redesign a room in your house or a room you invent using Feng Shui principles.
Draw a Dragon. Dragons play an important role in Ancient Chinese history. Read about dragons at Dragons of Ancient China, Dragon and Phoenix, and Chinese Dragon. Create a project that includes a dragon. It could be a song, poster, skit, or animation. Check out some dragon clipart.
Write About An Emperor. Emperors played an important role in the history of China. Check out the Portraits of Chinese Emperors and select an emperor. Write about a day in the life of this emperor.
Compare the Person and Movie. Watch the movie Mulan and read about her life. Compare the movie and person.
Take a Tour. Take a Virtual China Tour and explore some ancient areas of China such as Forbidden City, Great Wall, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Beihai Park, Ming Tombs, Terracotta Warriors, Yuan Ming Yuan, Dunhuang, Jiuhua Mountain, and Yongding.
Try a Hunt. Try an Ancient China hunt such as Daily Life in Ancient China.
Complete a Ancient China WebQuest. Explore one of the webquests below:
1) Ancient China (Primary Grades)
2) Ancient China (Grade 6)
3) Ancient and Medieval China Webquest (Grade 6)
4) Searching for China
5) Two Dynasties of Ancient China (Grade 6)
6) What will it be? Rome or China
Websites By Kids For Kids
Ancient China
Learn about The Great Wall Of China, dynasties, religion, food, family life, medicine and healing, art and painting, clothing and jewelry, literature, and life and death.
Ancient China Webpage
This page provides information about the religions, culture, dynasties, geography, and much more about ancient China.
Ancient Chinese Technology
This ThinkQuest project focuses on the technology of ancient China including agriculture, engineering, domestic and industrial technology, mathematics, physics, warfare, transportation and nature discovery.
China at Mysteries of the Ancient East
This section teaches about the inventions, customs and beliefs, games, and history of ancient China.
China: An Inner Realm
China, an Inner Realm is where one can explore fascinating facts pertaining to the land, culture, and language of the vast and diverse nation.
Chinese Calligraphy
Learn about the history of Chinese calligraphy.
Chinese Inventions
Explore the inventions of the Chinese.
The Chinese Odyssey
This site covers the different dynasties, Chinese superstitions, life in ancient China, Chinese inventions, Chinese literary works and writers, and art and architecture.
Development of Technology in China
Explore the development of technology in China including agriculture, astronomy, geography, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing. This student project also include a quiz and timeline.
Empires Past: China
Explore Chinese history including Qin dynasty, Han dynasty and Era of Disunity, Restoration and Tang dynasty, Song dynasty, Mongol rule, Ming dynasty, Manchu/Qing dynasty, and list of rulers.
Four Chinese Philosophies
This web page contains posters made by sixth graders on the four Chinese philosophies.
The Imperial Era
Here you can visit sections for information about a particular dynasty.
Library of Chinese Religion, History and Culture
This site introduces learners to Chinese beliefs and practices including Feng Shui, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, herbal medicine, and acupuncture, martial arts and more. There is also information on Chinese dynastic history and mythology.
Loogootee Studies China
This third grade project includes the ABC's of China, a quiz, a papermaking project, a number activity, and information about the Chinese calendar.
The Secrets of the Lost Chinese Empire
This excellent project provides information about Buddhism in China, The Great Wall of China, The Story of Tea, Impressive Inventions,Terra Cotta Soldiers Everywhere, Social Structure, and Bibliography.
Additional Websites About Ancient China 
Amazing Chinese Accomplishments
This website links to information about papermaking, printing, gunpowder, the compass, and other Chinese innovations.
Related Inventions Websites:
2) Chinese Inventions - Can You Name Them?
3) Chinese Inventions at the Franklin Institute
4) Chinese Crafts at the Franklin Institute
Ancient China at Exploring Ancient World Cultures (University of Evansville)
Despite their cloudy and distant origins, the poems of ancient China make many statements that may sound curiously familiar to contemporary Americans. Explore these poems as well as links to other historical and cultural resources about Ancient China.
Ancient China
This website contains information about The Yellow River Valley, The Shang (1766-1050 BC), and The Chou (1050-256 BC). It also has information about ancient philosophies such as Pre-Confucian China and the Five Classics, Confucius, Mencius, Lao Tzu and Taoism, MoTzu, and The Legalists. Finally, you'll find Anthology of Chinese Readings, Glossary of Chinese Culture and History, Historical Atlas, and links to other resources.
Other Informational Sites on Ancient China:
2) Ancient China
3) Chinese Culture Handouts
4) Condensed China
5) Traditional Chinese Culture
Ancient China from Mrs. Wahl
This links site provides lots of website resources for learning about Ancient China.
Other Links Sites:
2) Ancient History: Asia
3) Chinese Culture
4) Guide to Ancient China on the Web
5) Websites for Teaching and Learning about China
China at EMuseum
From ancient China to the various imperial dynasties, you get lots of details, pictures, and a cool timeline here.
Sections Within the Website:
2) Neolithic China
3) Early Imperial China
The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution in China
This page introduces the fossil evidence for human evolution in China.
Mathematics in China at History of Mathematics
This site provides a brief outline of the history of mathematics in China.
More Soldiers in the Terra Cotta Army at Harcourt School Publishers
Here is a short article about the discovery of more famous terra cotta soldiers at the grave site of the first emperor of the Qin dynasty in the ancient Chinese city of Xian.
Mysterious Mummies of China
Explore this NOVA special about how mummies in China have been preserved through history.
Secrets of Lost Empires from PBS NOVA
This website supports a NOVA special where people try to design and build a Chinese bridge known only from an ancient painting.
The Shang Dynasty:1523-1027 BC
The Shang is the earliest Chinese dynasty for which we have written evidence.
Similar Website:
2) The Shang
Related Website:
3) The Zhou Dynasty:1027-777 BC
The Story of the Hakkas by L.M. Lock
The website discusses migrations of Hakka or guest people to China and eyebrows as clues to the origins of modern Chinese.
Websites For Teachers
Ancient China (Grade 6, Oakland Unified School District.,CA)
Here are web-based curriculum resources which can be used to supplement and extend a unit on Ancient China.
Ancient China from Mr. Donn
Here are several lesson plan ideas for ancient China.
Chinese Celebrations Lesson Plans
This lesson focuses on chinese celebrations.
Imperial Tombs Curriculum Guide
Explore images, lessons, and other materials related to Ancient Chinese art and culture.
Mini-Unit Topic: Chinese Folktales
This Grade 3/4 unit explores the folktales of China.
Selected Readings on Chinese History (China Teaching Workbook, Columbia University)
Here are student handouts and teachers' background notes supporting a unit on ancient Chinese history.
1) The Great Bronze Age of China . . .
2) Soldiers of the Qin . . .
3) China's Gifts to the West . . .
4) Marco Polo in China . . .
5) Rituals and Legends of The Chinese New Year . . .
Six Paths to China
This website provides six different kinds of activities you can use related to Ancient China including Hotlist, Scrapbook, Treasure Hunt, Subject Sampler, and WebQuest.
Who Invented It? When? Chinese Inventions
A common stereotype is that the Chinese traditionally lack scientific and technological ability, although, somehow, they stumbled upon papermaking, printing, gunpowder, and the mariner's compass. This activity might be an 'icebreaker' for an ancient China unit?
Peking Man
oracle bone
Huang He
'hundred schools of thought'
Yellow River
Warring States
Red Eyebrows
Great Wall
terra cotta warrior
'burning of books'
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 04/01.