China and Its Neighbors: China’s Ethnic Groups

World Cultures East Asia China and Its Neighbors: China's Ethnic Groups
Students work together to develop a definition of "ethnic group." Then each student researches and prepares a brief report on one of ten ethnic groups in China. Next students consider what problems ethnic groups may face. Finally, they consider whether the material they used in their research was biased or not.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

1:1 Devices
Teacher Pack

The Pack contains associated resources for the learning experience, typically in the form of articles and videos. There is a teacher Pack (with only teacher information) and a student Pack (which contains only student information). As a teacher, you can toggle between both to see everything.

Here are the teacher pack items for China and Its Neighbors: China’s Ethnic Groups:

Preview - Scene 1
Exploros Learnign Experience Scene Navigation



In this experience students work together to develop a definition of ethnic group. Then each student researches and prepares a brief report on one of ten ethnic groups in China. Finally students consider why China pushes propaganda about its minorities.

There are several possible strategies for conducting the Explore scene of this experience:

  • Let each student choose an ethnic group from the list provided in the next scene.
  • Assign each student an ethnic group to ensure that there is an even distribution.


  • Identify China’s major ethnic groups.

Throughout history, humans have been on the move. People arrived in new places for many reasons: with a conquering army or as an exiled victim of war, with trade caravans or ships, with hopes for a job or a better future, to escape religious or political persecution, and so on. As a result, in almost every country in the world there are groups of people who are not native to that land. Many of them band together and are known as an ethnic group. In this experience, you will learn about China’s major ethnic groups.


  • Identify China’s major ethnic groups.

women in colorful clothing posing for the camera

Gaoshan in native dress welcoming visitors

Over 90% of China’s 1.3 billion people belong to the Han group, but there are 56 other recognized ethnic groups. Some of these groups are very tiny, with only several thousand members. What is an ethnic group? Think of an example of an ethnic group here in the United States.

Name one or more ethnic groups in the United States. To list more than one, separate them with a comma, like this: car, truck.

Post your answer

Based on the examples posted by students, open a class discussion on the question: What is an ethnic group? Work together to create a definition.

There is no legal definition of an ethnic group. A serviceable definition for the classroom: A group of people that has different national or cultural traditions from the main population among which it lives.

When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

End of Preview
The Complete List of Learning Experiences in East and Southeast Asia Unit.
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