Reunification: Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties


Social Studies Middle School Reunification: Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties
Students begin by viewing photos of the Grand Canal, a massive achievement of medieval China. Then they explore the Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties. Next, they work in small groups to report on various aspects of ordinary life during ancient or medieval China. Finally, they read a primary source—a Tang emperor’s musings on what makes a good ruler—and give reasons why they agree or disagree with the author.

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.

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Here are the teacher pack items for Reunification: Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties:

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Overview

In this experience, students begin by viewing photos of the Grand Canal, a massive achievement of medieval China. Then they explore the Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties. Next, they work in small groups to report on various aspects of ordinary life during ancient or medieval China. Finally, they read a primary source—a Tang emperor’s musings on what makes a good ruler—and give reasons why they agree or disagree with the author.

Students will work together in small groups in scene 4.

This experience contains a lot of content. You may choose to teach it over two sessions in order to spend adequate time on the various elements of the Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties.

Objectives

  • Describe the social, political, and economic development of the Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties.
  • Analyze significant features of medieval Chinese society.


From 581 C.E. to 1279 C.E., three dynasties oversaw a period of progress that made China perhaps the most advanced civilization on Earth. In this experience, you’ll learn about the Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties.

Objectives

  • Describe the social, political, and economic development of the Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties.
  • Analyze significant features of medieval Chinese society.




View of the Grand Canal, Drawing by William Alexander, c. 1800


Look at the image above. Now read a few facts:

  • It’s the world’s oldest man-made waterway—and still the longest.
  • It was begun in 486 B.C.E. and wasn’t finished till 609 C.E.—more than a thousand years.
  • It took three million forced laborers to finish, and half of them died from hunger and overwork in the process.
  • Today, people still live and work on it. Goods are transported on it. Tourist boats float on it. Yet along parts of its length, it’s almost forgotten.
It’s the Grand Canal of China, a construction feat almost as mammoth as the Great Wall. Look at the photos in the article Beijing’s Extraordinary Grand Canal to get glimpses of how it looks today.


Write words and short phrases to express your observations about the Grand Canal. To write more than one, separate them with a comma, like this: Rome, Paris

Post your answer

Discuss student responses.

Tell students that the Grand Canal is only one example of the achievements that made Chinese civilization more advanced than Europe during the Middle Ages. They’ll learn about more such achievements in this experience.

Interested students might want to read more at The Grand Canal.


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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in China in the Middle Ages Unit.
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