The geography of ancient China; early Chinese empires; the philosphies of Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism; the√äQin and Han Dynasties; the Silk Roads
Ancient China unit contains 5 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in Ancient China Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
Ancient China: Geography and Environment
Students study the geography of ancient China by reading some engaging facts. Then, they explore its geographical features, such as rivers, mountains, deserts, climate, and population. Next, they describe and explain the natural barriers that kept China isolated for centuries. Finally, they learn about the Great Wall of China in text and visuals, and they write a paragraph about the wall from the point of view of an ancient guard there.
China’s First Civilizations
Students explore the first three dynasties of ancient China in chronological order‚ÄîXia, Shang, and Zhou. Xia‚Äôs status as semi-mythical is introduced. Then students research the difference between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, a transition that occurred during the Zhou Dynasty. Finally, they examine the concept of the Mandate of Heaven and discuss its positive and negative aspects.
Philosophy and Its Influence: Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism
Students encounter three of the most important philosophies that contributed to the shaping of ancient Chinese society: Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism, represented by Confucius, Laozi, and Han Fei Zi respectively. After immersing themselves in the philosophies through print and video sources, students work in small groups to report on comparisons and contrasts among the three. Then they analyze a tale about the childhood of the Confucian philosopher Mencius, illustrating Confucian attitudes toward women and parenting.
Qin and Han Dynasties
Students learn about the Qin and Han Dynasties. Then, they compare the two and give a preference, justifying their choice. Finally, they analyze the concept of the Dynastic Cycle.
The Silk Roads
Students are introduced to the ancient Silk Roads with an array of stunning photos from the National Geographic website. Then, they explore print and video sources to learn what the Silk Roads were and how the roads contributed to the development of civilizations, both Asian and European. Then they learn the story of Marco Polo.