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LFS DIGITAL > Instructional Unit Topics > Social Studies Unit Topics > Ancient China  

Ancient China

LFS-DIGITAL K-U-D for Unit: Ancient China


                                                                                                 Key Learning

(What is the big understanding for this unit?  What will you ultimately want students to understand as a result of the instruction?  This is a “big picture” understanding, based both on the most critical standards and the thematic focus of the unit.)


The big idea for this unit is to understand the role geography played in forming the civilization of Ancient China, along with the culture that developed in this world sub-region.



Unit Essential Question

(What broad question will students be able to answer as a result of the instruction? This question should reflect the most critical standards on which the instruction is based.  This question is the inverse of the Key Learning; the Key Learning would provide an “ideal” response to this question.)


What makes a place culturally unique and under what conditions do these cultures spread?



Unit Description

(Briefly summarize the focus and content of the unit.)

Students will learn the basic geography of Ancient China, and then understand how the geography played a role in developing the civilization known as Ancient China.  Students will correlate their understanding of Ancient China and connect it to the other Ancient Civilizations we have studied, gaining an understanding of the common geographical features that allow for a civilization to develop.  As part of this unit students will also learn the different aspects that make up the Ancient Chinese culture such as: religion, traditions, dynasties, influential people, and the mark Chinese culture made on the world.


Grade-Level Standards Addressed in the Unit

(List the critical grade-level standards on which the instruction will be based.  Since many of the standards are recursive, reinforced throughout the year’s instruction, list only those that will be the focus of the instruction and assessments for this unit.)



Geography Standard One 6-8a: Students will demonstrate mental maps of the

world and its sub-regions which include the relative location and characteristics of major physical features, political divisions, and human settlements.


Geography Standard 3:  Students will develop an understanding of the diversity of human culture and the unique nature of places. 




(Factual: nouns or noun phrases related to key concepts; terminology, academic vocabulary, formulas, etc., often found or implied in the language of the grade-level standards.)


(Conceptual:  key understandings that students will gain as a result of the instruction within the unit, found in the language of the grade-level standards, and generally written in complete sentences. These understandings will contribute to the overall key learning of the unit.)


(Procedural, Extending Thinking:  written as verb phrases, often found or implied in the language of the grade-level standards. These statements provide discreet targets for demonstrating learning.  Often the assessments for the learning will be selected

 from this column.)

Know physical features of Ancient China including: Himalaya Mountains, Gobi Desert, Taklimakan Desert, Yellow River.

Know accomplishments of the Chinese including  the Great Wall, Silk Road, and Terracotta Army

Know significant rulers &influential people of China including:
Shi Huangdi
Liu Bang


 Students will understand the characteristics of the major physical features that are found in the sub-region of Ancient China.

The role the physical barriers played in the creation of the civilization of China, and how that civilization later led to significant people whose ideas have impacted the modern world. 


 Identify physical features and the barriers of Ancient China.

Compare and Contrast Qin &Han Dynasty 

Analyze quotations of Confucius

Depict the importance of the Silk Road.

* Gather data, examine patterns, and apply information for decision making using digital tools and resources. (1,4) (by participating in Web Quests of the Terracotta Army &Great Wall of China to identify the importance of these legacies).

* Select and use the appropriate tools and digital resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and to solve problems. (3,4,6)

(Such as constructing support in determining the greatest impact of  the Chinese by researching factors of Chinese culture).














 Below is a description of LoTi level 3 instructional focus in the classroom. For more information about LoTi and descriptions of higher LoTi levels please follow the link below.


At a Level 3 (Infusion), the instructional focus emphasizes student higher order thinking (i.e., application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation) and engaged learning. Though specific learning activities may or may not be perceived as authentic by the student, instructional emphasis is, nonetheless, placed on higher levels of cognitive processing and in-depth treatment of the content using a variety of thinking skill strategies (e.g., problem-solving, decision-making, reflective thinking, experimentation, scientific inquiry). Teacher-centered strategies including the concept attainment, inductive thinking, and scientific inquiry models of teaching are the norm and guide the types of products generated by students using the available digital assets.

Digital tools and resources are used by students to carry out teacher-directed tasks that emphasize higher levels of student cognitive processing relating to the content under investigation.


Print Resources



Prentice Hall Text  World Studies: The Ancient World

























































































































Discovery Education Resources


 The Qin Dynasty, 221 BC-206 BC: The First Emperor and the Great Wall of China

The Era of the Han Dynasty, 202 BC-220 AD: A Trade Route to the Roman Empire

Era of the Sui and Tang Dynasties, 581-907AD: The Silk Road


Welcome to China!

The Geography of China

The Traditional Religions of China

Ancient Chinese Beliefs

Video Quiz: China: From Past to Present: Geography, Traditional Religions, and Beliefs

Important Inventions

Journals Through History: Ancient China: From Dynasty to Destiny



Terra Cotta Soldiers in Qin Shi Huangdi Tomb

Artifacts recovered from Han imperial tomb.

Han Guang Wudi (Kuang Wu-ti) emperor of Later Han.

Emperor Jin Wudi (Chin Wu-ti).

Han Wudi (Han Wu-ti), the "Martial Emperor."

Liu Bang (Liu Pang), founder of the Han dynasty.

Qin Shi Huangdi (Ch'in Shih Huang-ti).

The Great Wall of China.

A camel laden with silk and supplies.

One step in making silk is sorting silk cocoons.

A representation of Confucius from 1883.


Discovery Interactive Map:

Discovery Atlas Interactive Map



Great Wall


“History,” “The Earliest Dynasties,” “Creation of the Empire,” and “Five Dynasties Period” from China

Chinese Philosophy


Writing Prompts:


Open Resources


Resource 1: China
Media type: Various
Description: A curriculum unit on China incluidng sections on geography, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Ancient China, and the Silk Road. Resources include lesson plans, station activities, and other resources
Level: Intermediate

Credit: Ben Lindy, Developing Curriculum Inc.
License: CC BY

Notes/activity suggestions:
Tags: grade6, social studies, history, ancient civilizations, China, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Silk Road,


Resource 2: Confucianism and Taoism
Media type: text
Description: A brief introduction to the Confucian and Taoist traditions of Chinese religion and philosophy
Level: Advanced

Credit: Michel Clasquin-Johnson, Connexions
License: CC BY

Notes/activity suggestions:
Tags: grade6, social studies, history, ancient civilizations, China,


Resource 3+: Ancient China media set , generic music library

Media type: photos
Description: A variety of images including maps of various dynasties, images of dynastic leaders, and artwork, sculptures, etc. from various periods. Also included are pictures of the Great China Wall, Confucius, and a timeline of the dynasties in China.

Level: Beginning, Intermediate

Credit: various - right-click each file to get credit and license info
License: various - right-click each file to get credit and license info

Notes/activity suggestions: S
tudents can use images in this media set, along with info they learn through other sources, to create a multimedia project in Word, PowerPoint, or as a movie (Windows Movie Maker) or web page.

Tags: grade6, social studies, history, ancient civilizations, China, mediaset


Resource 4+: Ancient China vocabulary videos - Geography and Early Settlement, Shang Dynasty, Three Chinese Philosophies, The First Emperor of China, The Han Dynasty, the Silk Road
Media type: Video
Description: These six videos introduce key vocabulary, including names, places, etc.
Level: Beginning

Credit: K12 Handhelds
License: CC BY

Notes/activity suggestions: This is a good resource for ESL students who might benefit from an introductin to terms before reading the text or participating in other class activities.
Tags: grade6, social studies, history, ancient civilizations, China,


Resource 5: Ancient China timeline - Movie version (Give time to load, then click to advance to each section) and PDF version (includes links to articles with more info)
Media type: interactive
Description: An illustrated timeline with facts and photos from each major time period in ancient Chinese history.
Level: Intermediate

Credit: Steve O'Connor
License: CC BY
Notes/activity suggestions:
grade6, social studies, history, ancient civilizations, China, Xia, Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han, Jin, Sui



Media type: text
Description: A massive collection of links to largely public domain translations and books on East Asian history and religion.

Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Credit: Paul Halsall

License: Custom
Notes/activity suggestions:
Tags: grade6, social studies, history, ancient civilizations, China,


Thinkfinity Resources

Following the Great Wall of China: investigates the building of the Great Wall of China during the Ming Dynasty



Last modified at 7/20/2011 9:51 AM  by SEAFORD\jwwhite