Activity Overview

Researching real people helps students to gain a more concrete understanding of the culture, lives, and diverse perspectives of people who lived in ancient times. It helps them go beyond simply memorizing dates and names to acquire a more substantial, empathetic, and realistic view of the period.

Teachers can assign students a specific person or they may give students a choice. Teachers may wish to provide resources such as books or the online encyclopedia Britannica for students to read about their person.

Giving students a graphic organizer to fill in as they read is helpful to pick out the most important facts and details. After students conduct their research and fill out a note-taking sheet or graphic organizer, students can create a Biography Poster using a template from StoryboardThat with images and text that highlight the key events and accomplishments of their person.

These posters can be printed out, laminated, and hung around the room as a visual reminder of notable people from the time of ancient China. Students can also present their posters to their classmates, sharing their knowledge about their person, thus combining research, writing, and public speaking skills into one powerful assignment.

Find more biography poster templates to add to this assignment if desired!

Some examples of people to research:

  • Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi
  • Empress Wu Zetian
  • Emperor Gaozu of Han
  • Emperor Wu of Han
  • Emperor Taizong
  • Kublai Khan
  • Hongwu Emperor
  • Kangxi Emperor
  • Genghis Khan
  • Marco Polo
  • Confucius
  • Laozi
  • Buddha

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Research a person from ancient China. Create a poster that includes important details and engaging imagery.

Student Instructions:

  1. Choose a famous person.
  2. Using school resources, conduct research on a famous person and take notes using a graphic organizer.
  3. On the poster, include your person’s name and dates of birth, death, and major accomplishments in sequence.
  4. Add appropriate scenes, characters and items to illustrate the poster. To find images related to ancient China, type “China” into the search bar.

Requirements: Person’s image, name, dates of birth/death, major accomplishments

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/7/2] Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/7/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/7/7] Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Biography Poster Rubric
Create a biography poster that highlights the important facts about a famous or historic person, character or god.
Proficient Emerging Needs Improvement
The description includes at least five important facts about the famous or historic figure.
The description includes less than five important facts or it includes information that is not pertinent to the famous or historic figure.
The description is incomplete and does not contain important information about the famous or historic figure.
Artistic Depictions
The art chosen to depict the scenes, characters and items that are appropriate to the famous or historic figure. They enhance the poster by symbolizing or illustrating important facts about the figure. Time and care is taken to ensure that the scenes are neat, eye-catching, and creative.
The art chosen to depict the scenes, characters and items are mostly accurate, but there may be some liberties taken that distract from the assignment. Scene constructions are neat, and meet basic expectations.
The art chosen to depict the scenes, characters and items is too limited or incomplete.
English Conventions
Ideas are organized. There are few or no grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Ideas are mostly organized. There are some grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Storyboard text is difficult to understand.

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