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Activity Overview

Using a G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart to organize information about ancient Civilizations is a useful tool to enhance students' analysis of the characteristics and contributions of a society. Going further and including visuals helps students to better retain the details of each category.

When learning about ancient Civilizations, students may need teachers to provide a variety of resources. The use of diverse resources such as primary sources, videos, songs, readings from textbooks, encyclopedias and literature can be helpful for students to gain an accurate and complete picture of the time period. Students can use graphic organizers to write notes about the different categories as they learn.

Students Can Collaborate!

Teachers may wish for students to work together on this lesson which is possible with Storyboard That's Real Time Collaboration feature! With Real Time Collaboration, students can work on the same storyboard at the same time which is perfect for this lesson! As teachers know, collaborating on assignments allows students to think on a deeper level while increasing their communication and problem-solving skills. Collaboration can also help cut down on the time it takes to complete a storyboard. While there is no set limit to the number of users who can work on a storyboard at once, we recommend five users or fewer for optimal performance. All of our assignments default to individual. To make this lesson collaborative, teachers must enable collaboration for the assignment within the "Edit Assignment" tab.


Students will then create a Spider Map focusing on Economy or Jobs of ancient China using the template in StoryboardThat and creating illustrations and descriptions to demonstrate what they’ve learned.

By focusing on just one category, students are encouraged to include more information and should complete 3-6 cells. Students can come together after they’ve created their storyboards to share what they’ve learned. The full G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart can be used as a post assessment after students have presented.

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: Create a spider map focusing on the different characteristics of the Economy or Jobs of ancient China.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Write a title for each cell and a 1-3 sentence description.
  3. Create an illustration that represents each category using appropriate scenes, characters, and items. Type “China” to find images that relate to ancient China.
  4. Save and exit when you're done.

Requirements: Minimum of 3-6 cells showcasing different characteristics of the Economy of ancient China. Appropriate scenes to illustrate each cell. 1-3 sentence description for each cell demonstrating your understanding.

Lesson Plan Reference

How to Incorporate Economics in the Social Studies Classroom


Follow the Silk Road

Students can create poster replicas of the Silk Road or experience an interactive of traveling the road to help them understand its importance. Rather than just memorizing facts, this hands on learning will lead to more gains.


Take a Look at Currency

Help students find pictures of the ban liang currency created by the Ancient Chinese culture. Comparing it to China's money of today or your local currency would make learning more fun.


Look at Farming Techniques

Farming was extremely important to Ancient China. Creating a class garden would help students to understand the growing techniques first hand, which would also show why cities were started near rivers.


Study the Art

Students can learn a lot about the economy by studying the art and artifacts. Take a virtual art museum visit with them for some enjoyable hands on learning!

Frequently Asked Questions about Economy in Ancient China

Were merchants and traders important to society in Ancient China?

At the time, they were considered lower class, though merchants and traders were extremely important to Ancient China. The goods they traded along the Silk Road helped their society to run efficiently, and gave them more goods with which to live.

How did agriculture relate to the economy in Ancient China?

The economy of Ancient China was based on agriculture. and many cities were built up around the fertile Huang He and Chang Jiang Rivers, which were good for growing crops like wheat and rice.

What are the main contributions that artisans made to the economy of Ancient China?

Artisans made beautiful pottery and vessels in Ancient China, but their contributions of paper and silk to the economy truly set them apart and improved trade options.

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