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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.


In this activity, students will create a spider map that focuses on the geography of ancient China.

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 geography of ancient China.

Student Instructions:

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

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

Lesson Plan Reference


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

Present information after conducting research.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Examples of specific geographical locations are accurate, complete, well organized, and easy to understand.
Examples of specific geographical locations are somewhat accurate, complete, well organized, and easy to understand.
Examples are inaccurate, incomplete, disorganized, and difficult to understand.
Illustrations depict the written description with clear visuals of appropriate scenes, characters, items, etc.
Illustrations depict the written description but are unclear or incomplete.
Illustrations do not make sense with the written description.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is mostly accurate. Mistakes do not get in the way of understanding.
Spelling is inaccurate and hinders full understanding.
Text is difficult to understand.

How To Understand the Importance of Geography


Find Quality Sources for Your Students

Because there are so many sources and so many geographical features in China, finding quality sources for your students will save them a lot of trouble. They can then learn about the features with confidence.


Discuss the Pros and Cons of Living Near Geographical Features

Students can learn a lot about a country from studying the geography. For instance, it would be very difficult for people to live and grow food in the Himalayan Mountains, so that area is not very densely populated. But living along the Huang He River would be a life-giving place to live. Understanding the pros and cons helps students to see how and why people settle where they do.


Help Students Organize Information

Using a five cell spider map will help students learn about the major geographical formations. And specifically, it will assist them in finding and understanding these elements in China. Students may need help with titles, illustrations, or short descriptions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Geography of Ancient China

What type of geographical features were found in Ancient China?

Ancient China had a wide variety of geographical features. The Himalayan Mountains and Tibetan Plateau were very important. Additionally, the Huang He River was foundational to early civilizations and one of the most important rivers in the world.

How did the geographical features relate to early civilizations?

The geography has a direct affect on the civilizations and especially where people choose to live. Because the outside of the country was so harsh, for instance, many inhabitants moved to the inside of the country.

Are there any deserts in China?

Although much of China is extremely cold, which makes the presence of a desert region seem unlikely, the northwestern area of the country does boast desert sands.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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