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Activity Overview

In this activity students will break down what they have learned about ancient China in a G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart. There are many different acronyms that can be helpful when analyzing ancient civilizations and this one is widely used. However, teachers may use whatever they prefer and can simply change the titles in the template.

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.


G: Geography

  1. Where was ancient China located?
  2. What physical features did it have?
  3. What was the climate like?
  4. What natural resources were present?
  5. How does the location or environment affect the development of ancient Chinese civilization? (How does where they live affect how they live?)

R: Religion

  1. What type of religion did ancient Chinese practice?
  2. Who were the religious leaders?
  3. Who were their god(s)/goddess(es)?
  4. How did people worship?
  5. Were there any unique burial practices or beliefs about the afterlife?

A: Achievements

What were some key inventions or contributions of ancient China in the areas of:

  1. Art
  2. Architecture
  3. Writing
  4. Irrigation
  5. Inventions

P: Politics

  1. What type of government did ancient China have?
  2. Who were the leaders?
  3. How were decisions made?
  4. What role did people play in the government?
  5. What was the structure of the government?

E: Economics

  1. What were ancient China’s natural resources? What did they make and grow?
  2. With whom did ancient China trade? What were their imports and exports?
  3. What jobs were available?
  4. What type of currency exists?

S: Society

  1. What were the social classes of ancient China?
  2. What were the roles of men, women and children?
  3. What groups had rights and what rights did they have?
  4. What groups didn’t have rights?
  5. What were people’s daily lives like?

Please note: Further activities utilize spider maps to expand on each category.

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 chart that describes the different aspects of ancient China: Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economy, and Social Structure.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Write a 1-3 sentence description of each cell.
  3. Create an illustration that represents each category 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 4-6 cells showcasing different aspects of ancient China. Appropriate scenes to illustrate each category. 1-3 sentence description for each cell demonstrating your understanding.

Lesson Plan Reference

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

G.R.A.P.E.S. Rubric
Create a storyboard that highlights the following: geography, religion, achievements, politics, economy, and social structures.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Text and images include a clear explanation of the 6 important categories: geography, religion, achievements, politics, economy, and social structure.
Text and images include an explanation of important facts, but the explanation may lack clarity or there may be some inaccuracies.
Text and images do not explain important facts. Information is mostly missing or inaccurate.
Storyboard Images and Effort
Student clearly shows effort to convey the facts through appropriate scenes, characters, items, symbols or infographics. Illustrations clearly show that time, care and effort have been put in.
Student attempts to convey facts through use of graphics, but the depiction may be confusing, disordered, or lack some detail.
Student does not clearly convey facts and the depictions are inaccurate or inappropriate.
Spelling and Grammar
Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.
Student makes one or two minor errors in spelling and grammar.
Student makes multiple errors in spelling and grammar.

How to Incorporate the Ancient China G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart into Your Curriculum


Assist Students by Finding Viable Sources

Students could be easily overwhelmed by the vast amount of information about Ancient China. Assist them in the process of creating a G.R.A.P.E.S. chart by finding a specific set of sources you would like your students to use. These can include primary sources, literature, videos, etc.


Model Sentence Writing to Include in Each Cell

When creating a G.R.A.P.E.S. chart to explore the geography, religions, achievements, politics, economy, and social structure of Ancient China, students should write 1-3 sentences in the box for each category. Students will need scaffolding and direction with this part of the assignment.


Encourage Related Illustrations

Students will benefit from adding illustrations to their G.R.A.P.E.S. chart, as the addition of a picture helps them to cement the learning in their minds. Help them to find an appropriate picture for each section.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ancient China G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart

Where should students get their information to use on the G.R.A.P.E.S. chart?

Teachers can assist students by supplying a wide variety of primary and secondary sources to complete the chart. Textbooks, encyclopedias, songs, literature, and videos can all help students to find the information they need. Because there is so much information, students would benefit if teachers help them sift through it.

Why is the creation of a G.R.A.P.E.S. chart helpful to learning?

Students need a way to organize information, as there is simply so much to learn about Ancient China. The G.R.A.P.E.S. chart method is a great way for students to look for the important elements of the civilization, and to keep the information they find organized in a unified way.

Is there any collaborative element when creating a G.R.A.P.E.S. chart?

Collaboration is a key to student success, and students can collaborate in real time on their G.R.A.P.E.S. chart in order to share ideas and build their knowledge. This collaboration aids students in creative thinking and problem-solving.

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