Starting a unit or lesson with the key vocabulary that students will see in their readings or presentations aids in overall comprehension and retention. Being familiar with the vocabulary also increases students' understanding of Chinese culture, history, and geography as they learn more about it in the unit of study. In this activity, students will create a storyboard that defines and illustrates key vocabulary related to the study of Ancient China.
Students will preview the terms and definitions and use whole class or small group discussion to demonstrate their understanding of each meaning. Then, they will create a spider map of 3-5 terms at the teacher's discretion. Each cell will contain a term, its definition, and an illustration that depicts the meaning. When students define and illustrate each term, they master the application of it and retain it as part of their lexicon. As an extension to this activity, teachers can have students create their own Ancient China word search, crossword puzzle, or even Ancient China interactive games! Teachers can create Ancient China vocabulary worksheets by copying one of our several worksheet templates.
bamboo: tall hollow stemmed grass that the Chinese used to make paper, buildings, furniture and musical instruments
silt: fine particles of rock
tributary: a stream that feeds into a larger river
maize: a type of corn
mutton: meat from sheep
millet: a type of grain
cocoon protective covering made by silkworms before they transform into moths the fibers of which are used to make silk
ancestor worship: honoring ancestors through rituals, such as offering food and wine to the dead
logograph: a written character that represents a word
economy: system of managing the wealth of a country or region
Mandate of Heaven: a power or law believed to be granted by a god
feudalism: a system of government based on landowners and tenants
Confucianism: based on the teachings of Kongfuxi (Confucius) a philosophy whose goal was to create a more just and peaceful society. Confucianism deeply influenced Chinese government and culture.
civil servant: a person who works for a government
yin: one half of the Taoist concept of opposing forces of nature; the opposite of yang
yang: one half of the Taoist concept of opposing forces of nature; the opposite of yin
Taoism or Daoism: philosophy founded by Laozi (Lao-tzu). The word Tao meaning "the Way", Taoism taught that people gained happiness and peace by living in harmony with nature
Legalism: founded by Hanfeizi (Han-fei-tzu), legalism was a philosophy that taught that people are naturally selfish and therefore need strict laws, rewards for good behavior and punishments for bad behavior to create a peaceful society
Buddhism: One of the three major religions in China, Buddhism originated in India, founded by Siddartha Gautama (Buddha) in northeastern India in the 5th century BC.
dynasty: When the rule of a country is passed down to family members over a long period of time
standardize: make the same
immortal: able to live forever
bureaucracy: a form of government that is structured like a pyramid, with a few people at the top and many at the bottom
calligraphy: the art of fine handwriting
anesthetic: something that takes away the feeling of pain
seismograph: an instrument for detecting earthquakes
compass: an instrument for determining direction
lodestone: a type of iron ore that tends to align itself in a north-south direction because of Earth's magnetism
Forbidden City: giant palace built in the center of Beijing city by the Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty
The Great Wall: 5,500 mile long wall built along the northern border of China to keep out invaders like the Mongols to the north
Gunpowder: an invention by the Ancient Chinese that was used in fireworks and weapons.
Silk Road: a trade route that ran from China to Europe and named after the Chinese export of silk.
The Three Perfections: the three most important art forms of Ancient China: painting, poetry and calligraphy
filial piety: a cornerstone of the Ancient Chinese philosophies and religions of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, filial piety means the virtue of respect for one's parents, elders, and ancestors.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: To learn the meanings of words relating to our lesson you will preview the vocabulary and create a storyboard that demonstrates your understanding of different words.
Requirements: Must have 3 terms, correct definitions and appropriate illustrations for each that demonstrate your understanding of the words.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
The vocabulary words are correctly defined.
The meaning of the vocabulary words can be understood but it is somewhat unclear.
The vocabulary word is not clearly defined
The storyboard illustrations clearly depict the meaning of the vocabulary words.
The illustrations relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words but it they are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.