Ancient China is called one of the world's cradles of civilization. China has the longest continuous history in the world with over 3,500 years of written history! This teacher guide utilizes the popular G.R.A.P.E.S. acronym for teaching about ancient civilizations and focuses on the geography, religion, achievements, politics, economy, and social structure of ancient China.
Ancient Civilizations are typically taught focusing on the key areas of: Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economy and Social Structure using the acronym G.R.A.P.E.S. By utilizing this acronym, students can compartmentalize their findings and compare and contrast different civilizations.
What were some of the achievements of Ancient China? Use a G.R.A.P.E.S. graphic organizer to discuss Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economy, and Social Life.
THE THREE PERFECTIONS
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
GREAT WALL OF CHINA
The ancient Chinese developed one of the world's first writing systems using logographs or Chinese characters to represent words. The three perfections were calligraphy, poetry, and painting. Art and writing were very important in ancient China and required years of practice.
Craftspeople and engineers in Ancient China created beautiful works of art out of stone, pottery, porcelain, and jade. They also worked with bronze and later iron. They built beautiful wood framed-homes with ceramic tiled roofs as well as massive temples and palaces.
Ancient China is credited with developing paper, silk, umbrellas, abacus, wheelbarrow, kites, porcelain and lacquer. Silk was used for clothing and traded with other countries for thousands of years. Porcelain, a fine form of pottery, was also widely traded. They developed a compass made from lodestone and medical care using herbs and acupuncture.
MILITARY AND WEAPONS
The Great Wall is a 5,500 mile long wall built in stages throughout China's history to protect it from invaders. Construction began in the 7th Century BCE by the Chu State and lasted until 1878 in the Qing Dynasty. Most of what is remaining today was built during the Ming Dynasty about 600 years ago.
CURRENCY AND TRADE
ACHIEVEMENTS OF ANCIENT CHINA
AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION
Ancient China made strides in military tactics, engineering and weaponry creating spears, daggers, swords of bronze and later iron, chariots and the first use of gunpowder in fireworks and weapons.
The Ban Liang coin was the first standardized unit of currency in Ancient China, established under China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi. The Silk Road allowed for the exchange of goods, cultures, religions, and ideas. Paper money was developed during the Tang dynasty.
The land surrounding the Huang He and Chang Jiang were rich for farming and the Ancient Chinese made great strides in agriculture and irrigation. They built hydraulic engineering systems of canals, levees and dams. The Grand Canal in China is the longest canal in the world at 1,100 miles long.