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Ancient China GRAPES Chart

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Ancient China GRAPES Chart
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Ancient China Activities

Ancient China

By Liane Hicks

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 China

Storyboard Description

This G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart is for Ancient China. It stands for: G: Geography; R: Religion; A: Achievements; P: Politics; E: Economy; S: Social Structure. An extension would be to do a separate chart for each category to expand on the information.

Storyboard Text

  • G
  • R
  • A
  • P
  • E
  • S
  • China is a large country located in eastern Asia divided into to main regions: Outer China to the west and Inner China to the east. Outer China has the Himalayan Mountains, Tibetan Plateau and Northwestern deserts. Inner China has two main rivers: Huang He (Yellow) in the North China Plain and Chang Jiang (Yangtze) in the south in the Chang Jiang Basins. The rivers provide water for people, farming, and transport.
  • Three major religions or philosophies of ancient China (called the three pillars or the three ways) were: Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.These religions were philosophies that influenced the way people lived, the social hierarchy, as well as government, science, and the arts.
  • Ancient China made advances in agriculture, irrigation, painting, pottery, architecture, music, writing: calligraphy and poetry, philosophy, astronomy, math, engineering. They invented gunpowder, paper, silk, the compass, porcelain, kites, printmaking. Excelled in metalwork in bronze. Created massive networks of roads and canals leading to the Silk Road and defense systems such as the Great Wall of China.
  • In ancient China, rulers would pass down their power to a member of the family, usually the oldest son. These families would then rule for many years creating a time period called a dynasty. Whenever a new family took power, a new dynasty would begin. The Chinese believed that their emperors were given the right to rule by the Mandate of Heaven.
  • Ancient China's economy was based on farming the land surrounding the Huang He and Chang Jiang rivers growing crops such as wheat, millet, rice, fruits, vegetables and livestock. Artisans and craftspeople worked with pottery, porcelain, metals like bronze and later iron. They made paper and silk, which were then sold by merchants and traders. China also created a form of standardized currency, the Ban Liang.
  • China had a strict social hierarchy with the emperor and his family at the top followed by government officials and nobles who were wealthy landowners and scholars. The Peasant class was made up of farmers, artisans and craftspeople as well as merchants and traders. At the very bottom of the social hierarchy were enslaved people who were usually laborers, builders or servants and had no rights.
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