While there are common themes found throughout Chinese history, each dynasty has left its mark on China. Even today, the Chinese refer to historical events not by their date but by the dynasty in which they took place.
In this activity, students pretend that they are a time traveling tourist. They will explore The Story of China timeline and dynasty maps, and then create their own itinerary that brings them across the centuries. As a culminating activity, students play the Know Your Dynasties interactive game in groups. The team with the best score wins!
Suggested Time: 2-4 hours
After completing this lesson, students will be able to identify and describe the dynasties and significant events and figures in China’s history.
- The Story of China Timeline
- The Story of China Maps
- The Story of China, Know Your Dynasty Interactive Game
Engage - What Do You Know?
- Provide students 10-15 minutes to review the major events and photos found on The Story of China timeline. Tell them not to spend too much time on any one topic.
- Based upon their initial research and any background knowledge, have students share their initial thoughts on specific topics and Chinese history as a whole. You can do this digitally (Google Docs, Google Forms, Padlet, etc.), in small groups, or as a class.
Explore - Learn More!
- In this next part, students take on the role of a time traveling tourist! Students should take the Know Your Dynasties interactive game for an overview of all of the dynasties. Then they should select at least three people, places, and time periods that they would like to visit.
- Using The Story of China Timeline and Maps, research your selections. Use the following prompts as a guide for the research:
- Which dynasties and time periods did you select?
- Describe the events that you selected. Where did they take place?
- Describe the people who you selected. Where did they live?
- What about these events or people intrigue you?
- What would you see if you visited at this time?
Culminating Activity Apply - Build Your Itinerary!
- Using your research from the previous section, create a narrative of your trip. For each stop in the journey, describe what a day would look like - the sites and the people. Students can write it as a travel diary in a first person perspective or as a travel guide for other visitors.
- The final products can be physical or digital. Project ideas include:
- A blog with images (Blogger, Wordpress, etc.)
- A Google Map or Google Tour Builder
- A timeline
- A presentation (PowerPoint, Google Slides, PowerPoint, etc.)
- Have students share the finished products with each other to provide constructive feedback.
- After students have reviewed each other’s completed projects, they can play the Know Your Dynasties interactive game individually or in small groups. Have a competition for the best score in the class.
- Assign students themes to guide their travels through time (leaders, trade, the arts, inventions, etc.)
- Have student or student groups each focus on a different dynasty