Contributor: Suzanne Riordan. Lesson ID: 13820

Do you want to learn about one of the oldest civilizations and cultures in history? Would you like to see giant pandas, amazing ice sculptures, and a palace with 8000 rooms? Come take a tour of China!


History, World

learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

China has one of the largest man-made structures on Earth.

It was built by thousands of people and took over 1,000 years to build.

  • Can you guess what it is?

Image - Video

China is known for its long history that stretches back to the earliest days of civilization.

It's a diverse land of huge, colorful cities and vast, untamed wildernesses. The climate of China is very diverse as well, with almost arctic temperatures in the north but a tropical climate in the south.

Chinese people are known for their friendliness, good manners, and love of family.

Chinese family


  • Can you find China on a world map or globe?

If you have one nearby, look for it.

China is a large country in East Asia (about the same size as the U.S.). It lies west of the Pacific Ocean.

On the map below, China is highlighted in red:

map of China

People and Culture

Though it's not the largest country in terms of land area, China is the most populated country in the world, with 1.4 billion people.

Hong Kong, China

  • What are Chinese people like?

Some important aspects of Chinese culture are respect for elders, friendliness, politeness, and good manners.

Watch a portion of Dos and Don'ts of Chinese Etiquette: Things You Should NEVER Do According to Chinese Tradition! from Five Thousand Years:

Image - Video


Most of China is made of mountains and hills, especially in the west.

Huangshan Mountains

The Gobi Desert lies in the north.

Gobi Desert

Most of the population lives on the eastern side of the country, where large cities have developed.


As you watch Geography of China, from Peppy Lists, take notes on the features of the different regions and the two major rivers:

Image - Video


China is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, with its history dating back to 2000 B.C.

Early in Chinese history, powerful families ruled for a long time. These ruling families were called dynasties.

In 221 B.C., a man named Qin united the different regions of China and became its first emperor. China takes its name from him.

Qin is also known for his huge underground tomb complex and the "soldiers" he wanted to take with him into the afterlife. (You'll get a look at these later!)

Also around that time, China began trading with Middle Eastern and, later, European countries. They established a network of trade routes called the Silk Road that stretched across China toward the West.

They traded silk, precious stones, tea, spices, and porcelain with the rest of the world. This also allowed ideas, culture, and political philosophies to be shared among the people.

Silk Road route

Image by Kelvin Case, via Wikimedia Commons, is licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

In the following years, Chinese emperors allowed more citizens to participate in the government. If a Chinese man could pass a civil service test, he could become an official in the government.

Dynasties continued to rule China until 1912, when the Republic of China was created.

In 1927, civil war broke out in China between the Nationalists and the Communists. The war was interrupted by World War II but was continued afterward.

The Communists won, and China has been ruled by the Communist Party ever since. The people's private property and right to rule themselves was taken away. There have been a few attempts to restore democracy to China, but so far they've not been successful.

Famous Places

Let's take a look at some special places to visit in China:

Image - Video

  • Which site is your favorite?

Now that you've explored China, move on to the Got It? section to review what you've learned!

Image - Button Next