Allow your students to delve into the vibrant culture of ancient China with this handy Ancient China research worksheet.

Whether you’re learning about China as part of your curriculum or wish to simply test their independent research skills, this is a fun little activity that will provide plenty of inspiration and curiosity for primary school students.

If you’re a teacher, you can certainly use this research task as part of a pre-planned lesson (whether live-streamed or pre-recorded). Alternatively, use the worksheet as an independent task, having all students come together later on to discuss their findings.

Parents can also use this worksheet to keep children busy independently for a while. You may wish to prepare some resources they can use to do their research, such as website links and videos (we’ve suggested some below), or using the ones provided from their teacher (if relevant).

Afterwards, be sure to discuss their findings with them using the questions/thought prompts we’ve provided below. Ask them to make a note of anything they do not understand so that you can provide more information on it later.

Download

‘Discover Ancient China’ Worksheet

Key Questions

  1. What was the main function of the Forbidden City’s inner court?
  2. What was the original purpose of the Great Wall?
  3. How was the army of Terracotta Warriors built?

Activity 1

Activity 1 on the worksheet is about the Forbidden City. Start by sharing a short video with students all about the Forbidden City that they can watch independently, or even teach a lesson on it via Zoom or another video communication platform.

Alternatively you may wish to pre-record a lesson on this before setting the worksheet as an independent task. Of course if students are already familiar with this topic. they can get started on this independent task straight away.

If completing this activity from home, students can access various educational videos on the Forbidden City via YouTube. Of course some teachers may be able to share paid video content via their school’s intranet or internal learning platform.

Watch:

The Forbidden City – Khan Academy

Rise of the Forbidden City – Penn Museum

Secrets of the Forbidden City – NOVA (paid platform)

Additional Questions

Further their understanding by asking them additional questions such as:

  • When can one visit the Forbidden City?
  • How large is the Forbidden City (in sq km)?
  • What was the Forbidden City initially used for?
  • What else might one find in the Forbidden City today?

Activity 2

The Great Wall of China is the world’s longest wall and structure ever built by
humans, at over 6,000km in length – stretching further than 50,000 football pitches
laid end to end. Activity 2 on the worksheet asks students to research the original purpose of the Great Wall.

Like before, start by providing some initial resources and information about the Great Wall (or dedicate a full lesson to it and students can work through the task together).

Below are some video links to get students started. Be sure to inspire them with further questions like the ones outlined below.

Watch:

Great Wall of China for Kids – Homeschool Pop

The History of the Great Wall of China for Kids – FreeSchool

Great Wall of China Facts & Information – KidsKonnect

China’s Great Wall Filmed by Drone – BBC News

Additional questions

  • What materials was the Great Wall made out of?
  • What are some other names for the Great Wall?
  • How long did the Great Wall take to build?
  • How many people helped to build it?

Activity 3

Activity 3 introduces children to the Terracotta Warriors – the giant army that Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi built to keep him safe after he died.

Watch:

The Terracotta Warriors – National Geographic

Terracotta Army: The Greatest Archaeological Find of the 20th Century – BBC News

Terracotta Warriors from the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor – Khana Academy

The Incredible History of China’s Terracotta Warriors – EdTed

Additional questions

  • When were the Terracotta Warriors discovered?
  • Who discovered them?
  • Can you think of any other religions/spiritual practices that involve being protected after you die?