China - History

Guiding Questions

1. What is the significance of the Mandate of Heaven and how has it influenced the evolution of Chinese history?

2. What is the significance of Beijing's past versus it as a modern city?

3. Post a video of you or your students signing the dynasty song!

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  • The Mandate of Heaven significance is that it gave reason to why certain Dynasties fell leading to the leading power they have in China today. It reinforces a vision of moral behavior that aligns with Confucianism. It is fascinating to hear how the Qin Dynasty was brutal and how it's successor the Han using the Mandate of Heaven looked more legitimate because they ruled with less brutality and more aligned with Confucius principles. This then lead to the foundation of modern day society and government.

    Beijing is a modern day city that is full of highways and high-rises, subway and suburbs, but hidden throughout the city are pockets that lead to the past where it was once the center of China's spiritual universe. For many years this was forgotten until the past and present collided when money was put into the city and parks, temples and shrines to the past were reborn enticing people to look into their past to build their future.

    That Dynasty Song is a hoot. I love the youtube video with the bouncing head. Goodness!
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2,000 Years of Chinese History

How to Memorize China's Major Dynasties

Communists, Nationalists, and China's Revolutions

Mao Tse Tung: China's Peasant Emperor

Told through the accounts of those who have met and studied him, loved and loathed him--includes archive film and pictures going back to the very earliest days of Mao's life as well as unique film of China at the turn of the century.

New Discoveries in Chinese Archaeology

Full teacher resource guide to accompany found here.

What makes the Great Wall of China so extraordinary

Full TED-ed lesson plan found here

For a great chemistry lesson on rammed earth (for grades 9-12), check out 2014 Global Learning Fellow, Josh Underwood's free downloadable plan here

Primary Texts

Cambridge Digital Library - The Cambridge Library's Chinese collections comprise about half a million individual titles, including monographs, reprinted materials such as manuscripts from Dunhuang, Huizhou, etc., archival documents and epigraphical rubbings, 200,000 Chinese e-books (donated by Premier Wan Jiabao in 2009), 5,000 Chinese e-serials and 3,500 Chinese microfilm reels.

The digital content displayed here show the temporal range, diversity of media and variety of subject-matter contained within the Chinese collections, from the oracle bones (the oldest documents in the Library), to unique manuscripts and printed books, historical documents and epigraphical rubbings. Many have interactive and video elements. 

Beijing 北京

Beijing by Lillian M. Li

Exploring Beijing's History - a brief overview of the ancient capital from "Exploring Chinese History"

Beijing and the earliest planning document in history - city series by The Guardian

Beijing Travel Guide Wikipedia

Xi'an 西安

About Xi'An Silk Road, UNESCO

Terracotta Warriors from the mausoleum of the first Qin emperor of China - a lesson about the Terracotta Warriors on Khan Academy

China's Ancient City, Where Islam Took Hold BBC Travel

Xi'an Travel Guide Wikitravel

China History Lesson Plans & Resources

China Since 1644 by Inc. Curriculum Specialists at Primary Source

Various resource and teaching guides on different periods of China's history from Stanford University's Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE)