Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Cultural Effects of The Great Wall of China for the Chinese

Kathy Easom
Bay District Schools


Upon viewing a power point presentation or a video on China, and reading the lesson in the textbook, the students will show their understanding of how the Great Wall influenced Chinese culture by writing a 3 paragraph essay. Each paragraph will relate to the following aspects: trading, traveling and interaction with other countries and will show how these aspects of the Chinese culture were influenced by the Great Wall. Correct information is essential and if they fail to recall enough for their writing, they may work in groups and refer to the textbook and notes from discussion. A rubric will be discussed prior to instruction, so the student will know how to construct their writing and what they should include.


The student knows ways geographical factors have influenced selected cultures (for example, the Great Wall of China, major rivers systems in the Eastern hemisphere).


-Textbook - World Past and Present, Columbus: MacMillian/McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1995, Chap. 19, pgs. 488-520.
- Power point disk created by teacher or video from district media center
- Visuals gathered from China Trip or obtained through internet search sites listed


1. Read chapter on China in ”World Past and Present” orally -( 6th grade text book) or similar content to discuss material on the Great Wall, how it was built and the impact it had on their culture.

2. Gather materials- the textbook or similar content, teacher-developed power point or video on China from the district media center or internet site information
3. Run off rubrics – one per student.
4. Have equipment necessary for power point presentation or video viewing


1. To gain students' attention, show a power point presentation of China, showcasing the Great Wall section. A video listed in the materials section or information from the internet sites listed would suffice for general use. The “Walk the Wall” site is excellent for helping students feel like they are actually there! Explain how the workers constructed the wall by hand according to the lay of the land, rather than landscaping as we would today to make the steps uniform. Even today, China is still very dependent on manual labor because it's so economical. Manpower is one of their greatest natural resources.

2. Activate prior knowledge by directing them to the portions in their textbook that have discussed the Great Wall, how it was built and the impact it had on their culture.

3. Point out to students directly that the Great Wall affected three areas that we will focus on: trade, traveling and interaction with other countries. Trade and security were a big factor as discussed in the internet site # 3 under materials. It encouraged traveling and provided security to do so as mentioned in internet site # 1 under materials. They initially tried to limit interaction with other countries and stay private by building the wall. We will discuss these areas thoroughly.

4. Tell students that they will be writing a 3 paragraph essay describing in detail how the three areas of their culture were affected by the Great Wall. They need to pay attention and look for details in the lesson to provide content for their paragraphs.

5. Show them pictures of how the Great Wall was constructed and share conversations that I had with the Chinese teachers about the Wall and its impact on their lives. Background information for this type of discussion could be obtained from the internet sites listed under materials. Discuss the text read previously and target specifically on trading, traveling and interaction with other countries.

6. To engage the students, they will be encouraged to listen carefully and take notes on interesting facts brought up during discussion to use in their paragraphs. Question and answer time will be given to clarify facts brought out.

7. From their notes, they should make a list of facts to be used for their paragraphs. Give out the rubrics (see attached file) at this point and they should check to make sure they've included all information asked for. Each paragraph must include correlation to impact on Chinese culture. Peer assessment will be used for feedback. They will exchange papers in their group and critique each other.

8. Assessment will be a 3 paragraph essay addressing the influence the Great Wall had on trading, traveling and interaction with other countries during ancient times, with one topic discussed per paragraph.

9. Feedback will be a rubric (see attached file) showing specific points given for each aspect addressed. This will have been previously practiced and discussed thoroughly.


Students will write three respective paragraphs describing how the Great Wall affected (1) trading, (2) traveling, (3) interaction with other countries during ancient times, with one topic discussed per paragraph. A rubric (see attached file) will reflect the assessment and be returned to them for review. If the students fail to recall information to support their writing, the teacher will remind them of prior discussion, allow them to work in cooperative groups and allow them to refer to previously read excerpts in the textbook.
A 3 paragraph essay. The 3 designated topics must be addressed and must state directly how the Wall influenced Chinese culture. A rubric will be presented to explain the criteria for each specification prior to writing.

Web Links

The Beijing Guide greatwall.html
The Great Wall - A Virtual Tour

Attached Files

China Rubric     File Extension: pdf

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