Your Task

China is a complex country with a long history. What makes understanding China even more challenging is that you have to look carefully at the details, because it has changed so much over time. Your task is to look in this careful way at several aspects of China. You will need to create a Word document, save it in your user folder, naming it China's Treasures and research the web sites below to find the answers to the following questions:

Activity 1 - China's Long History

Review the timeline of Chinese history.

  1. What are generally considered the three main periods of Chinese history? Name and describe one event from each period.
  2. What was the Silk Road? Who traveled on this road and what was the route used for?
  3. Who was Mao Zedong? Why is he regarded as such a contorversial figure in China and abroad?
  4. What was the "Cultural Revolution", and what effects did it have on the people of China?

Activity 2 -The New Economy & The Environment:

Read the article on China's Growing Pains.

  1. How would you describe the central theme of the article?
  2. How does China produce most of its electrical power?
  3. What are two growing environmental problems in China resulting from the booming economy? Provide one supporting detail from the article for each problem.

Activity 3 -The Great Wall

Go on a tour of The Great Wall of China. Explore the Wall at various points. Look at the Wall info at Wikipedia.

  1. Why was the Great Wall built? How long did it take to build?
  2. Descirbe how the construction of the wall changed over time.
  3. How long is the wall?

Activity 4 -The Forbidden City

  1. Enter The Forbidden City or review it by clicking here.
  2. How long was the Forbidden City used as the imperial palace?
  3. Who has lived in the Forbidden City and what has changed this over the centuries?
  4. In the first courtyard of the forbidden city there are five bridges that cross the "Inner Golden River". Each of these bridges is said to represent five different Confucian virtues. What are these five virtues?

Activity 5 - The World of Beauty

Review the website on the Yellow Mountains.

  1. After looking carefully at the Yellow Mountains, come to a decision as to whether you think these are probably "young" or "old" mountains. State the reasons for your decision.
  2. Now take a look at a painting by Chou Ying of the Ming Dynasty.What aspects of the beauty you saw in the Yellow Mountains did Chou Ying choose to capture in his painting?
  3. Review these paintings. What do they suggest to you about the relationship of people and the environment in China?

Activity 6 - Words of Chinese Wisdom

Review the website on the The Chinese Zodiac.

  1. Look up the birth years of three people you know very well. List their name and years.
  2. How do the predictions of their personality from the Chinese zodiac match with your understanding of them?
  3. Skim through a neat selection of Chinese Proverbs that share truths and insights about life.
  4. Select the one that you like the best and make up a modern American version that means the same thing.