China's Crouching Dragon

China's Crouching Dragon lesson plan

Delve into the history and culture of China! Research geography, inventions, or other aspects, then sculpt a symbolic display about this intriguing country.

  • 1.

    Although it is the world's third-largest country in land area, China has the world's greatest population, with about 1.3 billion people. That means one out of every five people on Earth lives in China. China is also one of the oldest civilizations, with a culture that has existed for more than 5000 years.

  • 2.

    Begin your study of this remarkable nation with research on China's geography (it is about the same size as the United States of America) to understand how its landscape and climates have influenced the country's history and development.

  • 3.

    Learn about inventions created in China including suspension bridges, canal locks, levy and dike systems, oil derricks, spinning wheels, and umbrellas. What Chinese innovations can you find in the areas of science, medicine, and technology?

  • 4.

    Visit a museum or Web site with a collection of ancient Chinese artifacts. Learn about the different dynasties and the artwork produced at those times. Explore the visual language of this rich culture found in carved and bronze casting work, calligraphy and scrollwork, architecture, and silk weaving.

  • 5.

    Seek knowledge about the religious beliefs practiced throughout China's history. In what ways do Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism affect it?

  • 6.

    Using white Crayola® Model Magic®, illustrate your research findings visually by creating a symbolic display that tells a few of the many stories of China. Mix Crayola Washable Markers into the Model Magic to create an array of colors.

  • 7.

    Combine your images in an aesthetically pleasing display on cardboard. Attach them with Crayola School Glue. Dry.


  • Students explore the many facets of China's history and culture, including geography, population, inventions, medicine, religion, and technology.
  • Students research information about the graphic arts in Chinese culture and history.
  • Students create a culminating 3-dimensional visual presentation symbolizing their findings about China.


  • Compare the China of early dynasties with the China of Mao, and with the China of today. What has changed and what remains the same? Discuss the China of the future.
  • Prepare a feast of authentic Chinese foods to serve at the opening of your exhibit on China.
  • Invite recent Chinese immigrants to talk about the changes they have witnessed in their lifetimes and to answer questions.
  • Each student chooses a different Chinese ethnic group to research. Findings reveal a more complete picture of the diversity found within China.
  • Older students find information about the percentages of ethnicities in the world's population.