Lesson Plan

Following the Great Wall of China

Sightseers walking on a section of the Great Wall of China
Photo caption

Sightseers walking on a section of the Great Wall of China.

The famous Great Wall of China, which was built to keep the China’s horse-riding neighbors at bay, extends more than 2,000 kilometers across China, from Heilongjiang province by Korea to China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang. The wall that is so well known today is predominantly a product of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), though the building of fortified walls to protect territory along the northern frontier stretching from Manchuria to Central Asia is a practice whose roots go back to the Qin dynasty of the 3rd century BCE. This lesson will investigate the building of the Great Wall during the Ming Dynasty, and will utilize the story of the wall as a tool for introducing students to one period in the rich history of China.

Guiding Questions

What does the history of the Great Wall tell us about Chinese history and culture?

What can we learn about China and its neighbors from studying the Great Wall?

Learning Objectives

Analyze maps to learn the path of the Great Wall of China. 

Examine the motives for constructing the Great Wall of China. 

Evaluate the accomplishments and contributions of the Ming Dynasty to China and the world.