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China's Dynasties

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Scott Craig
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China's Dynasties

China’s Dynasties Research Project


  1. Rationale:

China’s Dynasties Research Project would fit into the AP World History course in the section where we talk about building empires. This project will help students understand the various factors that contribute to the rise and fall of empires. Students will have studied the attributes of society and empires. They will have learned about research skills such as finding information, analyzing sources, contextualization, and corroboration.

  1. Skill and content objectives:

AP World History Key Concept 2.2:

As the early states and empires grew in number, size, and population, they frequently competed for resources and came into conflict with one another.


  1. Detailed lesson plan: (Note this lesson will take 5 days)


After conducting extensive research, students will be able to explain how and why empires are created, types of government that allow them to keep power, and conditions the lead to the decline and fall of the empire.


  1. Research – students will conduct research into their assigned dynasty in preparation for a class presentation.
  2. Presentation – students will prepare and deliver a presentation on their dynasty to the entire class using Google Slides.
  3. Listening & Note-taking – while other groups are presenting their information, students will be taking notes on their presentation using a graphic organizer.


  • Research guiding questions worksheet
  • Computers/Chromebook with internet access
    • Research activities
    • Google Slides
  • Projector connected to computer for presentations
  • China’s Dynasties Graphic Organizer


Day 1

  1. Discussion questions to start the unit:
    1. “Why do empires exist?”
    2. “What does it take to build an empire?”
  2. Show the video overviewing China’s Dynasties:
  3. Explain Research Project & Presentation:
    1. Give students research sheets.
    2. Assign groups – Dynasty to research
    3. Google Slides

Day 2-3

  • Students work with their group to research information and put together their presentation

Day 4

  1. Student Presentations:
    1. Pass out China’s Dynasties Graphic Organizer
    2. Students present / complete the Graphic Organizer

Day 5

  1. Essay (assessment)
    1. Students will write an essay: “What can we learn from the rise & fall of China’s dynasties?”
  1. Plan for assessing student achievement:
    1. Student essay will be the assessment.




China’s Dynasties Research Project


  1. You and your group will be conducting research on one of China’s Dynasties. You are to focus your research on the following questions:
    1. During which years was the dynasty in power?
    2. What conditions existed that allowed the dynasty to come to power?
    3. What methods did they use to gain power?
    4. Who were the leaders/rulers of the dynasty?
    5. What type of government did they establish?
    6. What were some of their laws?
    7. What were their taxes?
    8. What did they accomplish?
    9. How did they lose power? What led to their downfall?
  2. You will then put together a presentation on Google Slides of the information you learned.
    1. Include all key information
    2. Each slide should have an image illustrating the information
    3. Your final slide (slides) should be a bibliography of sources where you found your information.




China’s Dynasties



Gain Power

Keep Power

Lose Power






Western Zhou





Easter Zhou





Qin (Ch’in)















Tang (T’ang)




















Qing (Ch’in)