National Curriculum Subject Area/s: History, Geography, MFL, potential for cross-curricular work
Length of session: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Max group size: 32 pupils


  • Knowledge and understanding of using archaeological evidence to learn about the past.
  • Knowledge and understanding about trade links with China.
  • Understanding more about the different kinds of materials and technologies used by craftsmen.
  • Awareness of similarities and differences between life in Ancient China and today.
  • Learning about different writing systems.
  • Improved speaking and listening skills.


This session explores Chinese history, culture, art and language starting with the Shang dynasty and moving on to explore the changes over time.

Activity 1: Evidence from objects and early writing. Using objects from the Shang dynasty children will learn more about life alonside the Yellow River. Pupils will look at oracle bones and discover how some aspects of Chinese writing have remained unchanged in nearly 3,000 years.

Activity 2: Looking closer. Using the Coromandel screen as their focus children will discover how Chinese objects were traded across the world and learn a Chinese song.

Activity 3: Evidence from objects. Pupils will handle original artefacts to discover more about the materials used and objects made in China.They will search the galleries for objects made from a variety of these materials.

Activity 4: Modern writing, the zodiac and festivals. Pupils will have a go at writing Chinese Characters and make a ‘Good Luck’ envelope to take home.

Social Guide