History Resource: Ancient China

Ancient China is such an interesting historical study. And it’s becoming more open with more resources available for the general public – and us homeschoolers – to use in our studies.

China is one of the oldest civilizations on our planet, based on historical records. They have records dating back to the time of the Babylonians. But most of these have, until recently, been kept under wraps. Chinese cultural traditions and history cannot be measured by Western ideas, and that makes for a fascinating comparison.

The books:

I love using living books to study history. And the cultural traditions of Ancient (and current) China have some stories that are very different than what we’re used to. The story of Ancient China is alien to our euro-centric cultures. And so their stories will seem exotic and strange. At the same time, the familiarity of human emotions and choices will ring true.

Picture books:

Picture books offer an easy-access way for even young children to be able to study history. For Ancient China, here are a few of our favorites:

** A note about Red Butterfly: This is fantastic historical story. However, it does deal with the issue of child marriage. So this might be better for older children and pre-teens rather than your kindergartener. But it will spark a number of conversations about other cultural traditions and values!

Read-aloud or Chapter Books:

Ancient Chinese history provides a colourful source for many stories. It’s unfamiliar and exotic. And so the historical fiction set in this time period can be exciting. Try these read-alouds with your kids — or let them read them for themselves!

For non-fiction & informative reading:

As I’ve said before, my favorite series are the DK Eyewitness, and the “You Wouldn’t Want to be… ” series. Ancient China resources are not as popular as some Ancient civilization resources. But there is a growing list of books. Here are some of the resources we’ve found most helpful.

Multimedia options

Ancient China archaeology has been a subject of much debate and controversy. Part of that comes from a bias on the part of Western historians refusing to believe that Chinese civilization was as advanced as it was. And part of that comes from Chinese governments refusing to allow the history of China to be fully told. But there is a growing historical interest in Ancient Chinese history.

Here are a couple of the more interesting documentaries we’ve watched.

Activities you can do:

These lapbooks from Currclick make great presentations for all your learning in Ancient Egypt.

Other Resources:

Here are some interactive websites that will help you and your kids learn more about Ancient China:

Plus don’t forget to go to a museum and see Ancient Chinese artifacts for yourselves!

You may also like:
Ancient Egyptian History
Ancient Mesopotamian History
Aztec, Mayan and Incan History
Ancient Roman History

What’s your favorite way to study history? Do you prefer to watch it, read about it, or get hands-on?

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