Learn About China

NEW! Learn a little about China, it's geography, history and culture, with the kids. Our "fun facts" format provides bite-sized pieces of information that children enjoy learning!

Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China's capital
Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China's capital

A Little Geography

  • China is the world's third largest country, and is located in Southeast Asia along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean.
  • It has an area of 9.6 million square kilometres and its shape on the map is like a rooster. 
  • China is bordered by 14 countries - Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan, Mongolia, and Russia.
  • The tallest mountain on Earth, Mount Everest, sits on the border between China and Nepal.
  • China has numerous rivers and lakes. The Yangtze is the longest in China and in Asia, is the third-longest river in the world. 
  • China has large areas of mountainous land covering about two-thirds of the country.
  • The largest city in China is Shanghai, and Beijing is the capital city. The capital, Beijing, is one of the most populated capital cities in the world. China has over 100 cities with a population of over 1 million people!

The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China

A Little History

  • China is home to the oldest of the major world civilizations and was ruled by various powerful families, known as dynasties, for much of its history.
  • The early human species Homo erectus lived in China about a million years ago.  Modern human beings (Homo sapiens) are believed to have reached China from Africa around 65,000 years ago. 
  • Around 4000 years ago, it is believed that the Xia dynasty ruled China, although there is little known about this time.
  • The first dynasty for which there is some written history is the Shang dynasty, and much of north-central China was united during this time (1700-1046 BC).
  • From 1045-770 BC, the Zhou dynasty replaced Shang as the dominant force across northern China.
  • In 221 BC, the first emperor of China, Emperor Qin, united all of China under one rule. In 220 BC, construction on the Great Wall of China began in an effort to keep out the Mongols.
  • Emperor Qin died in 210 BC and was buried with the Terracotta Army. A peaceful time followed under the Han Dynasty, which ran from 206 BC to 220 AD. The Han Dynasty was a time of invention and science, including the invention of paper, and advancements in medicine, mathematics, building, agriculture, engineering, and astronomy. 
  • The Xin dynasty began in AD 9 and was notable for many economic reforms. Other dynasties which followed were Jin Dynasty, Northern and Southern dynasties, Sui Dynasty, Tang dynasty, Five dynasties and the Ten Kingdoms, Yuan Dynasties, and the Qing Dynasty. It's easy to get confused!
  • The Portuguese arrived during the rule of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and established trade with China in 1517. 
  • In 1911 the Qing dynasty was overthrown by the Xinhai Revolution and revolutionary Sun Yat-sen became the first President of the Republic of China.
  • In 1949 Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China after leading the Communists to victory against the Nationalists after 20 years of civil war. The Nationalists retreated to  Taiwan and set up a government there.
  • In 1966 Mao led the Cultural Revolution, and this period was one of the most difficult in Chinese history. Many schools and universities were closed, and people who disagreed with Mao's views were either killed or re-educated through hard labour. Chinese traditional arts and ideas were ignored and publicly attacked. The Cultural Revolution ended shortly after Mao's death in 1976.
  • In recent times, China has become the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

And Some Interesting Facts...

  • China has the largest population on Earth (over 1.4 billion people).
  • If you have parents that are over 60 years old, it’s illegal to not visit them regularly!
  • The Chinese railway is so long that it could loop around the Earth two times!
  • A new skyscraper is built in China every 5 days.
  • Facebook has been banned in China since 2009, although many people find secret ways to access it!
  • About 1 in 5 people worldwide are Chinese.
  • The national animal is the Giant Panda.
  • Table Tennis is the national sport.
  • The Chinese calendar is the oldest known calendar in the world, and it is formed on the movement of the moon.
  • Toilet paper was first invented in China in the 1300s, although when it was first invented only emperors were able to use it!

Our Learn About China Resources

A Day In China Diary

A Day In China Diary

What do you think a day in China is like? Do some research to find out, then write about a typical day in this diary.

China Compare And Contrast Venn Diagram

China Compare And Contrast Venn Diagram

This compare and contrast Venn diagram will help the kids learn what they have in common with children living in China, and to understand the differences too...

China Compare And Contrast Worksheet

China Compare And Contrast Worksheet

Compare and contrast your own life with that of someone living in China with the help of this worksheet. You'll need to do some research first...

China Fact Worksheet

China Fact Worksheet

Our China Fact Worksheet asks children to research a collection of geographical facts about the country, then do some location work on the map.

China Facts Poster

China Facts Poster

Start off your studies on China with this simple facts poster. It's perfect for classroom displays or lapbooks too...

China Factsheet

China Factsheet

Learn some facts about China with the help of this useful factsheet, covering climate, geography, population and more...

China Location Worksheet

China Location Worksheet

We have two location worksheets on China - one blank (much harder) and one guided (easier). Use them after studying a map of China and getting to know its position within the continent of Asia.

China National Emblem Worksheet

China National Emblem Worksheet

Find out about the red and gold National Emblem of China and explain what the different parts represent, then try designing your own on worksheet 2 if you like!

China on Map of Asia

China on Map of Asia

This printable shows a simplified map of Asia, with China's location marked in red. Please note that we don't claim it is completely accurate - but it should give children a good knowledge of China's location, borders and outline.

China Picture Gallery

China Picture Gallery

What will the children decide to draw in these 5 frames on this China picture gallery printable?

 

China Postcard 1

China Postcard 1

Can you imagine you've visited China and write a postcard to send to a friend? Perfect for practising writing addresses...

 

China Postcard 2

China Postcard 2

Design your own postcard from China, then imagine you're writing it to send home too!

China Poster 1

China Poster 1

This lovely poster is perfect to print and display if you're studying China as a topic at the moment.

China Quiz

China Quiz

We've got some really interesting questions about China on this fun printable quiz. Use alongside our Introduction to China factsheet.

China Story Paper

China Story Paper

People have written stories set in China for thousands for years, and the children can write their own tale on this lovely story paper.

China Tourist Leaflet

China Tourist Leaflet

This writing prompt is a 3 fold leaflet. Children need to research information to write a China tourist leaflet. Encourage them to think carefully about the information they might want to include and the style that they need to write it in.

China Travel Brochure Worksheet

China Travel Brochure Worksheet

Here's a writing exercise with a difference! Can the kids write some content for a travel brochure encouraging people to visit China?

 

China Word Search

China Word Search

We've hidden 15 words all to do with China in this wordsearch grid. Can the children find them all? The solution is included too...

China Worksheet

China Worksheet

One of two "fact" worksheets on China, this one is a little more freeform and allows children to do their own research, then write about what they have learned. There's also a location activity.

Climate Of China Worksheet

Climate Of China Worksheet

Here's a climate worksheet that will appeal to the kids! Can they describe the climate of China, then find out the current forecast there and enter the information on the phone app template?

Culture In China

Culture In China

Find out about the fascinating culture of China, then record what you've learned on this worksheet.

Design A Tourism Poster For China

Design A Tourism Poster For China

Let the kids design their own tourism poster for China using this fun printable. They might choose to draw the Great Wall of China, or Giant Pandas perhaps?

Food From China Worksheet

Food From China Worksheet

Perhaps you've tried Chinese food in a Chinese restaurant? Find out more about food from China, and draw a picture of a typical meal...

Introduction To China

Introduction To China

Enjoy reading about the fascinating history and varied geography of China, and some fun facts too in this introductory factsheet.

 

Packing For China Worksheet

Packing For China Worksheet

Fill the picture of the suitcase with everything you would need if you were staying in China for a week  - you might need to do some research first...

Wildlife Of China Worksheet

Wildlife Of China Worksheet

Pandas are perhaps the most famous wildlife in China, but can you find out about the other plant and animal life in this incredible country?

More About China

Chinese Culture
Chinese Culture

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