The Great Wall of China is the longest manmade structure in the world. It was built across China from the 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD, and is more than 20,000km long! The Great Wall is much more than a wall – it includes the walls, watch towers, shelters, horse tracks, fortresses, and open passes. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the great wonders of the world. The Great Wall started out as individual sections, and was joined together during the Qin Dynasty. It is the national symbol of China.
Teach Through Educational Travel
Download a larger image and share the photo with your class, then try these discussion questions and classroom activities:


  • Delve into the fascinating history of the Great Wall. What was the purpose of the Great Wall? What role did the different dynasties play in the construction of the Great Wall? How does the Great Wall represent Chinese history and culture?
  • Watch this incredible video about the Great Wall and the surrounding areas. Discuss how parts of the Wall have disintegrated with time. What do you think makes a difference, for longevity of an immense structure like this? What is bringing it down?
  • Because the Great Wall was built over 2,000 years, it is not architecturally unified. What are the different types of materials used, in building the Great Wall? Dig in and then share your ideas about geography and how creative builders and architects can be, with using local materials.
  • Who built the Great Wall? Watch this video, and discuss the human toll of building great, enduring monuments.