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Confucius is China’s most famous teacher, philosopher, and political theorist whose ideas have influenced the civilization of East Asia.
See the fact file below for more information on the Teachings of Confucius or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Teachings of Confucius worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE BEGINNING OF A JOURNEY
- According to records, Confucius was born in Qufu in the small feudal state of Lu, in what is now Shandong province.
- He was named Kong Qiu (K’ung Ch’iu), and is popularly known either Kongzi or Kongfuzi (Master Kong) throughout Chinese history.
- In his teenage years, he had an administrative position with the local noble, managing his agricultural accounts. It was here that Ch’iu developed a passion for ethical philosophy.
- It is not known who Confucius’s teachers were, but he made a meticulous effort to find the right masters to teach him.
- His mastery of the arts – rituals, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and arithmetic – and his familiarity to poetry and history enabled him to start a teaching career in his 30s.
- Ch’iu left his homeland and began wandering from state to state in China, passionate to change the selfish ways of the feudal lords. While he was rejected, he did not give up.
- While sharing his views, Ch’iu won the hearts of the oppressed people. He soon returned to his home state and started an informal school where he taught his principles.
THE GREAT TEACHER
- Confucius is known as the first teacher in China who aimed for education to be available. He was instrumental in establishing the art of teaching as a vocation.
- He taught in areas of ethics, leadership, history, psychology, and the arts. His strategy was to train-up young men in education and then watch them take positions in government, to have a true impact on transforming the land.
- He inaugurated a humanities program for potential leaders, opened the doors of education to all, and defined learning for acquisition of knowledge and character building.
- Confucius presented himself as a ‘transmitter who invented nothing’, because he believed he was teaching the natural path to good behaviour passed down from older, divine masters.
- For decades Confucius tried to be actively involved in politics, wishing to put his humanist ideas into practice through governmental channels.
- Around the second century B.C., Confucius’s works were collected into the Analects (Lunyu), a collection of sayings written down by his followers.
BRIEF POLITICAL CAREER
- Confucius believed that a leader needed to exercise self-discipline in order to remain humble and treat his followers with compassion. In doing so, leaders would lead by positive example.
- According to him, leaders could motivate their subjects to follow the law by teaching them virtue and the unifying force of ritual propriety.
- In his late 40s and early 50s, Confucius served first as a magistrate, then as an assistant minister of public works, and eventually as minister of justice in the state of King Lu.
- However, his moral rectitude did not sit well with the king’s inner circle, who pleasured the king with sensuous delight.
- At 56, Confucius left the country in an attempt to find another feudal state to which he could render his service.
- He self-imposed an exile for almost 12 years and was able to gather an expanding circle of students.
- After travelling for many years, Confucius returned to his homeland at the age of 68 and devoted himself to teaching.
DEATH AND LEGACY
- Confucius is said to have died in 479 B.C. at the age of 72.
- His followers created schools and temples in his honour across East Asia, passing his teachings along.
- Confucian scholars were persecuted in a few areas during the Qin dynasty.
- In the later Han dynasty, Confucianism was made the official philosophy of the Chinese government and remained central to its bureaucracy for nearly two thousand years.
- Confucianism was the declaration of accepted norms of behavior in primary social institutions and basic human relationships.
- Confucius stressed both social rituals (li) and humaneness (ren). Ren, sometimes translated to love or kindness, is not any one virtue, but the source of all virtues.
- If the “outer” side of Confucianism was conformity and acceptance of social roles, the “inner” side was cultivation of conscience and character.
- Modern Acceptance
- Today, Confucianism is characterized as a system of social and ethical philosophy rather than a religion.
- Although transformed over time, it is still the substance of learning, the source of values, and the social code of the Chinese.
- Its influence has also extended to other countries, particularly Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
Teachings of Confucius Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Teachings of Confucius across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Teachings of Confucius worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Teachings of Confucius. Confucius is China’s most famous teacher, philosopher, and political theorist whose ideas have influenced the civilization of East Asia.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Analects
- The Kongzi Jiayu and Other Literature
- Of Life and Love
- On Knowledge and Education
- On Leadership
- About Justice
- Human Relations
- Family Life
- Sharing is Caring
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Link will appear as Confucius Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 20, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.