Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
During ancient times, Chinese people were passionate about developing things to help them adapt to the environment they were living in. They were innovative and determined to create the most important things to meet their daily needs. By this, the ancient Chinese civilizations yielded the four most significant inventions in the world – papermaking, printing, gunpowder, and the compass.
See the fact file below for more information on the Chinese Inventions or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Chinese Inventions worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
INTRODUCTION TO THE ANCIENT CHINESE
- The People’s Republic of China is located in East Asia and simply known as China. It is considered the world’s most populated country. China is also one of the four earliest civilizations in the world. The Yellow River and Yangtze River are its origins.
- There are footprints of Chinese people along the two rivers that show the prominent history of the country. Thousands of years ago, agricultural production and education began developing in China.
- The rich history of the ancient Chinese people has created a brilliant culture by people’s hard work and wisdom. The technological inventions and achievements of ancient Chinese have a significant impact on the world’s economic and cultural development.
- They have produced four great inventions – papermaking, printing, gunpowder, and the compass. It was because they were determined to make significant innovations to support the ever-changing environment.
- Papermaking is a technique to create paper that has been known in China since the 2nd century BC. China was the first-ever country to invent paper. Before the development of the method, people used different natural materials for writing.
- The Egyptians used grass stalks, the Mesopotamians used earthen plates, tree leaves were used by the Indians, and the most unusual were bamboo, wooden strips, and tortoise shells.
- Later on, the ancient Chinese developed the first paper made from silk called “bo.” It was inspired by silk reeling (the process where the number of cocoons bases are reeled together to produce a single thread).
- But the production of “bo” was costly due to the scarcity of the materials needed.
- During the early days of the 2nd century, Cai Lun, a court official, developed a new kind of paper out of bark, rags, wheat stalks, and other materials. The materials were relatively cheap, light, thin, durable, and more suitable for brush writing.
- The papermaking process started to spread in Korea and Japan during the beginning of the 3rd century. It then reached the Arabs’ lands in the Tang Dynasty and Europe in the 12th century. Lastly, it went to America during the 12th century and gradually spread worldwide.
- Before paper was invented, the first Chinese Emperor, Qin Shihuang, had to go through over 120 kilograms of bamboo for writing official documents.
- Dissemination of knowledge and information was conveyed by word of mouth or handwritten copies of manuscripts, before the development of printing. Both methods took plenty of time and were very prone to error.
- Two thousand years ago, the Western Han Dynasty used stone-tablet rubbing to spread Confucian Classics or Buddhist sutras. This led the Sui Dynasty to practice the engraving of writings and pictures on a wooden board, marking it with ink and then printing it on pieces of paper page-by-page. It was known as block printing.
- The first book with a valid date of printing was developed in China in the year 868. It was a Tang Dynasty Buddhist sutra book. This technology was gradually adapted by Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
- However, block printing has its disadvantages. All the boards were useless after printing, and a single mistake in carving could ruin the whole block.
- During the Song Dynasty, Bi Sheng, the father of typography, engraved individual characters on identical fine clay pieces. He hardened the pieces by a slow baking process that resulted in a movable type of piece.
- When it was used in printing, the pieces could still be used for future purposes. However, this method was not very suitable for the thousand characters in the Chinese written language.
- The technique spread throughout Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Europe. In 1448, a German, Johann Gutenberg, invented a movable type of printing made of metal.
- The invention of gunpowder was also credited to the ancient Chinese. The ancient Necromancers (shamans who call for ghost ancestors) discovered it during their practice in alchemy. They concluded that an explosion could be produced if particular kinds of ores and fuel were mixed in the right proportions using a heating mechanism.
- Three formulas for making gunpowder were recorded in the Collection of the Most Important Military Techniques by Zeng Gongliang, including the explosive mixture of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal.
- Gunpowder was initially used for fireworks. However, it was adapted in the revolutionary warfare across the world. During the 12th century, it was introduced to the Arabs and Europe during the 14th century.
- During the dynasties in Chinese history, three primary weapons were developed using gunpowder: flying fire arrows during the Tang Dynasty, grenades in the Song dynasty, and bronze cannons in the Yuan Dynasty.
- The Mongol army and traders introduced gunpowder to Europeans in the 1240s. The use of gunpowder changed warfare, governments, and political boundaries.
- Before the compass’ invention, ancient people told directions based on the position of the sun, moon, stars, and the orientation of planets.
- The Chinese considered that the south was their cardinal direction. The first compass was created using a lodestone pointing south. It was known as the south pointer. It is a type of mineral magnetite that aligns with the earth’s magnetic field.
- It was discovered by an ancient Chinese that a suspended lodestone could turn freely and point towards the magnetic poles.
- During the Han Dynasty, the compass was used for geomancy and fortune-telling. During the Song Dynasty, it was used to indicate the position and directions for traveling.
- In the book of Joseph Needham, Shorter Science and Civilization in China, it is said that the Chinese used the compass for navigation between the 9th and 11th centuries.
Chinese Inventions Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the chinese inventions across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Chinese Inventions worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Chinese people who were passionate about developing things to help them adapt to the environment they were living in. They were innovative and determined to create the most important things to meet their daily needs. By this, the ancient Chinese civilizations yielded the four most significant inventions in the world – papermaking, printing, gunpowder, and the compass.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Chinese Inventions Facts
- Impacts of the Inventions
- Details of the Inventions
- Finding the Innovation
- Jumbled Direction
- Making Your Invention
- Ancient Analysis
- Four Great Inventions
- Ancient vs Modern
- The Key Traits
- Questions of the Ancient
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Chinese Inventions Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 3, 2020
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.