China History Co-op. Week 4 - Shang Dynasty

Week 4: We wrote on wood like the Ancient Chinese and made ivory carvings.

We began by discussing seven important elements from the Shang Dynasty writing each one down from top to bottom and right to left like the Ancient Chinese. The elements are described below.
1 - Wood Writing - The kids made their bamboo strips for writing by tying craft sticks together with yarn.
2 - Chariots were invented.
3 - Silk was invented - We listened to the story of Lei Zu and the Silkworm and the kids got to feel real silk cloth. You can find the story in the Story of the World Volume 1.

Then they got a chance to put the silk making process in order.
4 - Oracle Bone Writing - We learned about how the Ancient Chinese used the oracle bones as a sort of fortune telling device.
5 - Tortoise shell writing
6 - Bronze - The Ancient Chinese figured out how to make bronze by mixing tin and copper.
7 - Jade and Ivory - Carvings were made out of jade and ivory. First the kids got to see real (very old) ivory carvings that one of our history co-op members happened to have.

Ivory Carvings
Ivory carvings were made from bars of soap.
A vegetable peeler was used to make the surface of the bar of soap smooth.
Designs were carved with a vegetable skewer.
Paint was put on top of the bar of soap and then wiped off from the surface. The paint sunk into the grooves making the design visible.

This post is linked to: 
Joy Focused Learning


  1. I love all your project! The soap carving looks like fun.

    Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.

  2. Yet another great set of hands-on history ideas! Thanks for sharing with Look What We Did.

  3. Oooh, these are wonderful projects! I'm going to pin this and share it on my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page--thanks for linking up at Teach Me Tuesday!!

  4. What a lovely themed project and I love the carvings at the end. Soap...what a genius idea!

    Thanks for sharing on Science Sparks :)

  5. I love all your China studies. We are in the middle of our own China studies so this has been particularly helpful to me. Thanks for linking up!

  6. Wow! You had such a fun week! Thanks for sharing at Anything Goes. :)

    1. Stopping by again to let you know this post is featured at this week's linky! :)

  7. Hello, love your site! Where did you get the silk making process sequencing? thanks!

    1. A friend of mine did that part. I'm not sure where she came up with but it was most likely in a library book.


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