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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson D: The Chinese Continent

Lesson Overview

Picture of the Angkor Wat Picture of the Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat Temple [1]


The shift from the Mongol to Ming Dynasty in China followed the historical pattern of changing rule in East Asia. The interaction of goods and ideas continued between East Asia and Southeast Asia, resulting in commerce and shifting religious majorities. Confucianism and Daoism were among the belief systems that impacted Southeast Asian society. The diffusion of languages and political ideas also reflected the interaction of diverse populations on the continent. This image shows the front entrance to Angkor Wat, a temple complex first constructed for a Cambodian king, and later used as a temple for Hindus and Buddhists.

Key Questions

  1. How and why did trade and interaction lead to changes in political, economic, and social systems?
  2. How can there be different explanations of the same event in history?
  3. How did geography and location significantly impact events in history?

Student Outcomes

  1. Examine how Confucianism and Daoism impacted Chinese politics and society.
  2. Evaluate the impact of Chinese trade and cultural diffusion on the religions, languages, and governments of Asian societies such as Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and other Asian societies.
  3. Assess the uses and credibility of a source by examining personal and contextual influences and by corroborating with other historical sources. (Historical Thinking Skill)

Key Terms

Student Resources

Chart of Activities:

Activities to Complete Estimated Time
10 minutes
Key Terms
5 minutes
Activator: The World 1300-1550
10 minutes
Opening: Historical Background on Chinese Religion
15 minutes
Activity 1: Asian Belief Systems
15 minutes
Activity 2: Testing in Societies
15 minutes
Activity 3: Tests of Faith in Ming China
15 minutes
Activity 4: East Meets Southeast
15 minutes
Activity 5: Ming Diaspora
15 minutes
Activity 6: Chinese Currents of Culture
15 minutes
Activity 7: Cultural Diffusion
10 minutes
Review and Assessment
10 minutes
Lesson Summary
5 minutes


Time for Lesson: 155 minutes


Page Notes:

[1] Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Angkor_wat_temple.jpg is licensed with Creative Commons Attribution. Attribution: Fuzheado.