Build the Great Wall

Build the Great Wall lesson plan

Imagine building a replica of the Great Wall of China! Start with one section and add to it all year as you learn more about this immense country.

  • 1.

    The Great Wall of China is one of the most remarkable structures ever built. It runs from East to West across the country for 4,163 miles (6,700 km). The Great Wall was built by thousands of people in many small, unconnected sections for protection against invaders. The walls were joined after the unification of China, under the Qin Dynasty Emperor Qin Shihuang. The Great Wall of China is now a favorite tourist attraction. Find out more about how it was built and what it looks like. Prepare to build the Great Wall with a team of classmates!

  • 2.

    To make a model of a section of the Great Wall, use Crayola Twistables® to decorate construction paper to look like rocks. You could even do crayon rubbings for a textured effect.

  • 3.

    Cut the rock paper to fit empty tissue boxes with Crayola Scissors. Glue it to the boxes with Crayola School Glue. Place the boxes in a meandering line. Join sections with rock-decorated paper.

  • 4.

    People can walk on the fortified walkway on top of the Great Wall, where they can see miles of the countryside. Cover your boxes with paper decorated with Crayola Twistables® to resemble this path.

  • 5.

    With Crayola Model Magic, create stone borders for both sides of the walkway. Air-dry the borders overnight. Glue them in place. Air-dry the glue.

  • 6.

    Use Neon Model Magic to create a dramatic landscape. To create large mountains, for example, begin with an armature of aluminum foil to provide a firm, lightweight foundation. Build your mountain on top of it. Arrange the landscape and glue pieces in plac

  • 7.

    Imagine how it might feel to be walking the Great Wall! Share your excitement with other students.


  • Students research the history of the Great Wall of China.
  • Students study the topography of the Chinese landscape.
  • Students construct a 3-D replica of a section of the Great Wall and surrounding countryside.


  • Research the Qin Dynasty, and the invasion of the Huns, which precipitated the unification of the wall.
  • Explore the history and cultural connections of the diverse people who helped to build the wall.
  • Exhibit the Wall in a spacious area where new sections can be added. Include a map of China with the Wall’s location clearly marked. If possible, find someone in your community who has visited the Great Wall to talk with your class about the experience.
  • Assessment: Key points about China’s history and cultural connections may be assessed through formative assessments (in-process critiques and discussion as the students work on their structures).