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Walls and Barriers to the World

The Great Wall of China
Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Jodi Fish and Adriane Ghidotti
Walls and Barriers to the World
Teaching Area: 
Regions and People of the Eastern Hemisphere
ONLS 6.6; CCSS.ELALiteracy. RH.68.7
Grade Level: 
Teaching Level: 
Middle Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

This lesson aims to educate 6th grade students about barriers and walls and how they influence different countries throughout the world. Students will be comparing the Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall to the US-Mexico Border. At the beginning of the lesson, students will analyze a graph and discuss whether or not, based on the graph, they believe that the events of September 11, 2001 lead to an increase in the number of walls and barriers built by various countries. Throughout the lesson, students will complete a paired text activity in which they will compare their assigned wall (either Great Wall of China or the Berlin Wall) and the US-Mexico Border, discuss how their wall influenced access to their country, as well as how the US-Mexico Border influences who can enter the United States. After completing the Paired Text activity, in groups, students will perform a Jigsaw in which they will share findings with members of the other wall’s group. The lesson concludes with students discussing reasons as to why countries decide to build physical walls and barriers. The lesson includes a detailed plan, guided handouts for students, and a PowerPoint. The PowerPoint can also be uploaded to Nearpod.

Files for download:

Lesson Plan

China - USA Handout

Berlin - USA Handout

Nearpod Example


Key Words: 
walls, access, China, Berlin, US-Mexico, paired text activity