The Great Wall of China is actually not just one wall, but a series of walls built in Northern China to protect against intruders. The total length of the wall, including trenches and other natural barriers, is 5500 miles. Construction started in 5th century BC with stamped earth and wooden board frames. Although some parts of the wall have been renovated (including sections in Beijing that host many tourists) many other parts are disappearing due to erosion.
This Activity Village page starts with craft (Great Wall of Friendship) and then tells the story of the Wall with answers to frequently asked questions such as: "How tall is the Great Wall of China?", "When was the Great Wall of China built?" and "Who built the Great Wall of China?" It concludes with links to a few external sites, and links to related Chinese craft activities.
"Test your knowledge of ancient Chinese dynastic periods that build the great wall. With each correct answer, you will have ?built' a section of the wall." This interactive, seven-question map game is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities' EDSITEment site. If you answer any question incorrectly, it will point you to a Library of Congress resource for the answer. "Question 1: Who were the Chinese trying to keep out of China during the Ming Dynasty?"
"Development of the Great Wall started before the birth of Christ and continued up to when Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sailed to America. Fear made the Chinese build the longest wall in the world, also known as the 'longest cemetery ever built.' This is because millions of poor Chinese peasants who worked to build the wall were buried in it when they died from exhaustion and pain." Although the grammar isn't perfect, there is a lot of detail here about the history of the Wall, and the many battles it survived.
"The Great Wall is 25 feet tall and 15-30 feet wide. That's wide enough for two cars to drive on!" The kid section at Great Wall of China includes two fact pages and a map, but the rest of the site is completely kid-friendly and also worth a visit. Topics include defense of the Great of the Wall, and a discussion of whether or not the Great Wall is visible from space. What do you think? Is this remarkable manmade wall visible from outer space?
"Before the Ming dynasty, the wall was built with rammed earth, adobe, and stone. About 70% is made from rammed earth and adobe. Bricks were used after the Ming dynasty." "The last battle fought at the Great Wall was in 1938 during the Sino-Japanese War, which was between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. Bullet marks can still be seen in the Wall at Gubeikou." This collection of thirty-nine facts includes a bibliography, making it a great place to begin a school report.