KEVA® Great Wall of China

OBJECTIVE: Students will re-create the Great Wall of China with KEVA planks.


  • About 100 planks per child


  1. Talk to the students about the Chinese empire in 220 B.C. The first Chinese emperor, Chin Shih Huang Ti, faced a problem of invasion from Mongols in the North. Ask the class how would the Mongols probably attack? [Horseback] How would they fight? [Lance, sword, club] What could the emperor do to protect his people? [Build a wall]

  2. Read the class The Great Wall of China by Leonard Fisher.

  3. Ask the class: How many people worked on the wall? [Over 1,000,000] How many years did it take to build the wall? [Over 10 years] How wide was the wall? [Wide enough for 10 men to walk side by side] How far apart were the watchtowers? [Every 100 yards] How were the towers used? [Soldiers kept constant watch for the Mongols and set signal fires when they saw danger.] How long was the wall when it was finished? [3,750 miles]

  4. Declare yourself to be the emperor of your class. Tell the class that they must build a Great Wall to protect their class from the Mongol invaders. Tell the class to stop whatever they are doing and begin work at once on the Great Wall.

  5. Determine how high and how wide your wall will be. You can divide the class into groups and assign each group a segment along the wall. It is not necessary to have a uniform style as long as you have a uniform height [two or three KEVA plank- lengths tall]. Tell the class to think about strength as they build, but to also try to use as few planks as they can so that you can make the longest wall possible.

    Be sure to include watchtowers.

  6. When the wall is completed, tell the students that now they are safe from the Mongol invasion. They have built a strong wall that will protect their entire country.

MATH EXTENSION: The following math applications can be used:

  • Measure the length, height and width of your wall 
  • How many man-hours did it take to build your wall? [# of builders x hours spent building]
  • Estimate the number of planks in your wall


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