Lesson Plan

Let’s Write! Military Watchtower

AL COS Standards
Language Arts : ELA 3.22.4 ELA 3.22.6 ELA 3.24.4 ELA 3.24.5 ELA 3.24.7 ELA 4.26.1 ELA 4.29.1 ELA 5.25.1 ELA 5.25.2 ELA 6.24.1 ELA 6.24.2 ELA 7.22.1 ELA 8.22.5 ELA 8.22.6
Social Studies : Objective 8.2.1 Objective 8.8.1 Objective 8.8.3
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Students will watch The 5 W’s of Art: Military Watchtower (located in the Related Resources section of this page)
Following the video, students will:

  • Write a descriptive sentence about the artwork
  • Think critically about 3 questions and write their answers
  • Write a brief story about a family ritual


  • Think critically about why objects were used in the past
  • Write a descriptive sentence about the Military Watchtower
  • Write sentences with correct capitalization and punctuation
  • Write a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end


  • Video (located at the bottom of this page)
  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil

Key Terms

  • Mingqi (spirit objects)
  • Clay
  • Ceramic
  • Watchtower
  • Dynasty
  • Han dynasty
  • China
  • Tomb


The teacher will:

  • Play Military Watchtower video
  • Help students formulate descriptive sentences


Have students share what they wrote, either to the class or in small groups.




When we put all the facts together, we can create one sentence that describes an artwork.

Here is my sentence:

This work of art is an earthenware model of a watchtower found in an ancient Chinese tomb.

What is your 1 sentence about this artwork?



How would you describe this artwork? Use descriptive terms.

What would you include in your watchtower? 

What would you place in your burial tomb?



In early Chinese culture, watchtowers, such as this one, were created as part of the burial ritual. Typically, a family would create a watchtower while their loved one was still alive and then the tower would be placed in his or her tomb after death. 

One way beliefs are passed along within a culture is through rituals and related objects. These are traditions that are repeated many times. 

Have your students write a story about a “ritual” their family does together, such as birthday celebrations, holiday gatherings, or sport superstitions. 

Have extra time?

Print the coloring sheet and encourage students to decorate the watchtower and create scenery around it.

Related Resources