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Chinese Block Print. Write the following questions in your journal. Don’t forget to write today’s date!. How many Chinese characters are there? 2 . In what year did the Chinese invent paper? 3. What are “chops” used for?. Write Chinese.

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Write the following questions in your journal.

Don’t forget to write today’s date!

  • How many Chinese characters are there?

2. In what year did the Chinese

invent paper?

3. What are “chops” used for?

Write Chinese

The Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-906)

invents Block Printing

The Chinese cut blocks from

wood and used these to print

patterns on textiles (cloth).

Click here to read about printing textiles:

Later it was used to reproduce short Buddhist religious texts.

The "Diamond Sutra" scroll, a Indian Buddhist text, is the world's earliest dated and printed book. It was block printed in China in AD 868.

In ancient days, books were written by hand. This made books extremely expensive and so very few people could read or write. A scribe was a very important job with high social standing.

Block print sped up the reproduction process of written material.

The higher supply of books brought their costs down.

Over time, block print slowly helped increase literacy rates.

More people were able to read because they could now afford books and materials to teach themselves how to read.

2005 World Literacy Rates

Click here fore more information on Chinese block print, the Gutenburg’s printing press, and a short video clip.

Chinese Stamp (Chop)

A Chinese seal can be used to mark books, greeting cards, letters, certificates, awards, or one's artwork, calligraphy, painting, etc.

A stamp can significantly liven up your artwork or make your letters and cards more interesting.

Directions to make your own potato block print:
  • Get a newspaper.

2. Cut your potato lengthwise.

3. Carve an initial or design into the potato.

4. Make sure to carve the initial backwards so that it “prints” correctly.

5. When you are called, go to back table.

6. Choose a color to paint your potato.

7. Do a test stamp on a piece of scrap paper.

8. Do a final stamp on your class’s large paper.

9. Initial your stamp.

10. Throw the potato away.

11. Clean up your desk.

Citations January 10, 2013. History of Chinese Invention- The Invention of Block Print. Retrieved from:

Kidipedia. October 10, 2013. History of Printing. Retrieved from:

TrekEarth. 2012. Photos: Textile Block Printing. Retrieved from: