Boxer Rebellion Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

With this lesson plan and materials from, you will be able to provide your students with all the information they need to understand how the Righteous and Harmonious Fists were defeated.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to do the following:

  • Link the Boxer Rebellion to European influence in China.
  • Describe how the Boxers were beaten by the International Force


40 minutes plus 30 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

Key Words

Students should make a note of the following terms during the lesson:

  • Righteous and Harmonious Fists
  • Qing Dynasty
  • Boxer Protocol


Before starting the lesson, remind students of the relative weakness that the Qing Dynasty had found itself in by the nineteenth century. Remind them of the Opium Wars in particular. Meanwhile, the Western countries had grown much stronger.


Read the lesson The Boxer Rebellion: Definition, Summary, & History, making points of the above key terms. Then use the following questions as points of discussion:

  • Why might the Boxers, also known as the Righteous and Harmonious Fists, feel the way they did?
  • How had the Qing Dynasty lost influence? What were more precise reasons for the desire by the Boxers to create change?
  • How did the Boxer Protocol try to keep China from ever again growing powerful?
  • Had the Boxer Rebellion turned out differently, do you think the Qing Dynasty would have lasted longer? Why or why not?


Divide your class into small groups and have them debate the following points. Then have them present their findings to the class as a whole.

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