From 1981 to 2015, the National Committee administered the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program to China on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education. The program, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department and the Chinese Ministry of Education, was the first of its type, designed to introduce American educators to China’s history, culture, and society.

During the course of the five-week seminar, lectures and briefings by Chinese experts in a variety of fields were complemented by related site visits. In addition, an optional extension to Hong Kong, funded by a variety of generous funders over the years, added perspectives from the former British colony, which reverted to the PRC in 1997. Following their return to the United States, all participants created curricula based on their experiences, which were made available as a resource for other educators around the globe. K-12 and higher education educators and administrators participated in alternate years.

In recent years educators traveled to Beijing, Xi’an, Chongqing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

Curriculum Projects

  • Curriculum Project Introduction

    Following their return from China, Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program participants are required to develop curriculum projects that can be used by other educators.  They are divided by topic and cover all levels from elementary school to college.  Please use the links to locate the projects that best fit your needs and interests.


    The curriculum projects posted on this site were prepared by participants in the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program.  They are provided for education purposes, and their availability does not constitute or imply endorsement or recommendation by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations or the U.S. Department of Education.

  • East Meets West:  Comparing & Tracing Traditional Instruments from China (Middle School/High School) by Michael Eisenberg, 2015

    View Lesson 1 Plan:  Timbre and Chinese Instrumental Palette

    View Lesson 2 Plan:  Timbre and Instrumental Categories in China

    View Lesson 3 Plan:  Timbre and Constructional Design

    View Lesson 4 Plan:  Instrumental Ensembles in China

    View Lesson 5 Plan:  Chinese Traditional Instruments in Contemporary Culture, East and West

    View Powerpoint Presentation

    Art Making (Fifth Grade) by Angela Fremont-Appel, 2015

    View Curriculum Project

    View Powerpoint Presentation

    The Mask Making Traditions, Functions and Global Connections Among China, Africa and India (Middle School) by Ida Owens, 2014

    This project is designed to assist grade six through eight visual arts students in their understanding and appreciation for other cultures through mask making. Though this project focuses on the visual arts, it can be modified to function also as an interdisciplinary unit for social studies, language arts, music and dance. With further modification, it is quite possible that this unit can be adapted for a grade five through eight curriculum unit.

    Cultural heritage influences every aspect of life. Its presence can be experienced within communities of the world through various modes of expression. In this unit, students will explore the cultural significance of expressive masks and the role they play within a social context.

    This unit emphasizes the significance of masks cross culturally, and focuses on the meaning behind the mask. From the beginning of ancient tradition and time, ceremony, ritual, music, art, dance and theatre have played a vital role in the social context and in the cycle of man from birth to death. This unit encourages students to look closely at how the mask has been incorporated into this life cycle within specific regions, ethnic tribes, and nationalities of China, India and West Africa.

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    Silk Painting (High School) by Gerald Kaplan, 2014

    Students will be introduced to the history and production of silk in China. Students will then have the opportunity to design and create a silk painting of their own.

    View Curriculum Project

    Music in the Marketplace (8th Grade) by Leah Stephens, 2014

    In this unit, students will examine the dynamic nature of the marketplace in China, paying particular attention to sound, rhythm, and timbre. While they delve into the sounds of the Chinese marketplace, they will also be examining commerce in their own neighborhood, comparing and contrasting effective sales techniques, quality products, and aesthetic elements. The performance task assessment asks students to choose a product and compose an original soundscape to accompany the presentation of this product. Students will then participate in a mini-marketplace in order to determine the effectiveness of their soundscape and sales plan. As students progress throughout the unit, they will gain understanding of the elements of the market in Chinese culture, the variety of needs and opinions within a small cross-section of the population, and the sense of community and solidarity that is often on display in public areas. 

    View Curriculum Project

    URL description  

    Acrobats, Abacus, and Alphabets: Making Connections to China through Arts Integration in the Elementary Setting (Elementary School) by Lindsay Mouyal, 2014

    The purpose of this project is to integrate the teaching of visual art with other classroom contents (Science, Math, Reading, Writing, History, and Character Education) in the study of China.  This curriculum project consists of three arts integration lesson plans spanning six grades. 

    The first lesson plan, Global Citizenship: Air-Color-Dance-Think, incorporates environmental concerns with the creation of an art installation and developing a performance art activity.  This will manifest through the research of current air quality levels in China and at home, a collaborative art installation project incorporating the symbolic colors represented in the air quality index chart, a movement activity connecting air quality levels to emotions and quality of life and a follow up activity inspiring students to problem solve ways to address this growing global concern.  The teacher will emphasize China’s rich history of performance (acrobats, opera, Chinese New Year parades, etc.) as inspiration for the movement activity.  This lesson is suggested for grades Kindergarten and 1st grade (Science & Social Studies collaboration)

    The second lesson plan, Abacus Art: A Story of Art, Math, and Trade along the Silk Road, allows students to draw relevant connections between visual art, mathematics, and the history of China.  During this lesson, students will investigate the history of the abacus and look for it in famous Chinese paintings (such as Along the River During the Qingming Festival).  Students will then create a small abacus to use in their own personal math practices.  This lesson is suggested for grades 2nd – 3rd (Math collaboration)

    The third, and final, lesson, Visual Correspondence: Calligraphy as Art and Writing, focuses on the ancient Chinese art form of calligraphy.  During this lesson, students will study and interpret visual representations of various languages; or mainly Chinese and English. Students will examine the evolution of the Chinese character from the pictograph to the present styles; as well as the influence of calligraphy and linguistics in the works of contemporary artists (such as Xu Bing).  Students will incorporate knowledge learned into an art and pen-pal writing activity.  This lesson is suggested for grades 4th – 5th (Grammar & Writing collaboration).

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    Introducing Chinese Art to Children (Kindergarten - 3rd Grade) by Lois Rothman, 2013

    Students (in grades Kindergarten through third) will examine and discuss photos of the natural and man made landscape of China and photos of Chinese paintings and handicrafts, as well as the teacher’s collection of Chinese art objects to learn more about the traditional ways and modern culture of the country. Students will choose to create one or more traditional paintings, sculptures, or textiles. Students will complete a written assessment of their hands-on art activity according to art educator Edmund Feldman’s evaluation guidelines. Student artists discuss their new insights into Chinese culture as they participate in a class sharing session and display of student art work.

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    View Powerpoint Presentation  

    Portrayals of Women in Chinese Cinema (College) by Steven Willis, 2012

    This course will explore portrayals of women in Chinese cinema throughout the past 80-odd years. Each film shown will feature at least one prominent female character. Arguably, the female characters in these films reflect the changes China underwent during the 20th C., and the changes it continues to undergo in the 21st C. Students enrolled in this course will gain a greater understanding of Chinese history, politics, culture, and society, and especially the role of women in these areas. Narrative themes and cinema techniques also will be discussed.

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    Fiction and Nonfiction Cinematic Representations of the Cultural Revolution (College) by Jun Okada, 2012

    This lesson plan is part of a course I will be teaching Spring Semester 2014 called Film studies 369: The Cultural Revolution in China. It is a mid-level, college film studies course that will also involve viewing films and reading theoretical essays and reviews. The material covered in the 15 week course is broad and historical in scope, looking at the origins of cinema in China to the emergence of the People’s Republic through the various tumultuous political movements, leading up to the cinema of the Fifth and Sixth Generation filmmakers. This particular lesson plan will cover a three week period and focus on the notion of trauma and the modern event and allow students to analyze ways in which films have attempted to represent such momentous and difficult times, specifically focusing on comparisons between fiction and nonfiction.

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    Critical Analysis of Chinese Cultural Revolution Propaganda Posters (College) by Kimberly Winkle, 2012

    Students will study propaganda posters used in China from 1966 to 1976 with a focus on the role of propaganda art as a political device. Through this inquiry, students will become aware of the major political, economic and societal shifts that occurred during this era and why. Students will analyze the compositional strategies utilized in the works of art and will evaluate their effectiveness in relation to the assumed goal of the artworks. Students will research their selected contemporary Chinese topic and create a propaganda artwork in response. Through their previously executed critical analysis of compositional strategies used in propaganda posters from the Cultural Revolution, students will appropriate similar techniques, while also focusing attention on contemporary aesthetic values and media choices in an effort to increase relevancy to modern society.

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    Shenwu Gaobi: The Foreign as Exotic in Tang China (College) by Rebecca Woodward Wendelken, 2012

    China’s trade with the West began during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) with the establishment of the Silk Road, a series of trade routes that crossed the vast Eurasian continent and linked China with the Levant and the Roman world.  Between the end of the Han Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) trade declined due to conflicts in Central Asia and inside China itself. With the establishment of the Tang Dynasty came a renewal of this trade and with it a fascination for things foreign and exotic.  The foreign traders found in Chang’an were immortalized in works of art such as tomb paintings, but the most lasting memorials are to be found in the pottery figures from Tang tombs.  These figures or ming qi  vary widely from small roughly sketched pieces to large and elaborately modeled works with fine details. They portray individuals and groups who could be seen on a daily basis in the markets of Chang’an. These groups include Persians, Turks, Uighurs, Sogdians, Xianbei, Tibetans and others.

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  • Life on the Margins: A Cross-Cultural Examination of Assigning Responsibility and the Power of Education (Grades 7-12) by Roxanne Binaso, 2015

    The purpose of this unit is to analyze what causes certain groups, specifically migrant workers and poor women, to be marginalized in Chinese and American society. After exploring several news articles and primary sources, students will then determine who is responsible for lifting these marginalized people out of their current situation. They will evaluate how effective governments and individual advocates have been in alleviating suffering and injustice for these people by analyzing several case studies. In both Chinese and American society, education is posited as a surefire vehicle to escape marginalization and poverty. Students will determine whether the Gaokao and standardized tests, such as the new Common Core Exams and SAT, in America provide ample, true opportunity for advancement. They will then analyze how pressure from standardized testing contributes to stereotypical Chinese-American expectations about education and the "Tiger Mom" mentality.

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    A Global Perspective on Cities of the Future: Focus on China (High School) by Cholehna Weaver, 2015

    This series of lessons presents the broad challenges associated with global urbanization, examines the existing challenges in China as it shifts to a majority urban population, and analyzes possible steps and plans to achieving a more sustainable urban environment as new cities are established in China and around the world. The lesson is broken into three sections beginning with an examination of population growth as it relates to urbanization, challenges associated with crowded cities, and an examination of new technologies being rolled out around the world aimed at producing a more sustainable city model. Each portion of the lesson draws in specific examples, current events, or trends from China’s recent and rapid development. Links and videos are embedded within the powerpoint and throughout the lesson plan that can serve as supplements and extensions based on classroom need, student interest, and background knowledge. The format of the lesson lends itself to be taught in a variety of formats including whole class, individual student research, or in some cases, a flipped-classroom model (where some of the online instruction can occur at home. The culminating activity provides an opportunity for the synthesis of discussions, research, and personal creativity as students make suggestions of how to design cities of the future to better meet the impending challenges and environmental status within a rapidly urbanizing world. Before beginning the lesson, students should have an understanding about the basics of population growth, vocabulary associated with urbanization, and basic practices in sustainability. Several resources within the “Handouts” section provide resources for introducing this topic more generally.

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    Guided Presentation

    Tibet:  Why it is Important to China? A Geographic Perspective (Middle School) by Paul Kaliszewski, 2015

    The following five day unit plan focuses on the importance of the Plateau of Tibet, generally, and the Tibetan Autonomous Republic (TAR), specifically, to the People’s Republic of China from a geographical perspective. While there has been much recent scholarship on Tibet at the university level, Tibet remains an area either largely ignored in K-12 curricula or, if covered, is presented in a very romantic, biased (usually, anti-Chinese) manner. The purpose of this unit is to demonstrate the importance of the TAR to China in geo-political terms in order to better understand China’s stance on this often highly contentious area.

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    Answer Key

    KWLQ Chart

    Linking China Past and Present to PYP Units of Inquiry through Thinking Routines (Elementary School) by Eleanor Dooling, 2014

    The purpose of this project is to help elementary age students develop a better understanding of both the rich history and the rapidly changing modern day China using information and images gathered during a month long seminar in China as part of the Fulbright-Hays delegation. The curriculum project I have created consists of three lesson plans, each targeted to a specific grade and Unit of Inquiry as indicated below. However, each lesson could be adapted or modified to use with a younger or older elementary grade.

    The Primary Years Program is a curriculum framework that is inquiry based, in which students use their experiences and prior knowledge to formulate questions to learn new concepts and construct meaning. The PYP is comprised of six trans-disciplinary themes that allow students to explore topics across content areas. These overarching themes of Who we areWhere we are in place and timeHow we express ourselvesHow the world worksHow we organize ourselves and Sharing the planet, inform and guide each grade level’s six units of inquiry each year. The identified lines of inquiry, the key concepts targeted, and the learning objectives for each lesson are detailed below. Each lesson contains a thinking routine. Through the use of thinking routines in the classroom all students are actively engaged in discussion. These routines help children to verbalize and visualize their thinking, cultivating active participation and processing.

    View Curriculum Project

    View Powerpoint Presentation

    Notes from Powerpoint Presentation  

    Tidbits of China: A Website for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students (K-12) by Sherry Humphries, 2014

    This project is a culmination of my experiences in China with the 2014 Fulbright-Hays program.  Thanks to that program, I was able to visit a variety of historical sites, learn about the culture, and meet many interesting people.

    The goal of this project is to provide accessible information for deaf and hard-of-hearing students through video clips that incorporate sign language, spoken English and English print.

    Students will be able to explore the website and view the videos.  This will help students become familiar with historical sites and the culture of China.  The site can be used by students individually or as an introduction to a specific topic by the teacher.

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    Using the Five Themes of Geography to Teach About China (6th Grade) by Catherine Christensen, 2014

    This interdisciplinary unit may be used as an introduction to the Five Themes of Geography:  location, place, human-environmental interaction, movement, and region.

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    View Powerpoint Presentation  

    Automobility in China (College) by Toni Marzotto, 2012

    The project is part of an interdisciplinary course taught in the Political Science Department entitled: The Machine that Changed the World: Automobility in an Age of Scarcity. This course looks at the effects of mass motorization in the United States and compares it with other countries. The objective in teaching this interdisciplinary course is to provide students with an understanding of how the invention of the automobile in the 1890’s has come to dominate the world in which we live. Today an increasing number of individuals, across the globe, depend on the automobile for many activities. Although the United States was the first country to embrace mass motorization (there are more cars per 1000 inhabitants in the United States than in any other country in the world), other countries are catching up. This project looks specifically at the growth of China’s car culture and its impact on Chinese culture and society.

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    View Powerpoint Presentation  

    Gender and Migrant Labor in China (College) by Lynne Wolforth, 2012

    This project focuses primarily on women and development. While a gender class can focus on how both men and women experience the impact of capitalism and the integration of each into the global market economy, we will focus on women, primarily. This material will be used in an anthropology class on women in cross-cultural perspective; it might also be appropriate for any gender class, an anthropology and economic development class, an economics class (Economic Development), a sociology class (Comparative Social Inequalities), and a history class (China at the Crossroads).

    The project is planned for 4 weeks of a standard 15-week semester. It will lead up to one book: <i>Factory Girls</i> by Leslie T. Chang. While this is not ethnography, it has been chosen because of its intimate portrayal of two young women.  This makes it ethnographic in nature without the burden of heavy anthropological theory. This allows the project to be generalized. 

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    China's Demographics: Population Trends and Challenges (High School) by Timothy Evans, 2013

    China’s population will experience significant changes over the next forty years that will have profound impacts on the economic and social fabric of China. The changes are largely attributable to the effects of the One-Child Policy as well as the effects of economic development. It is important for students to understand the ways in which these demographic trends will potentially challenge the long-term economic and social health of the most populous country in the world. In studying these trends students will gain a deeper understanding of the relationships between a country’s population and its economic and social health. Upon completion of these lessons students will be able to:

    • Graph China’s demographic transition since 1950
    • Determine the relationship between the One-Child Policy and China’s demographic transition
    • Compare and contrast China’s current and future population pyramids
    • Evaluate the potential strengths and weaknesses of China’s future population as it relates to economic and social health
    • Map and explain details surrounding the geographic qualities of China’s internal economic inequality

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    View Powerpoint Presentation  

    Teaching Chinese Culture with an Emphasis on Youth Culture in China (College) by Carol Schmid, 2012

    The goal of this unit is to have students compare Chinese and American cultural systems with an emphasis on current youth culture in China.  Comparative policies and practices of national cultures are very important.  It is not possible to understand China today without understanding how the culture influences everyday life and politics.  Conflict between cultures is often related to a misunderstanding or lack of understanding of the other culture.  This is also true of the relationship between China and the United States.  I concentrate the analysis on several Chinese traditional and youth core values.  These are represented in the power point that is attached and include:

    • Societal and interpersonal relations
    • Harmony and respect for society and established order
    • Conformity and group goals vs. individual interests
    • Role of values, norms, mores and folkways, and informal customs
    • Ascribed v. achieved roles
    • Changing values of youth and youth cultures

    View Curriculum Project (Part 1)

    View Curriculum Project (Part 2)  

    China in a Changing World (College/HS) by Rebecca Orozco, 2012

    This project will examine China’s attempts to balance economic development with cultural and historic preservation. The last few decades of exponential growth have created new cities of factories and housing often destroying historic structures in the need for rapid expansion. It will examine the challenges facing China in their struggle to preserve a past of which they are justly proud while creating a society where basic infrastructure is available to all.

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  • Urbanization in China (High School) by William Pyle, 2012

    China, the second-largest and soon-to-be largest economy in the world, has undergone a transformation over the past generation of near unprecedented scope and speed. One of the most salient features of this process has been the change from a country dominated by small, rural villages to one increasingly dominated by large, teeming cities. The pace of urbanization in China, which gives no sign of abating, brings with it both opportunities and challenges. This presentation is designed to be a brief introduction to the contemporary urbanization story in China. It is geared toward high school social studies students studying global development, East Asian societies generally, or China, specifically. In conjunction with the resources listed on the final two slides, it could be the basis for a two- or three-day unit.

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    China: Growth and Consequences (College) by Michael Lucchesi, 2010

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    The Success and Limitations of Chinese Economic Growth (High School/College) by Jeff Vogel, 2007

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  • World War II, The Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (High School) by Erin Dowding, 2015


    This lesson broadens students’ understanding of the complexity of World War II while focusing on the Jewish refugees of Shanghai and life in this community during wartime. This lesson can be included in larger study of the Second World War in either a Global History or U.S. History classroom involving students to look deeply at the impact of this war as well as the multiple perspectives needed to truly understand the events and outcomes of this time period. Through doing work in learning stations, students will gain insights into a few of the events of the war, the people affected and the governments, regions, and people forever altered. While this lesson is originally designed for a diverse high school population of English Language Learners and recent immigrants, some new to this historical topic, it can be altered to fit a mainstream class or a younger grade level.

    View Curriculum Project

    Activity Guide:  "World War II:  Jewish Refugees in Shanghai"

    Article:  "Saved in Shanghai — a young girl's story highlights a rare WWII place of refuge"

    Teaching Chinese Students Strategies to Engage in an American Independent High School (High School) by Jennifer Borman, 2015

    The goals of this project are to explicitly teach Chinese high school students some of the academic norms and classroom behaviors required for success at School One, an American independent high school located in Providence, RI.

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    Train the Tutor-ESL Workshops (College) by Lara Wasner, 2010

    The goals of this project are to engage university communities in learning more about Chinese students who matriculate at US campuses and to support faculty, peer tutors and writing consultants who teach/tutor or encounter Chinese students on campus.

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    View Presentation  

    Across Centuries, Across Oceans:  Connecting to Ancient and Modern China (Middle School) by Laurel Cadwallader, 2007

    Project Overview

    View Powerpoint Presentation

    Slide Notes for PowerPoint Presentation

  • Buena Suerte en el Mundo (Elementary School) by Virginia vonReichbauer, 2007

    Copies of Virginia's PowerPoint presentation are available from the National Committee. Should you be interested in receiving a copy, please send an email to

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    Class Materials

  • China:  A Comparative Study of the Ancient Civilization and Modern Nation Through Multimedia (Grades 6-12) by Xinjie Ding, 2015

    This multimedia-based unit, with three initial lessons, will focus on comparing and contrasting China and another country at a similar level of development. A focus is also on comparing and contrasting a Chinese phenomenon and a Western phenomenon such as the concept and practice of medicine or a Chinese belief system and its Western counterpart. More lessons will be added to the unit in the future as more topics are researched, explored, and developed.

    The purpose of the unit is to provide students with a collection of multimedia resources so that students from grades 6 to 12 can build their understanding of China on their understanding and knowledge of other countries and their own. Through comparing and contrasting, students will be able to put China into a unique perspective that no other studies provide.

    View Curriculum Project

    World War II, The Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (High School) by Erin Dowding, 2015


    This lesson broadens students’ understanding of the complexity of World War II while focusing on the Jewish refugees of Shanghai and life in this community during wartime. This lesson can be included in larger study of the Second World War in either a Global History or U.S. History classroom involving students to look deeply at the impact of this war as well as the multiple perspectives needed to truly understand the events and outcomes of this time period. Through doing work in learning stations, students will gain insights into a few of the events of the war, the people affected and the governments, regions, and people forever altered. While this lesson is originally designed for a diverse high school population of English Language Learners and recent immigrants, some new to this historical topic, it can be altered to fit a mainstream class or a younger grade level.

    View Curriculum Project

    Activity Guide:  "World War II:  Jewish Refugees in Shanghai"

    Article:  "Saved in Shanghai — a young girl's story highlights a rare WWII place of refuge"

    China:  Ancient History, Modern Nation (adaptable between grades 6-12) by Thomas Kenning, 2015

    This unit is broken into five media rich texts, each of which should take approximately one class period for students to process:

    1. The Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang and the Projection of Power
    2. The Great Wall and Borders Beyond Our Control
    3. The Silk Road, International Trade, and Global Prosperity
    4. Imperial Examination, the Gaokao, and the Measure of Success
    5. Foot Binding and the Standard of Beauty

    These are completely modular – they can be taught consecutively in cooperation with each other or as standalone lessons.  Texts are based on original writing by the author and open sourced texts from the internet at large.  They are full of hyperlinks, encouraging curious students to click and surf in a natural and fluid digression that enriches the central concepts.  The texts are accompanied by four to five prompts which are designed to function according to an educator’s need.  Most can serve alternatively as discussion or short answer questions, essay prompts, or departure points for further research into Chinese history or current events, or as the basis of full on student projects.  If a teacher were to assign every prompt, this unit could serve as the basis of an intensive, Common Core aligned two-three week investigation of China appropriate for either middle or high school grades, but at its core, it is designed to serve as a basic primer on the key events, notable cultural contributions, and major figures of Chinese history, as well as an introduction to some modern developments in China.  The objective for this unit is for students to be able to discuss and evaluate the significance of the key events, notable cultural contributions, and major figures of Chinese history.  Students will be able to examine and evaluate related concepts from the history of China and from their own nation through extended research prompts included within the lessons.

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    A Bitter Peace: Memories of World War II & Sino-Japanese Relations (High School) by Clara Webb, 2014

    When did World War II start? Dutiful students of Western history would say 1939, or more specifically, on September 1st, when Nazi troops invaded Poland. But World War II started in China—not Europe—in 1937, when Japanese troops crossed the Marco Polo Bridge into Beijing, or even in 1931, when Japan invaded Manchuria. This discrepancy of dates and places is not a trivial fact or question of perspective; it represents a major blind spot in our understanding of the war and its impact on modern China. China was not only a “forgotten ally” whose contributions to defeating the Axis are often overlooked; but World War II also fundamentally altered the
    destiny of the Chinese nation, the national identity of its people, and its relationship with other world powers, none more so than Japan.

    After 70 years, Europe has largely healed from the wounds of the Second World War; the Cold War is over and former enemies France and Germany are forging political and economic cooperation through the European Union. In contrast, the memories of the war are still bitterly contested in Asia and reconciliation between China and Japan remains elusive. During my month in China, I read story after story in China Daily and other newspapers demanding justice for victims of the war, calling on Japanese leaders to apologize for war crimes, and condemning Japan’s recent move to revoke its constitutional ban on military self-defense. Why does the past still hold such power? This unit centers on historical memory – what it is, where it comes from, why it is contested, and how it both shapes and is shaped by the concerns of China today.

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    Axis of Culture: Chinese & American Centers: Past, Present & Future (High School) by Erin Towns, 2014 

    In order for students to be globally competent, they must have the knowledge and skills to investigate the world, weigh perspectives, communicate ideas, take action, and apply disciplinary and interdisciplinary expertise. Keeping these competencies in mind, this collection of lessons was designed for sophomore level global studies students. The theme binding all lessons has to do with strengthening global competency skills using personal, local, national and international concepts of “center.” The unit is broken into four lessons concentrating on historical, philosophic, cultural and economic centers of China. They can be taught together or used as mini lessons broken up over the year; they are flexible to meet the needs of the 21st century educator. Lessons begin with an investigative phase asking students to view Auburn, Maine; the United States; and China visually using technology. Technology is the language of the 21st century learner and as such, there is a heavy emphasis on development of technological skills throughout. Our students are afforded use of an iPad as we are a 1:1 state. For schools that do not have 1:1 capabilities or use different technology, a myriad of website and program choices are offered. Students are asked to seek and examine multiple perspectives on different Chinese and US personalities. Students will communicate effectively among group members to develop ideas and produce final products reflecting knowledge gained. They will take action by sharing the knowledge gained about China in person and virtually with the younger students in their community. Students are given opportunity to work across disciplines with studies of Chinese science, art and architecture. Although the unit is specific to Maine, it can be adapted by teachers from any state merely by changing local information pertaining to history, philosophy, culture and economics.

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    China's United Front (High School) by Amy Schuff, 2014

    I teach IB (International Baccalaureate) History of Asia, and so I was fortunate to be able to participate in 2014’s Fulbright-Hays Seminar to China.  During this month-long experience, many of my understandings about Modern Chinese History were challenged.  The result is this lesson, which is a new approach to the topic of the United Front during the Republic of China period. 

    To the lay teacher who is not deeply immersed in Modern Chinese History or to the teacher who goes strictly by the curricular requirements of the IB, the First and Second United Fronts are historic events that brought the Guomindang Nationalist Party (GMD) together with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), first against warlords (1926-27) and then against the Japanese (1936-41).  Understanding the first and second United Fronts means teaching students to understand these events in terms of actors, causes, effects, significance, and context. 

    My experience in China showed me a different approach however.  I realized that the United Front could be seen as a concept used to rally the masses behind Mao’s revolution rather than an event.  By examining the United Front as an idea AND as an historic event, students will be able to move beyond the black and white facts of the history to a more nuanced understanding of the topic at hand.

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    Ancient China (9th Grade) by Tim Davis, 2014

    Ancient China powerpoint

    Ancient China Notes

    China Engineering

    Lesson Plan for Fulbright Hays Program

    Map Activity on China

    Terra Cotta Webquest  

    International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program Planner (2nd Grade) by Melissa Storbakken, 2014

    This IB planner follows the guidelines set forth by the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. The focus of an IB school is to foster inquiry learning for all students. To this end, the teacher is the facilitator in the classroom providing background knowledge and opportunities for students to explore, make connections, and extend their knowledge in their own way. Through inquiry learning, the students have the opportunity to expand their thinking in new directions. Their curiosity leads them to paths they have not yet explored and allows them to investigate new ideas.

    The written curriculum for IB is referred to as an IB Planner. The planner provides a framework for a teacher to set up an inquiry unit, giving areas of emphasis and questioning to drive a student’s inquiry. The Central Idea of a planner is the overarching six-week focus. The Lines of Inquiry drive and support the Central Idea. At the end of the six-week planner students show their knowledge by completing the Summative Assessment.

    The planner was developed out of my experiences participating in the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad in China. While taking part in the study abroad program, I traveled all around China and participated in a wide variety of community activities, expert speeches and took part in private daily life activities. I also visited many museums, cultural heritage sites, historical and modern neighborhoods, practiced religious rituals and learned, through local experts, many aspects of historical and modern day Chinese struggles and triumphs. Through all these experiences, I came away with a strong sense of how the country of China is an amazing civilization. Not just a country with a long history, but truly a story of an enduring civilization that has had moments of triumph and failure.

    In bringing this unit back to my school, it fit best with the school’s second grade curriculum. In second grade the students learn about passing down historical and cultural traditions from generation to generation. Teaching second grade students, in an IB classroom, about what makes a civilization a civilization and how it has endured through time needs to be taught through inquiry. This planner allows students to learn about the concept of ancient civilizations, and then transfer that knowledge to a case study on Ancient China. The students inquire about different periods in Chinese history and relate those periods to how they impact or don't impact the make up of a civilization. Also the students compare these periods of time with their own lives. In doing research through books and videos, students will be able to better understand the lasting influences that ancient civilizations have had on modern civilizations and their possible impact on future generations.

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    Civilizations IB Planner  

    The Rise of China Document-Based Question Project (High School) by Thomas Vanderburg, 2014

    For the past four decades, China has stunned the world with its rapid socioeconomic development. Prior to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China stood on the brink of political and economic collapse. The nationalist experiment, ultimately led by Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang, degenerated into a period of conflict among warlords attempting to seize power. Under the Chinese Communist Party, the Cultural Revolution of the mid-twentieth-century stunted China’s progress even further. These trends drastically changed in the 1970s with the reform policies of Deng Xiaoping and his successors. In the past quarter century, China has enjoyed the world’s fastest growing economy with an annual double-digit GDP growth rate. While China promotes itself as a socialist nation, it has many characteristics of a capitalist juggernaut.

    This document-based question (DBQ) project is modeled after the DBQ that students encounter on a typical Advanced Placement (AP) exam in AP World History, AP European History, and AP United States History. The directions for responses to the prompt have been taken verbatim from a sample AP history DBQ. The DBQ prompt will challenge students to analyze a variety of evidence in order to evaluate China’s economic rise. The documents will allude to many of China’s successes, including many positive economic statistics as well as an increasing standard of living. At the same time, students will also grapple with the negative aspects of China’s unprecedented growth, such as uneven benefits of capital growth for the workers along with extreme pollution. Suggested duration for this project will depend upon a variety of factors, such as the length of each class period, the level of experience students have with the DBQ process, and the ability level of students in the class. Some of the documents included here are longer than students will encounter on the actual AP exam, and teachers can feel free to reduce the number and length of the reading passages as needed. The photographs were taken by a Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad participant in July 2014. They are included in a separate PowerPoint file so that teachers will be able to alter the images as needed. 

    The versatile nature of this DBQ project makes it ideal for a world history, world geography or economics course at the high-school level. Teachers can adapt the documents for their particular circumstances. The classroom context for this particular project will also depend largely on the needs, goals and local assessment standards of the individual educator. Some will find it useful as an introductory project, designed to stimulate prior knowledge and introduce a larger unit of study. Others might employ it as a culmination project in which students will showcase their mastery of Chinese history, social development, and economics.

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    Photographic Documents  

    Asian & Spanish American Linkages through the Manila Galleon (College) by Cecilia Salvatierra, 2012

    This lesson plan explores the linkages between Asia and Spanish Americans through the Manila Galleon from 1565-1815. It emphasizes that there is a rich history of Sino-Latin American relations and the new focus on China's increased investments in Latin America incorrectly frames these interactions within an ahistorical perspective. Therefore, this lesson highlights that Sino-Latin American relations are 500 years old, through the Manila Galleon (1565-1815), trading silver, porcelain, silk, foodstuffs, among many other items, between Spanish America and China. This modest presentation then attempts to reframe the dialogue regarding China’s involvement in Latin America from the vantage point that China has been present in the region from its inception.

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    Women and China's War of Resistance Against Japan (College) by Febe Pamonag, 2012

    This unit illuminates women’s varying experiences of women in GMD-held Chongqing. It is important to consider the experiences of ordinary women in Chongqing because in China, as elsewhere, they are often marginalized in historical narratives. This point galvanized historian Danke Li to conduct oral interviews with Chongqing women from differing socio-economic backgrounds; the interviews were compiled in her book, Echoes of Chongqing: Women in Wartime China (2010). College students will use interviews from Li’s book to answer these central questions: How did women in Chongqing experience the war against Japan? What do their experiences tell us about how war impacts gender and society, and how women’s participation in the war impacts wartime Chinese society and politics? By using interviews with women from diverse backgrounds, students will gain insight into Chongqing women’s varied experiences of the war and their profound consequences.

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    China Dream Forum (College) by Tracy Lai, 2012

    This unit illuminates women’s varying experiences of women in GMD-held Chongqing. It is important to consider the experiences of ordinary women in Chongqing because in China, as elsewhere, they are often marginalized in historical narratives. This point galvanized historian Danke Li to conduct oral interviews with Chongqing women from differing socio-economic backgrounds; the interviews were compiled in her book, Echoes of Chongqing: Women in Wartime China (2010). College students will use interviews from Li’s book to answer these central questions: How did women in Chongqing experience the war against Japan? What do their experiences tell us about how war impacts gender and society, and how women’s participation in the war impacts wartime Chinese society and politics? By using interviews with women from diverse backgrounds, students will gain insight into Chongqing women’s varied experiences of the war and their profound consequences.

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  • "Cold Mountain:  There's No Through Trail - Contemporary Interpretations of Chinese Classical Poetry (High School) by Tara Seekins, 2015

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    Chinese History and Culture through Folktales (Grades 2-4) by Juana Patricia Melendez, 2015

    This project is developed for grades 2 - 4 language arts with curricular connections to history and social studies. The primary goal of this unit is to introduce students to Chinese culture and history through the reading and analysis of Chinese folktales. Students will recognize the differences and commonalities in folktales. Students will discover cultural aspects of Chinese society such as reverence for ancestors, acceptance of men as wise in society, and the symbolism of fish as a sign of prosperity. Students will learn about important festivals and historical sites such as the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors. Teacher prepared lessons utilizing literature, photographs, PowerPoint presentations, and maps will help students meet the goals of the unit.

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    The Right to Education in China:  Migrant Schools (Fifth Grade) by Ericka Lopez, 2015

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    Appendix A

    Appendix B

    Appendix C

    Appendix D

    Appendix E

    Appendix F

    Appendix G

    Understanding Chinese Culture Using Short Stories (Middle School) by Sam Northern, 2014

    Teaching narrative text selections is an important part of the middle grades English Language Arts curriculum. As middle grades educators, we must discover ways to best support students’ reading as well as their understanding of the world. One form of narrative writing that can be very effective in teaching history and world cultures is the short story. Stories also have the potential to interest students and engage them thoughtfully with the material (White, 1993, p. 305). As the events of a story unfold, students begin to experience the tale’s excitement and better understand a time in history.

    According to White (1993), there are several instructional benefits of using short stories to teach culture and history. Interest in studying these topics is heightened as students realize that other civilizations share a similar human aspect that students can connect to. Short stories help students develop a context in which to better understand history and culture. Furthermore, teachers can use this type of literature to help students improve reading and writing skills.

    Short stories support children’s social and moral development by facilitating an understanding of others. Well-chosen narrative texts can be a rich resource for educators as they support students’ quest to better understand the world around them (Potter, Thirumurthy, Szecsi, & Salakaja, 2009, p. 108). Middle school language arts teachers use short stories for a variety of reasons. Narrative text is a way for students to better understand history, improve literacy skills, and discover new cultures from across the globe.

    As indicated in the lesson plans, I intend to apply my newly acquired understanding of Chinese customs to give students exposure to the nation’s remarkable past and unique culture. This outreach activity includes literature selections that are age appropriate to seventh grade students while encouraging inquiry-based learning where they discover, explore, understand, synthesize, and create new deep and thoughtful learning (Fontichiaro, 2009, p. 117). This will be achieved with the book, A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts: A Collection of Deliciously Frightening Tales by Ying Chang Compestine. In this collection of ghost stories, the author takes readers through China’s history, from the building of the Great Wall to the modern day. These stories introduce readers to ancient and modern Chinese customs and beliefs.

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    An Inquiry-based literary journey through China (Elementary School) by Yolanda Barham, 2014

    I currently work at an International Baccalaureate (IB) elementary school that operates under Primary Years Programme. During the year we have 6 units of study-6 weeks each around which we build our curriculum. One way we effectively incorporate IB learner profiles, attitudes, and themes into our curriculum is through literature. Our school’s mission statement is to develop:

    A family of lifelong learners committed to developing international citizens and academic excellence through inquiry.

    In order to fulfill our commitment to academic excellence through inquiry, teachers must provide authentic opportunities for students to engage in inquiry. This will be fostered through the use of at least one read aloud per week that is fitting for each unit. Through this, bias, misconceptions, and stereotypes are dismissed and children have accurate representations of people and their cultures.

    There are also times when we complete units of study earlier than planned, have to spend recess indoors, etc that can be specifically dedicated to learning more about China. We call this “camp” and the allotted time varies throughout the year. This time will be used to incorporate Chinese music, language, crafts, current events, and sharing artifacts from my study tour. It is also a time to complete lessons and projects throughout the unit.

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