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.

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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.

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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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Fulbright - Hays Seminars Abroad

Fulbright - Hays Seminars Abroad

Administered by the Committee from 1981 to 2015, the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program sent American pre-collegiate and college-level educators to several cities in China for 4-5 weeks each summer. It offered an opportunity to gain valuable, first-hand insights into a country that has become an important element in American education across the curriculum. Through the intensive program of briefings and site visits, educators enhanced their ability to teach about Chinese culture, history, politics, economics, and other areas.

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