"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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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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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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