home | introduction | task | step-by-step | resource | learning advice
evaluaton rubric | conclusion | reflection | teacher notes

 
Teacher Notes:


I. Grade Level & H/SS Standards

H/SS Analysis Skills Standards Addressed:

A. Chronological & Spatial Thinking
1. "Students explain how major events are related to each other on time."
2. "Students analyze how change happens … that change is complicated and affects …values and beliefs."

B. Research, Evidence, & Point of View
1. "Students assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources."
2. "Students detect different … points of view on historical events."
3. "Students construct …oral and written presentations."

C. Historical Interpretation
1. "Students explain the central issues and problems of the past…"
2. "Students interpret past events and issues within the context in which an event unfolded, rather than solely in terms of present day norms and values."

6.6 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the early civilizations of China.
2. Explain the geographic features of China that made governance and the spread of ideas and goods difficult and served to isolate the country from the rest of the world.
3. Know about the life of Confucius and the fundamental teachings of Confucianism and Taoism.
4. Identify the political and cultural problems prevalent in the time of Confucius and how he sought to solve them.
5. List the policies and achievements of the emperor Shi Huangdi in unifying northern China under the Qin Dynasty.
8. Describe the diffusion of Buddhism northward to China during the Han Dynasty.

7.3 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of China in the Middle Ages.
1. Describe the reunification of China under the Tang Dynasty and reasons for the spread of Buddhism in Tang China, Korea, and Japan.
3. Analyze the influences of Confucianism and changes in Confucian thought during the Sung and Mongol periods.

II. Interdisciplinary Connections:

English-Language Arts Standards Addressed:
"Students demonstrate their knowledge of basic skill, conceptual understanding, and problem solving as they relate to written and oral English Language conventions."
Interdisciplinary Connections:
Since this lesson's primary outcome is to produce a persuasive presentation, one of the key connections is literacy via school-to- career communication. This lesson also strengthens research, presentation, and computer skills.

III. Purpose of the Lesson - Rational:

The purpose of this lesson is to deliver the Standards-Based Curriculum in a modality different from the textbook. With this lesson, students work collaboratively to solve a problem, in this case whether China should/could have one common belief system. While students are problem solving, they are also learning about Buddhism, Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism, and how these philosophies might impact the daily life of various social groups in Ancient China.

IV. Length - Class Hours: 10 class periods; 5 days of homework

V. Teacher Materials:

Teacher Materials:

Educators will need to download a copy of this lesson and use their own creativity. In an ideal world, teachers would have access to a computer lab in order to implement this lesson. However, that is not entirely necessary, as I have used this lesson with students in settings where I have had no computer access. If your computer access is limited, here are some alternative suggestions:

A.) Bring library resources to your students or take the kids to the school library.

B.) Download the information and provide it within the classroom.

C.) In situations where you have some computer access, but not enough for an entire class, use what's available, while having the remainder of the class work on other activities. Rotate and share computer time. If you are managing your computer time in this manner, it is a good idea to have a floppy disk for each student to save his/her research and/or work.

D.) In a less than perfect world of small class sizes, you may need to make two copies Research Table per class; that would be enough for a class of 64 students. YIKES!

VI. Adaptations for Special Needs:

If the teacher decides to let students choose their own groups, he/she would have veto power over obvious "non-wise" choices. In designing this lesson and trying it out with students, it seems that the topic is of high enough interest to capture all ability levels. Students with limited English speaking abilities might be steered to some of the more concrete topics such as Chinese cities or weapons. Students with higher level reading abilities might be steered to some of the more abstract topics such as Imperial Chinese politics performing arts. In my teaching experiences, I have had students with a variety of physical limitations. For example, I know that when I prepare to teach this lesson I will need to make provisions for a blind student. I plan to manage this aspect by having her select her topic ahead of time. This will allow me to download information she will need and get it Brailled so she can participate.

VII. Background Information on Lesson Content:

If one were to offer one sentence of Buddhist advice, that might be “Life is suffering and we eliminate suffering by eliminating our wants and desires.” If a Confucianist were asked for the advice, the reply might be “Lead by example; education, virtue, and ethics should lead the way.” A Daoist may tell you the secret of leadership is “The power of ruling is in not ruling.” A Legalist may reply “ The secret of leadership is clear laws and harsh punishments for those who disobey.” Each of these philosophies had a major impact on China, even though Legalism was not as long lasting as the other three ideologies. Legalism was important during the Qin Dynasty as China unified under its emperor Qin Shihuangdi. What is most interesting about the remaining three ideologies is how distinct each philosophy is, yet how for centuries they coexisted simultaneously. For example, in the early Sui Dynasty, Emperor Wen was a Buddhist who honored Confucian tradition and rituals, while at the same time encouraging the expansion of Daoism. During the Tang Dynasty, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism became known as the Three Ways of Thought. In Tang times, a man could honor his family by following the rigid rules of social behavior as dictated by Confucianism, chant in a Buddhist temple, and practice Taoist breathing exercises, all in the same day. These three doctrines were an important part of daily life. As scholars study China even into contemporary times, one finds the continued coexistence of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism.

VIII. Additional Resources for Teachers:

Whenever I have needed additional resources for my Social Studies Class, I also look first at materials from Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (TCI - History Alive!) in Palo Alto, Ca. Their materials are well researched and student friendly… a great combination! If you find that you need more resource than what is in this lesson and what is available through TCI, please drop me an e-mail and we’ll see what we can find.

IX. Credits & Acknowledgements:

This lesson has been in the works over two years. The lesson itself does not take that long, but my Taoist life kept joyfully getting in the way. Also, I kept finding more and more great sites. China is a passion for me, so I really wanted to create this lesson. I am very grateful to Peg Hill for providing me with this opportunity. Creating the SCORE Lessons has been one of the high points of my career. I always learn so much more about the topic than through more traditional lesson planning. I also want to acknowledge my favorite professor, Dr. Lanny Fields for his support, encouragement, and for getting me excited about Chinese History. He is the only professor I have known who consistently and consciously combine rigor with reality and compassion. In advance, I would also like to thank my students who will test pilot this lesson. Their input is very valuable in massaging the lesson into a finished product.

X. Lesson Creator:

Freda Kelly, freda_kelly@yahoo.com
Almeria Middle School, Fontana USD, Fontana, Ca.