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Mulan (1998)

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Jonathan Alami
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Mulan (1998)

A film I would use to supplement the China standards in the 7th Grade World History Curriculum would be the 1998 version of Disney’s Mulan. Although it is a fictional story that takes place in China with fictional characters, I think that it would get my students interested and engaged with Chinese history and culture more than any other film. The themes of northern invasions, filial piety, honor, and ancestor worship or all present in the film and the musical numbers and humorous characters make these concepts more accessible to younger students. I would show this film at the beginning of the unit of China and have students identify some of the things they are interested in learning about China and Chinese culture in the upcoming lessons. 

Bin He
Topic replies: 41
Topic Posts: 10
How to use the Mu Lan to teach

 Behind the Legend of Mulan- the female images in China  

Use the Six-Es (Engage-Explore-Explain-Elaborate-Extend-Evaluate) learning process to have students understand the impact of premodern cultural ideas on contemporary Chinese society.  

Mu Lan-

For the “engage” component, we will start by watching the original Disney animated movie to familiarize the class with the general storyline

Then I will encourage students to explore what core values or important aspects are behind the movie-- the female images in the movie. 

For this third step, I will introduce the original Mulan story using bilingual materials. Following this introduction, I will incorporate explanation of Chinese signature values, such as loyalty to home and country, and the female’s roles in ancient China.                  

To elaborate, I will have the students analyze and compare the two versions and find out the reasons Mulan was popular in U.S and China, and how did it reflect on the certain history background.  

Then I will have the class link the broad values to current events, such as to talk about the details of China has celebrated some of its female Covid heroes, and let the students better understand the current female status through the guest interview. 

Finally, I will have students apply what they have learned to conduct research and complete individual projects- Meet China's Elite Female. This will help me to evaluate students’ understanding of the connection between Chinese core values and current policy reactions.