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Opium Wars and Imperialism

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Opium Wars and Imperialism

East Asia, Drugs and Imperialism
Rationale: Students will learn how opium played a role in Britain’s imperialism in India and China. Students will interact with sources on the Opium war and the treaty. This subject fits in the European Colonialism unit that we cover in October. Prior to these lessons, students will have covered European colonialism in Africa and the Middle East. They will be familiar with the introductory information and will be able to focus on the content on East Asia.
Content Standards: California World History standards
10.4.3: explain colonialism from the perspective of the colonizer and the colonized
10.4.1: Describe the Rise to industrial economies and their link to imperialism and colonialism.

Lesson Length: 3 Days
See attached PowerPoint for images and diagrams
Intro Activity: Free Write: Describe an illegal drug. If the government allows it, is it a drug? Propose a system for determining what is a drug.
Class Discussion: Students will discuss with their neighbors and be called to share. The teacher may bring up items like coffee and cola and see if the students consider them drugs.
Vocabulary: Students will do visual vocabulary for “British East India Company” and “Opium”. This strategy requires students to come up with their own definition (with help from the teacher) and come up with a picture that describes it.
Visual: Students will get some visuals on Opium and the Poppy seed.
Story Notes: Students will take notes with a strategy called story notes. Students are not allowed to take notes as the teacher tells them a story about a historical event. In this case, the students will learn about the Opium trade. Once students are given a certain amount of info, they are to discuss what they learned with their teammates. After a minute of discussion, they are to write down what they learned. For this section, they will take notes on the two slides in the PowerPoint “Early Trade” and “Opium Trade”.
Visual: Students will be shown some images on the EIC’s Opium trade.
Group work: Students will be shown the chart that demonstrates the growing number of Opium imports into China. They will be asked to come up with two claims (a possible reason for this with a justification). They will discuss with their partners and then we will discuss as a class.
Primary Source: Students will do a first read of the “Letter Protesting the Opium Trade”. As they read it a second time, they will highlight important or key terms. They will then come up with five higher level questions (using words from Costa’s three levels of questions). Next, the students will summarize Lin’s main arguments and use them to write a persuasion letter to the head of the EIC. They will try and persuade him to stop importing Opium into China.
Story Notes: Students will add the last bit of information on the slide “Chinese Response”. They may add this info to their previous notes.
Primary Source: Using the handout, “Treaty of Nanking”, students will begin the assignment my summarizing each of the articles. Once they have summarized the articles, they will go through each of the articles and decide with their groups if each article was justified. They will provide a quick rationale for each of their decisions. A graphic organizer may be created to better present this info. Once they have gone through all the articles, they will answer the question listed in the slide. They are to predict how this treaty might affect other countries.
Poem: Students will create an “I Am” poem from the point of view of a Chinese citizen. Using the powerpoint slide, they will finish all the sentences and include information that they have learned.
Ex: I am a Chinese Peasant
I wonder why they want to pollute my country with their drugs

Assessment: Students will be assessed based on completion. This work will be turned in as a packet and graded based on effort, creativity and completion.