I just started using the History Alive curriculum this year to supplement the regular textbook and I LOVE it! We just finished reading the differences of Confucianism, Daoism and Legalism. The task was to read the sections and answer back to the group using the "style" of the philosophy. They started to have fun with Confucianism, they really enjoyed Daosim (some started getting up out of their seats and some starting drawing on the board) and they really were amazed at the Legalism. (I had wrong answers and troublemakers stand in the back)There has been talk of adopting this text for our History curriculum next year... I hope it happens.
I'm posting a project idea on two threads because one is general and one is specific to the UTLA Fall seminar. I used a website from two classmates (thanks Mr. and Mrs. Zarou!). They are very extensive but I only used bits and pieces to create something a little different. Please feel free to comment.
I look forward to trying the Histoy Alive Lesson "Learning About the Three Ways of Thought: COnfucianism, Daoism,and Legalism as a interactive lesson in my class. It sounded like a good suggestion. I looked it up in the lesson guide and it includes "guidelines for experiencing chinese philosophies" in class procedures. It gives the teacher steps for seating arrangments, standards for appropriate behavior, how the philosophy will be learned and how students will demonstrate understanding for each of the philosophies. I think this will be another great way for students to learn this hands on.
This lesson is very effective and a lot of fun. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time for it. It is best with a block period... I found it to take about 3 hours (days) with the collages and all. You and your students will enjoy it!
In my middle school, we were recently given a set of reference material from 'Teacher Created Resource' which contains CDs/DVDs and include a variety of titles like 'Medieval Ages', 'The Renaissance', etc. The good part of all this is that the discs can be played as a slide show through the projector or lap top-top-TV monitor. The accompanying music from the period can also be played while the slide show is being displayed. I am planning to use it to create an 'environment' for Renaissance for the class and also set it up as a on-going slide show of the 'Middle Ages' during the forthcoming open house.The graphics can also be included for power point presentation using selected photos from the resource.
I don't know what local district you are in, but I got a letter for my local district 1 and for 6th grade, we are adopting the History Alive textbook. Some teachers don't want it because it requires them to... um... teach, and not just have students do chapter reviews every day in class or vocabulary. But I love that it is so organized and directed at teaching concepts. Plus it has some great activities for the workbook and the disk has music and visuals that can really help the kids out.
Hi,I am in local district 1, as too. We had a meeting and we reviewed 3 different books one of which was history alive. But there has been no final decision yet. They beleive it has to do with other schools as well. The district does not like to buy many different books. So far we are storing our old history books to see what happens. We may not even get new books for sixth grade.
I used a section of the unit Islamic Civilization and the Arts from SPICE in my general music class. It introduces students to instruments traditionally used in the Islamic cultures. There is a handout with pictures of the instruments, and a CD with recorded samples of each instrument. It made it very easy to introduce a new type of sound to students who are most familiar with the Western style of music. I would highly recommend this unit to music teachers, or to anyone who wants to incorporate more arts into any other subject matter.
Hi Lara,What a wonderfull idea! I made copies of the music (from Islamic nations) disk that came with the material for the May 13th seminar and gave them to one of the music teachers on my campus. I thought he might appreciate it. But here is the thing you might like to know! some of the sounds you here are not relly music. For example 4 or 5 of them are " call for prayers" eqivalent to the church bells(chimes). some are recitations of verses of koran. One is THE group prayer by pilgrims of Mecca(as they go in circles around the Kaaba). Some are instrumental music from various countries, but are not Islamic Music (as the CD information reflects). Only a few are actually religious(Islamic) Music, the songs (the lyrics and the music)are joyful prayers(Sound Pakistani and Arabic to me). Your music is probably different from what we received in the seminar. If it is the same, it's not a bad idea to make sure that students will NOT dance to the Call for Prayers or to the verses of the Koran. Your Muslim students(if any!!) could get offended.[Edit by="rrustamzadeh on Jul 5, 6:55:33 PM"][/Edit]
The post I am responding to is right on about the notebooks!! They are a great way to keep the students organized and to accumulate all they have learned into one solid unit. I use just one or two notebooks for the entire year and those are broken down into interactive units. I am a solid believer in TCI as well. Teaching history and learning about history should be something that comes alive for our students (yeah, I know, hence the name of the program). But seriously, it is a valuable resource that can work a lot of the time or just once in a while, depending on the elements in one's classroom.[Edit by="tnumark on Jul 5, 11:22:18 PM"][/Edit]
About NOTEBOOKS,good idea! here are some first hand experiences:I took time and monitored to see all pages numbered (There are different ways to number pages.)I tried to do it for 4 different subjects. It was not successful(It nearly killed me-unless you have honor students or magnet.). This year I will try it for one subject only.Just a thougt!
I was just informed that I will be using the History Alive curriculum for my 6th and 7th SDC class this year. I'm excited about it. I only heard good things about the teaching material. I also taught 4 Chinese philosophies to my 7th graders this spring and I will be posting the lesson plan on the forum somehow. The internet research experience was a little painful but the presentation (situational role play) was so funny and the students were really into it. To my surprise, the final writing went smoother than I expected because their individual thoughts within the group all went into their writings. Sometimes it amazes me how much they are able to handle. Thanks to the UCLA Asian study. S.Padilla
I agree with you about the music implementation to the cultural study. Music takes you to the different time and space. Many of our students are not exposed to different varieties of music. If teachers are the only ones that can introduce it to them, then we really will be doing a great favor to them. By the way, thank you for mentioning Yo Yo Ma's "Silk Road." The concert at the Hollywood Bowl was fantastic. The sound of forign instruments (bongos and strings) and the group who played with him just blew me away. S.P
Here is a little game for your Asian study middle school students. You can use at the end of the unit lesson. They will love the little competition with chop sticks.Materials: 100 dry beans (any two different sizes) - Students will be glad to bring them if you ask. 4 paper plates 2 pairs of chop stick - you can use Chinese take out ones Some kind of prize - you can go to the 99 cents store for themInstruction: 1. Divide students into two groups. 2. Each group presents a player in front of the two plates. One filled with 30-40 beans. 3. The players pick up each bean with chop sticks to shift beans to the empty plate. 4. Who ever finishes first wins. 5. Go on to the play off.Students not only learn how to use chop sticks but they will have a ball.Have fun!![Edit by="spadilla on Jul 6, 7:08:57 PM"][/Edit]
See, I like the idea of this, but it seems like it would take too much time to be a simple introduction. Where would you suggest using chopsticks fit into the standards? One idea might be to have a food day for all of the ancient civilizations that we cover. That way we are also covering their important crops for many of them with the food. That includes geographic and economic aspects to the culture, and the kids always love a snack. (just make sure there are no allergies). [Edit by="jreynolds on Jul 7, 11:50:44 AM"][/Edit]
I have the students make up a story about traveling on the silk road. While it is a writing activity, I let them do whatever they want, as long as they make sure to include some of the information I told them, and the trading materials that I told them about for some of the stops I found on a map of the silk road online. Many enjoyed the creativity aspect of making up a story. As long as they show knowledge of what is in the standard, they score high, too. So it builds self esteem a long with it for many of them. Not the most fun they ever had, but they did in general like the activity.
When I teach the Chinese Philosophies, I use the ones in the standards, Confucianism & Daoism and Legalism. I also add Buddhism for flavor, as they will have just learned it in the India unit, and it keeps it in their brains. I have them answer questions that offer scenarios and they respond how each of the philosophies would respond to the situation. They can then offer their own, and name their own philosophy. I have them do this activity in pairs. Then, to assess them, I have each pair get in front of the class, and act out one of my choosing. Sometimes I will choose the scenario, and let them choose the philosphy, or vice versa. It is a lot of fun, the students really get it by the time it's over, and seem to remember it well. Examples of the scenarios include things like, "You find $20 on the street" and "You know your brother is cheating on his tests". I have about 7 of them. I consider it a successful lesson.
When I teach, I try to incorporate some fun activities for the students to remember. The standards are necessary and I do follow, but I don’t worry too much about every single instruction to fit tight to the standards. I take that the standards are there for the instructional guide; just as it is a guide to make my pacing plan. As I recall all the learning in my schooling, I don’t remember any of the detailed testing items. I believe that I have a lot of freedom in my teaching style that I create it. I feel that how to connect to the standards is not too difficult as far as the history/culture study is concerned. It depends on the teacher’s teaching philosophy. For instance, my 7th grade SDC class wouldn’t remember a thing from the text if I have them read from the text about the Chinese philosophies. Therefore, most of them fail the quiz or chapter review test. It is easier for me to give vocabulary words to them to define and have them answer the chapter review quiz in which case they may fail. It makes me feel that I became a failure myself. So, many times, I try to create the top down teaching to my SDC students just like that for the GATE student’s enrichment program. It is a lot more work as some of you mentioned that Special Ed. teachers have multiple subjects to teach. However, I need to bring student’s curiosities out to the surface in order for them to learn and retain what they’ve learned. Knowledge must make sense to them and in turn, it insures a good connection and better recall later. In that sense, the existence of standards is not helping me. If you a single subject teacher, you could go far with your ideas and creativity (lucky you!!).
Well, I agree with you on the creativity. However, I had a principal that was very "look over your shoulder" my first year of teaching, and we HAD to have everything relate to the standards... I could get away with it if it was something that took five minutes, but if it lasted longer than that he'd get down people's throats. And being an intern.... well... it's not easy to keep your job if you don't follow the rules. I also agree that creativity and engagement are incredibly important. They are possibly the most important aspects of each lesson plan. You can follow the standards more closely and also be creative. Using the textbook is useful if you're trying to teach reading (which my regular history students need so very badly, and so I do incorporate it) but when really getting into content and therefore the majority of my lessons are directly related to the standards but in a fun and creative way. Creative writing, making up plays, group projects galore, they can still have fun. Even games, though I usually use study games, though I was working on finding a way to implement a "trading" game. However, because I'm held to the tests as my standard, I stick to the standards. There are somethings they need to know to know the standards, and those I understand, and some you can fit in because they actually fit in the frameworks... however, in general, I always feel like I have to have a lawyer like argument due to the principal I had my first year. I guess it's just the way I started out. That's why I ask, when my principal leans over and says, "why?", how do I justify that? I am certain that I am not the only one in this position.... so I thought it was appropriate to ask it in the forum so others to justify it and get to use it.
As recommendd by one of the participants, I made it a point to see 'Hero' starring Jet Li. I liked the movie but I think the theme in the movie of putting forward different analysis of how to assasinate the first emperor of China would be too much for MS students to keep track or comprehend. Clips can definitely be shown to possibly strengthen the point that there were other empires that had established in Asia before the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean. I happened to record 'The First Emperor' (Qin) broadcast by the History Channel. It is 2 hours long and very informative. However, it does show a lot of fights and other incidents that took place during the formation of the empire, including the strangling of the grand kids on orders of the emperor and the tearing apart of one of the opponents by tying him to four horses pulling in four different directions. This might be somewhat too dramatic for MS students. From this broadcast, I think, only some clips can be shown as an introduction to China.
I checked the sites mentioned in the post (AskAsia.org) and found it to be brimming with information about the Silk Road and activities related to it. I plan to use this resource to supplement the History Channel movie that I show on the Mongols (Genghis Khan).
I have also had great success using History notebooks. I found it very convinient to have students complete all of their work in one place. My favorite thing about it, is that it provides a comparative look at history from student generated chapters of learning, which the students can keep and use in the future. The grading of these notebooks was managable for me because I stamped work in progress and homework everyday, and gave a grade for the week every Friday. Having the work due on Friday was helpful because lower level learners could work at a comfortable pace and ask for extra help, while higher achieving students were able to complete challenges and extra credit assignments that allowed them to think more critically. Using History notebooks is also an awesome organization tool in the classroom. Students are very well aware that their grade is heavily weighed on the notebook, and for the most part the students took that very seriously. I highly reccomend using History notebooks in the classroom!
I was thinking of introducing or incorporating different Asian math strategies and methods if any in my classroom. I think it would be great to find some so that students will have yet another option students can choose from for solving problems.
I was thinking of introducing or incorporating different Asian math strategies and methods if any in my classroom. I think it would be great to find some so that students will have yet another option students can choose from for solving problems.
I also use History Notebooks for my students and love it. Most people I know use a spiral notebook, but I prefer 3 ring binders (I can collect and carefully grade more important assignments or even use them for a bulletin board display but upon return they can easily be placed in the appropriate section).A couple of things I like that I haven't seen mentioned yet are making a reference section and grading the notebooks using a checklist. At the beginning of the school year I do an introductory unit and we complete several assignments that generate some fundamental reference documents -maps, History basics, classroom procedures, grades etc. They put these into a "reference" section and keep it all year, occasionally adding materials.The checklist is useful to help students evaluate their own work and be sure it's complete. Each page is listed by title, with the points possible and then 2 columns, 1 for the student check mark and 1 for the teacher's score given. I give them the checklist before the notebook is due and they go through their notebooks, checking off each assignment that is present and complete. They hand me their notebook with the checklist and I quickly flip through, scoring each assignment and marking the points received on their paper and also on the checklist. I can then return their notebook, keeping the checklist to enter grades.Each checklist has a grading scale on it so they can see how well they've done. I really think this method not only makes grading easier for me but also helps keep them evaluating their own work.
I was thinking of talking about the Asian history of origami and have students do some origami as an activity.
Yes, I want to include that next year. In fact, I put it into the lesson plan I developed for this class. I believe most students really enjoy this type of activity and it is so beneficial to incorporate different elements into our lessons (even though I usually feel so driven to get to everything I don't do enough).I think that it would help students feel connected to the history, take pleasure in it and better understand it. I hope it works out well, especially because I'm artistically challenged and will probably struggle to guide them through it.
I use an origami activity in the history lesson as a part of relating to the fact that even blood-avenging samurai did art and literature to relax and expand their minds. I show a brief video clip for one easy and one medium level example. Then last year, I used the a live-camera with the monitor to demonstrate and a large butcher paper to make a large freestanding example. As a follow-up, I had the students follow an on-line site to make a difficult level origami as extra credit.Kids Web JapanFor the students that do not follow directions in class, or in life, or for students who have problems focusing on the tasks in class, I underlie the importance of "Samurai code" and self-discipline. If a Samurai made a sword slash or a Japanese artist made a brush stoke in art, there is a purpose and intent in every moment. Much in a Japanese way, things must be done the "right way." Just watch a good sushi chef...
Okay, ssaito. I love the idea, and I want to do it if I ever get a 7th grade class (the way they have been moving me around it is highly likely!). So, here's my question. If your principal said, "that seems like a fun lesson, but exactly how do you relate it to the standards?" What would you answer? Because looking at the standards myself, I couldn't figure it out. I'm sure there has to be a way, there always is, but what is it?
Could you do it towards the end of the year? I know the standards for history may take long.
There are several advantages to using a spiral notebook for history. Pages are more difficult to loose. Three ring binders may make page misplacement easier and grading more difficult. Organization is essential if grading is going to be efficient. Having a checklist I can keep after I return notebooks is a great idea. I love it and will be creating one myself. Many times I use notebooks for conferring about students progress as others are busy with independent work. If one makes a point of visiting five students a day and looking at their notebook it makes grading the remaining students more managable. I really like it for students with special needs (IEP's) because they need the structure. If one has a chart with assignments listed somewhere in room absent students know missing assignments and what page they go into their notebook without having to ask you and creates instant accountability.If it is posted it is their responsability to make it up!
I have had sixth grade students create inventions and their own school of thought as a final project for a unit on Ancient China with great success. Schools of thought have included "Playerism" and "Divaism."In lesson SWBAT analyze Ancient China’s contributions to civilization using text and supplemental resources to understand the importance of innovation as a major contributor to a civilization’s legacy. They will be responsible for creating their own invention and persuading the class to believe it will have longevity and will continue China’s legacy of innovation.This lesson can be used to compliment a unit on China. It can be used in unison with exploration of China’s schools of thought.Students should be able to use the Internet and be able to determine importance of information to accomplish a specific goal. Students should already be familiar with China’s geography and its effects on its ancient civilization[Edit by="aaguilar on Jul 30, 10:19:02 AM"][/Edit]
FOUNDATION QUESTIONS:In which aspect of Chinese life did the Han and Shang dynasties make great advances?How did advancements in technology and communication contribute to China’s legacy and longevity? How have particular Chinese inventions influenced the modern world?READING FOR INFORMATION LESSONSUsing Text FeaturesDetermining ImportanceMain Ideas/DetailsUsing Evidence to Support OpinionAdvancements in Technology/ Yesterday-Today (Compare and Contrast)POSSIBLE MINI-LESSONSUsing text featuresRefining an Internet searchQuote and ParaphraseConnecting Main Ideas across texts and Media
I like this idea a lot. What do you use for assessment? Do you have any directions, handouts, rubrics or student work that you can share?Thanks,Miriam
You pose a very interesting question. I think teachers have to take the stand that, when teaching, one has to come up with interesting and motivating ways to teach the standards. I've read the standards countless times and they are not very exciting. So I believe our job is to bring in the relevant activities, though they may not fit into a cookie-cutter mold of the standards. A hands-on activity in middle school? That's the best thing a teacher can do. This is how you are going to justify it. As a supplement to the standards about Japan in the middle ages that you are teaching. Remember your audience and they aren't robots.
Superb idea! Wonder how styrofoam or art foam will work?
Interested in 'Exploring History" Simulations & Activities for possible purchase. Has anyone worked with this kit? I'm impressed with the broad 5th-12th range. Readability format seems friendly.
Has anyone purchased these overheads recently ? Improvements in color and perspective?Captivating element of color is essential in motivating children.
What a great idea. I love the idea of the students creating their own "school of thought" as a culminating activity after, for example, a debate or presentations on Daoism, Confucianism, and Legalism. Did you have any list of instructions or parameters that you could attach as a Word doc please? Thanks!
Some excellent resources are History Alive's sections on Ancient China for both inventions and schools of thought. The new World History by McDougal Littell is also a great resource. The assessment is an oral presentation on their invention, description, purpose, or school of thought. Rubrics can be student created depending on what they think their projects should include. Originality, purpose, oral presentatation, as well as visuals, should be included.
I have taught origami to my seventh grader, making a crane once. I had 32 or 33 students in class and had a couple of other teachers observing and helping. I was planning about 20 munites....boy....was I wrong. Students had a lot of fun, but it almost took an hour to have them fold one sheet of paper!! (I can make a crane in about 2 minutes.) So, if you are planning to teach it, be aware with time. :-D
I have done this couple of times with my Anime Club students. If you train some students ahead of time to walk around and help out those having difficulties at each step, you can save some time. The crane is a very challanging one to make for novice origami artists.
Even though many history teachers shy away from playing Hollywood films about historical topics in their classrooms, I have found that some Hollywood films, though they may be historically inaccurate, may still be able to help students understand important historical themes and basic concepts while still keeping them entertained and engaged. Take for instance the film “The Last Samurai” starring Tom Cruise. So many educators have rightly criticized the film for its historical inaccuracies. However, certain scenes in the film are able to vividly show the Japanese values of bushido and the honor/ shame culture that pervaded a samurai society. I am of the opinion that we should not censor a Hollywood film for its failure to be 100% historically accurate if it can highlight key themes or ideas of historical relevance. I have used the movie Hero starring Jet Li to engage students in a discussion of the policies of unification undertaken by emperor Qin. There are a several scenes in the film that present students with emperor Qin’s arguments for unification while also raising counter-arguments to emperor Qin’s expansionist policies. In the film, the emperor confesses to the protagonist, Jet Li, that the attack on the province of Zhou was just the beginning of his military campaign. The emperor confesses his desire to conquer all the neighboring lands. The emperor shares his disgust for the diversity in languages within the land and his abhorrence for the diversity in weights and measures across the provinces. He feels all this local variation is illogical and problematic to his desire for unification. The film also raises the issues of loss of identity and assimilation. The destruction of the calligraphy school in this movie demonstrates the destruction of local culture at the hands of a powerful military-bureaucratic regime bent on unification. Students and teachers can use this film to talk about the pros and cons of unification policies as well as the pros and cons of identity and assimilation.The discussion of unification raised by this film can be tied to the construction project of the Great Wall of China under the Qin dynasty as well.I recommend educators use a DVD version of the film to play selected scenes that raise important topics for historical discussion. On a side note, I have also used specific scenes in “Hero” when teaching students about Chinese calligraphy (a 7th grade standard). The connection between sword play and the art of calligraphy is beautifully portrayed in this film.
In the 7th grade curriculum, the standards dictate that teachers discuss the European Age of Exploration and the feats of Chinese explorers like Zheng He. The overarching themes that connect both of these standards are the motives for exploration, the challenges of exploration, and the consequences of exploration. One good site on Chinese explorers with emphasis on Zheng He can be found at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sultan/explorers.html
Can anyone recommend any websites or other resources tailored for middle school students that deal with the current issue of North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons? This current event is a pressing issue that needs to be shared with middle school students in an intelligible way for them to understand. Thanks.
The Chinese Debates on Salt and Iron is an excellent discourse that can teach students a lot about some core Confucian beliefs. After reading this text in our seminar readings, I clearly came away with the fact that Confucian scholars thought trade and crafts were to be discouraged while virtue, benevolence and farming exalted. Confucians feared mercantilist practices by the government would teach the people to become tricksters and promote selfishness due to the inherent competitive practices of such a system. Their discussion of ethics and morality is striking when they distinguish farming as a moral endeavor while government monopolies of salt, iron, etc. as immoral. In Chapter 14 in Chinese Civilization : A Sourcebook by Patricia Buckley Ebrey the first chapter of these debates is provided. Teachers can use this text to help students outline the following basic arguments:The learned men’s arguments (Confucians):-The pursuit of goodness and duty is more important than the pursuit of profit-You do not conquer your enemies by arms but rather with virtue.-The corruption of heads of state will create a ladder for common people to become criminalsThe minister’s arguments (State):-To protect the frontier settlers from raids, the emperor instituted the monopolies-The equable marketing system and other government-sponsored safeguards were put in place to ensure fairness-Merchants provide an essential service in the distribution of goods within the state which helps everyoneThis debate highlights the pragmatic view of the state in light of specific exigencies originating from foreign raids and the idealistic Confucian view of the virtuous state that must be pursued no matter the exigencies.It is interesting to point out to students how both the state minister and the Confucians use classic Chinese texts to help support their point of view while debating. The use of ancient texts to claim legitimacy is an important function for not only Confucians who honored literature, but also for the state. This debate can be brought into the 6th grade and 7th grade classroom and be recreated to teach students about differing points of view.
The following website is very useful for middle school teachers who seek to incorporate primary sources in their curriculum as well as include lessons on the role of women in Chinese soicety: http://www.primarysource.org/library/tcus/women_han_tang/toc.htmThis website provides step by step lesson plans & teacher/student materials to go with the lessons. The lessons are very interesting. I especially like the incorporation of primary source materials in the lessons. The use of primary sources in a history classroom is essential if we as educators want our students to experience a more authentic experience of history. Studying primary sources allows students to travel back in time and hear the voices of the past come alive. The following website is a great resource for 7th-12th grade students. I especially like the lessons aimed at helping students understand the role of women in Chinese society. There are two great lessons worth checking out. One explores the role of women from the Han dynasty through the Ming dynasty. Some of the topics explored are women in politics, women poets, women in the Han dynasty, art galleries, foot binding, and the legend of Mullan. The second lesson helps students understand the changed role of women in the Han and Tang dynasties by reading excerpts from Ban Zhao's "Lessons for a Woman" and an essay on the life of T'ang Empress Wu Zetian.
I recommend teachers download an amazing FREE software program called “Digital Globe Google Earth.” It is a great resource for the teaching of not only East Asian geography, but geography in general. Google Earth is an award winning program that allows students to view the entire world by satellite. To download visit:http://download-earth.org/?gclid=CPGimrHT3YYCFUtiDgod4S8T4A
A Single ShardText by Linda Sue Park is an excellent reading material for middle school students. This would be a good introduction to discuss ceramic ware from Asian countries or to discuss medieval Asia. This book is about an orphan boy who becomes an apprendice to a famous Korean celadon glaze potter who is given a mission to travel many miles to present his mater's work at a national contest. As he travels, he goes through several legendary geographical sites/monuments in korea, facing many adventures. For amazon review, check out http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0440418518/104-0418451-9894318?v=glance&n=283155This is a very fun book. If you have SSR at your school, you should definitely recommend this book to your students. This is written at grade level 5-8.