Sunday, March 6, 2011

Halfway Through Our Asia Unit

I can’t believe it, but we are almost through studying China. Next we will study Japan. This week we finish China with a look at the Song Dynasty and how a type of fast growing rice led to an improved economy and urbanization. This is a great chapter to help kids understand how small things in an economy can have huge effects. Students will also have a short quiz on Wednesday, March 9th, over the Chinese history we have done so far. China has such a huge history there is no way we could even begin to scratch the surface of this fascinating country.
Beginning Thursday of this week we will start learning about Japan. We begin every unit by looking at a country’s geography and Japan will be no different.  Japan is an archipelago with a mountainous terrain and little natural resources. This geography played a key role in Japan’s actions during WWII. It is during our study of Japan that classes do a simulation entitled “War Lords of Japan”. It is a favorite of most students. They have a lot of fun trying to take over neighboring clans and become the Shogun of Japan. They also learn a lot of Japanese history in the process.
Below are some pictures of students reading about the different Romanization systems of Chinese, Wade-Giles versus Pinyin. There are also pictures of them trading along the Silk Road and experiencing some of its dangers. My apologies for some blurring of pictures. My iPhone does not capture quick action very well.

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