Sunday, February 24, 2013

Writing Chinese

This week students learned that writing in China was probably developed by the Shang Dynasty. The Shang dynasty was legendary for many years until archeologists discovered some early writing on bones and bronze vessels indicating that the Shang truly did exist. Today the Shang are considered one of China’s first dynasties and are recognized for their early skills in bronze making.

Students learned about this early dynasty by examining pictures of artifacts and reading the textbook with a partner.  They also created a map of China and its surrounding countries. This next upcoming week students will learn about some basic philosophies of ancient China: Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. These philosophies basically began during the Zhou Dynasty. As well as studying the Zhou Dynasty they will try their hand at writing a proverb in Chinese. This project is always high interest and students produce some lovely artwork.
Below are some pictures of students looking at Shang artifacts and working on their maps

Monday, February 18, 2013

China’s Geography

Last week students in Social Studies learned about the geography of China. They discovered how tall the Tibetan Plateau is, that the name of the Taklamakan Desert means “those who go in, never come out,” and read a little about the economic goals of China today. Truly they are underway in their study of this large and exotic country.

During the second half of class this next week we will discover some characteristics of the Shang Dynasty, the first dynasty of China, while during the first half of class students will work to complete their maps. We have done a lot of background work to make sure students understand the terrain of China and so hopefully this week’s map will not be too difficult.
Below are a few pictures Red Block.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Starting Our Study of Asia

We said goodbye to Egypt this week with a test. Most students did very well, but now we are underway in our study of Asia. We began by looking at the geography of India, and this next week will continue by looking at the geography of China. Words like highest, largest, and longest can apply to its geography.  The highest mountains, one of the largest deserts, and some of the longest rivers in the world can be found in China.

Students often find the study of China a little more challenging because it is so new to them. However, this novelty makes it also very interesting. We will be studying China and Japan over the next several months. It is a wonderful journey into an unfamiliar world.

Below are pictures of some of Red Block doing fluency practice and reading about India in Jr. Scholastic.