Sunday, February 23, 2014

Learning About the Dynasties of China

This week students became more familiar with China’s geography by completing their own map of China and the surrounding countries. China is a land of large: the highest mountains, the tallest plateau, and one of the longest rivers. It is also a land with a unique culture and history.
Besides learning the geography, students also completed an activity where they learned about the Shang dynasty, a dynasty that was considered a legend until the  1920’s when artifacts were found to prove all the legendary stories.
Next week we will look at some important philosophers in China: Laozi, Confucius, and Li Si. They were influential during the Zhou dynasty. Students in periods 2, 4, and 7 will also be completing a writing project by trying their hand at Chinese calligraphy.
Below are some pictures of students working on their maps.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Starting China

We are starting our unit on ancient China.  Often this unit is hard for students because they do not have much understanding and background with the Chinese culture. However, it is an exciting culture to learn about. The Chinese were great inventors, and developed its own unique civilization isolated from the rest of the world.
This week students will learn about the geography of China, and begin a map of China and its surrounding countries. They will also take a quick look at some of China’s early dynasties, the Xia and Shang. Students in periods 2, 4, and 7 will also practice their writing skills by completing an essay about Chinese inventions. I am having them write in practice for an upcoming writing test the first week of March.
No pictures this week due to the snow day and early release.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Fond Farewell to Egypt

We are at the end of our study of Egypt. This next week students will have a test over Egypt and its neighbor to the south, Nubia. We spent the last week studying this ancient kingdom, which is modern day Sudan. Nubia, also know as Kush, had an interesting relationship with Egypt. It was often a relationship of conflict, but also one of conquest. In fact, Egypt conquered and controlled Nubia for a good 500 years. As well, the black African pharaohs of Dynasty 25 controlled Egypt for about 100 years.
Once we have finished with our Egyptian unit we will be on to studying ancient China. We begin this unit by first looking at the beginning of Buddhism, since Buddhism is an important religion in Asia. Also, Buddhist monks spread this religion from India to China and Japan, both cultures we will be studying this spring.