India & China Teacher's Guide

May 17, 2000 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

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The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:

Kavitha - Keeping their heads above water!

The team visits one of the most drought prone areas of north-eastern Rajasthan, an area that has suffered from unbeliveable water shortages, only to encounter a human success story

This dispatch tells an inspiring story about how individuals working at a local level can make a big difference. Are there any community service groups in your area? What projects are they undertaking and towards what ends?

Jasmine - The Ruins of Vijayanagar: A Sacred and Grand Legacy
NOTE: Kids' Version Available

The team takes a trip back in time to visit the India of the 1300s and 1400s as shown at the ruins of the Vijayanagar kingdom, one of India's greatest empires in Central Karnataka. Hampi, as it is called today, was once a great trade center for the region's spice and diamond markets. The lucrative trade financed a fabulously luxurious lifestyle, which is still apparent two hundred years later.

Jasmine begins her dispatch by telling about how visiting a historic site can sometime work to bring history alive. That is the subject of her dispatch. Can any of your students recall visiting a historically important site? What sites were they? Did the visit work to bring alive the history of the place, as it did for Jasmine? If so, ask them to descibe what they imagined the scene to look like?

Abeja - "Ladenge, Jitenge, Sikhenge, Badenge!": We will fight, we will win, we will learn, we will grow!

The team visits the Adivasi village of Nimghavan, Maharashtra, India where the local villages have come together to create their own primary school. Called a "jeevanshala," or "school of life," the students here learn more than just math and history! Meet two teachers (gurujis) and Doorsing, one of the first graduates of this jeevanshala.

In this dispatch, Abeja tells the story of the struggles of a village doomed by the actions of its govenrment. It is a situation similar to the those of other indigenous groups who are not in control of what is happening to their lands. Abeja provides links that provide information about these struggles at the end of her dispatch. Ask your students to follow these links and compare the situation of the residents of the Adivasi villages with the situation of these other indigenous people?

Abeja - Gandhi's Satyagraha, the insistence on truth
NOTE: Kids' Version Available

The team visits the Adivasi village of Domkhedi along the Narmada River. They learn about the traditional way of life, how it is being threatened by the Sardar Sarovar Dam being built downstream, and how the villagers are resisting the loss of their land through "satyagrahas," a form of civil disobedience inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. Topics covered include seasons in India, the current drought, the monsoons, and civil disobedience.

In a sidebar of this dispatch, Abeja relates a few famous instances of civil disobedience. Are your students familiar with the examples she uses (Ghandi and Rosa Parks)? She goes on to ask, "Can you name other famous acts of civil disobedience? Do you think that it was ok to break the law in these situations? Would you ever participate in civil disobedience?"

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