India & China Teacher's Guide

May 20, 2000 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

Check out this date's update
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:

Abeja - Tell Me that You Love Me!

The team goes to a Bollywood blockbuster, "Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai," and serves as an extra on a film shoot in Bombay.

Might be entertaining to host a mini-Indian film festival in your classroom. Choose 2-3 films, current or old, and have class watch and discuss. If they're motivated, maybe they can write short critiques on their favorite.

Andrew - Tibetan Odyssey Part I: Honk If You Love Yak Butter Tea

The Team explores the history of Tibet. The origins of the Tibetan culture are explained including Tibetan Buddhism.

Andrew briefly mentions the fact that Tibet is no longer and independent country. This is a controversial issue which has received a lot of press. To make your students aware of the issues involved in this controversy, ask them to research Tibet on the internet and write a small report about the country and its relationship with China.

Andrew - Tibetan Odyssey Part II: There's No Place Like Home - But Tibetan Exiles Make Do in Dharamsala

Andrew visits Dharamsala, home of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile. He details the Chinese occupation of Tibet and describes the present plight of the Tibetans living in exile.

Discuss Reincarnation (as in the sidebar) in-depth with students. Do they believe in it? If so, do they feel they have lived other lives and why? If they could choose what they could come back as next time, what would it be and why?

Jasmine - Bundle of Joy... if it's a boy

The third in a series of profiles of women, Jasmine visits a family in India and meets a young mother who discusses family life, societal pressures on women and the significance and benefits of male births. Includes information about female infanticide as a solution to the stigma attached to having a female child and the costs of raising a daughter.

Hold an informal discussion with students about this dispatch. Have them share their thoughts and feelings on the importance of boy versus girl babies in India, as well as the different roles of adult men and women. How does it differ in their society? Or, are there any similarities? In terms of infanticide, how does it make them feel about India to know that this is how their society functions?

Jasmine - Mother, Sister... India
Kids' Version Available

Curious about the life of women in India, the team sets out to meet the mothers, daughters, aunts and sisters of India. The following is the first in a series of profiles of women from various walks of life, different cities and states, but with very similar stories. Each woman talks about education, family life, social status, and tradition. In this article, we meet Arvinda. She introduces us to village life to help us to better understand the cultural status of women in India.

It is a hard life for many women in India. Many are uneducated, work all day in the field and then come home to take care of their families. They don't have much choice. But, there are still able, as this dispatch shows, to form a sisterhood and a community way of sharing and helping each other. Many retain a positive outlook, in light of the hardships. Have students take a look at their countries and the role women play today. Break class into two groups and have one list the 'Top Ten Good Things About Being A Woman Today' and have the other list the 'Top Ten Bad Things About Being A Woman Today." Discuss and compare the results.

Kavitha - Good For What Ails You

The team visits a naturopathic clinic and learns some of the strange, but time-tested, remedies of India's ancient healing traditions.

Discuss the role of holistic/natural/organic medicine practiced in your country. Compare some of the remedies discussed in this dispatch with those used at home. Break students into groups and have them try a few of the more doable ones and report back on how they feel. (For fun, give everyone a mud facial!)

Team - Making a Difference: Beavers Build Them, So Why Shouldn't We?

The team explores the impact of dams on natural river ecosystems. They talk of the Narmada Dam in India and compare it to dam projects here in the United States.

Ask your class to zero in on some of the suggestions for Making a Difference at the end of the article. Ask them to figure out ways they can use less water. Also, ask them to research alternate sources of power that are not harmful to the environment. And lastly, ask them to learn more by visiting the web sites that this dispatch links to.

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