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:

Jasmine - Cow-Hippie-Gypsy Market

The team visits the Wednesday Anjuna flea market, a beachside frenzy that is all the rage for tourists and locals alike throughout the state of Goa. Students get to share in our sensory experience as we shop, eat, haggle, and meet some interesting characters in India.

Flea markets take place all over the world. Ask students to bring in props from home and then put on a flea market in your own classroom. (Or get together with a number of classrooms to create a school-wide market.) Complete the exercise with a lunch discussion over the purpose of local flea markets. Why do students think flea markets came to be? Have they ever been to one and did they buy or sell anything? Was their experience similar to Jasmine's and did they enjoy the experience?

Jasmine - Caving into History
NOTE: Kids Version Available

The team visits the ancient and sacred Buddhist and Hindu cave temples in Ajanta and Ellora. This introduction to Hinduism and Buddhism begins at the location of the roots of the faith, as these cave temples date back some 2000 years ago.

Use Jasmine's dispatch to inspire students to do some digging and exploring on their own. Break students into small groups and ask them to research and locate another place in the world where rock caves have been discovered. Focus 50% of their research on the location, geography and physical details of their chosen cave. The remaining 50% should be spent learning about cave art, the stories depicted on the cave's walls, and the significance of these stories. Have the groups share their discoveries with the class by presenting an oral and visual report that includes an illustration of the cave they have researched.

Jasmine - Oooooomm...Meeting Sai Baba

The team visits Whitefield, Sai Baba's ashram in Bangalore, India. Students experience a close encounter with the reverent God incarnate and his devotees at a morning service.

Jasmine describes so many of the sights, sounds and ceremonial details associated with a visit to the holy figure of Sai Baba. Bring these details to life by asking students to bring in props from home that would help them describe a spiritual or ceremonial experience they have had. Students may be just beginning to explore their own spiritual beliefs. Ask them to submit a written journal entry with their own definition of spirituality and its importance to them.

Kavitha - You Had to Ask: Kavitha and Pramila Ponder Their Roots In India

Kavitha travels with her sister in India, and discusses the difference in experience for foreigners of Indian descent. Kavitha also ponders the definition of an American.

Many students in your classroom may have experiences similar to those of Kavitha and her sister. Discuss the issues raised in this dispatch with the entire class by asking: What does it really mean to be part of the country they live in? Can a person feel connected to two separate countries and or cultures? Does a person have to choose? If there are students who do feel a part of more than one culture, have them share their thoughts and experiences with the class. If there are a number of foreign cultures represented by the students, set aside some time each day (or once a week) for these students to take turns sharing something unique about their "second" culture.

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