India & China Teacher's Guide

July 26, 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 - Here we are in China! No wait, I mean Istanbul! No, no, this must be Tehran!

The team visits the ancient city of Xi'an, China, the end of the Silk Road, and once a powerful international commercial center. Visit the Muslim quarter, walk the city walls, and shop in an antique market

  1. Using a search engine on the internet (such as Google or Alta Vista) have the students research the history of the Muslim religion (put together guiding questions to focus their search: who, what, where, when, why).
  2. After researching, put the students in small groups of 4-5 to discuss their findings and create a presentation. Each group can focus on one section depending on your guiding questions.
  3. Using a picture of a map from the time period trace the road of the Muslim religion to China. Have students brainstorm possible effects this has had on the Chinese people.

Jasmine - One Man's Insects Are Another Man's Steak
*Kid's Version available

The team experiences various Chinese delicacies in a night market in Jinan and explains the styles, types and variety of Chinese foods.

  1. Find an article about the value of eating insects. Have the students read the article, taking notes on the main ideas/reasons. Afterwards, the students write a persuasive paper encouraging other teens to "try bugs".
  2. Have a Chinese food tasting faire! Ask any students of Chinese background to help you pick and choose the foods to best represent their culture. All students are assigned a partner (placing Chinese students in as many different groups as possible) and a dish to bring to class. After the smorgasborg, have a discussion about the taste, style and texture of the foods.
  3. Students do a quick-write on the most unusual food they have ever tried and if they enjoyed it or not. Volunteers can share with the class.

Kavitha - Learning the Way of the Peaceful Warrior - Mastering the Art of Kung-fu

A fictional story about a little boy who travels to China to learn kung-fu only to realize that martial arts in China, like other ancient traditions, are part of a holistic approach to life. Tai-chi, chi-gong, fengshui, and traditional medicine are discussed.

  1. Show a clip from the film: The Karate Kid, where the young trainee is asked to paint, and wax cars using certain movements. Stop the film after the boy becomes frustrated (but before the master explains his reasoning) to ask the students why the master might be training the young boy in this way. Then ask them what they think the boy will discover. Finish the clip where the boy has acquired skills he didn't know he was practicing and have the students freewrite about a time they wanted to do something but were told they were too young or not able to do it.
  2. Break up the story from the article into the parts of a fable and analyze the pattern of the story. Ask students if they know of any other similar stories. You can bring up films such as Star Wars or any other recent hero action film that fits the pattern. Have students create a fable of their own using the pattern as a guide.
  3. Put students into small groups of 3-4 by counting off by numbers and pass out information about the philosophical tenets discussed in the article: tai-chi, chi-gong etc. Each group is to become an expert in their "field" within the allotted time. Jigsaw the groups into new forms by having each group count off by letters. The new groups discuss what they learned. Have a brief quiz at the end.

Yang-Yang - Finding the Confucian in you!
*Kid's Version available

SUMMARY The team visits Qufu in the Shandong province where the Chinese philosopher-sage Confucius was born in 551 B.C. The team designs a fun survey to learn more about the teachings of Confucius, as recorded in the Analects of Confucius.

  1. Get a copy of Confucius's sayings and pass them out to the students. Have them choose their favorite one, write it on a sheet of white paper an decorate it. The students then attach their explanation on a separate piece of paper.
  2. Go over the survey from the article and have students describe ways they could live in a more Confucius-like manner, and how this might change their lives in little ways.
  3. Students could imitate the style of Confucius and update the some of the sayings to apply to today.

Yang-Yang - The price is right...but at what cost to Chinese culture?

As the trekkers prepare to say good-bye to the very last stage of the World Trek in China, Yang-Yang reflects on the social and economic changes in China today and on what it means to her to be calling Beijing home again after a 14-year absence.

  1. Pass out an article or two on the changes in China (especially Beijing). Have the students practice note taking skills and list their ideas on a large piece of butcher paper to refer to later.
  2. Students can brainstorm what life would be like living in another country/culture other than their own. What kinds of things would they enjoy? miss? would they get frustrated? etc. They then would compare these ideas to the trekkers trials and tribulations.
  3. Students create a mock diary detailing what life might be like for Yang-Yang in Beijing a few months after making her home there.
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