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China's Crouching Dragon

Delve into the history and culture of China! Research geography, inventions, or other aspects, then sculpt a symbolic display about this intriguing country.

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Although it is the world's third-largest country in land area, China has the world's greatest population, with about 1.3 billion people. That means one out of every five people on Earth lives in China. China is also one of the oldest civilizations, with a culture that has existed for more than 5000 years.
    2. Students research this remarkable nation starting with China's geography (it is about the same size as the United States of America) to understand how its landscape and climates have influenced the country's history and development.
    3. Students learn about inventions created in China including suspension bridges, canal locks, levy and dike systems, oil derricks, spinning wheels, and umbrellas. What Chinese innovations are in the areas of science, medicine, and technology?
    4. Students visit a museum or Web site with a collection of ancient Chinese artifacts. Learn about the different dynasties and the artwork produced at those times. Explore the visual language of this rich culture found in carved and bronze casting work, calligraphy and scrollwork, architecture, and silk weaving.
    5. Seek knowledge about the religious beliefs practiced throughout China's history. In what ways do Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism affect it?
    6. Using white Crayola® Model Magic®, illustrate your research findings visually by creating a symbolic display that tells a few of the many stories of China. Mix Crayola Washable Markers into the Model Magic to create an array of colors.
    7. Combine the images in an aesthetically pleasing display on cardboard. Attach them with Crayola School Glue. Dry.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization and analysis of content.

    LA: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.

    SS: Examine the interactions of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Research China's history during the early dynasties with the China during the rule of Mao Tse Tung, and the China of today. What has changed? What remains the same? In a small group, discuss with classmates what you think the China of the future will look like.

    If possible, with classmates assisting, prepare an authentic Chinese feast. Include recipes presented as part of the feast.

    Invite a recent Chinese immigrant to speak to the class about changes he has witnessed in China during his lifetime. Prior to the visit, students prepare interview questions for the immigrant. After the visit, students post to a class blog about learning.

    Students research Chinese artists and their techniques. Prepare an organized electronic presentation summarizing the research which can be uploaded to a class computer for future viewing.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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