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Chinese New Year

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5 to 8
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Gear up for the Year of the ox with this informational site about the Chinese New Year. Learn about the animals in the Chinese zodiac, the significance of dragons in ...more
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Gear up for the Year of the ox with this informational site about the Chinese New Year. Learn about the animals in the Chinese zodiac, the significance of dragons in Chinese mythology, several "special" facts about various years, and how the date of the New Year is determined. Get some great ideas from this site for activities in your classroom.

tag(s): china (66), chinese (48), chinese new year (3)

In the Classroom

Share the "what's special about..." section with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students judge which year was the most special and write journal entries or blogs about WHY.

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China - BBC

Grades
K to 8
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This website (created by BBC), provides a wealth of information on China. It was updated in 2007, so is slightly out of date. But the information still provides solid research ...more
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This website (created by BBC), provides a wealth of information on China. It was updated in 2007, so is slightly out of date. But the information still provides solid research and information about the country. Visitors to the website will find information about saving the pandas, China's one-child policy, famous Chinese landmarks and authentic accounts of visits to China (through the eyes and words of other students).

tag(s): china (66), cultures (105), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on a virtual field trip to China! The students are sure to enjoy the pictures and "student guides" of China. As a comparison across cultures, have your students create a "student guide" that compares their own culture with another. Middle school students could use issues such as the "one child policy" and some social policies as writing prompts for persuasive essays or debate topics in their world cultures class.

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WebQuest: Does the Tiger Eat Her Cubs? - Knowledge Network Explorer

Grades
9 to 12
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This WebQuest asks students to consider "the truth about how children are treated in China" through looking at reports about the conditions in orphanages in China, about China's "one...more
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This WebQuest asks students to consider "the truth about how children are treated in China" through looking at reports about the conditions in orphanages in China, about China's "one child" policy, and about human rights in general. The site does include a disclaimer on the opening page warning teachers to evaluate if this WebQuest is appropriate for their classroom.

This is a very sensitive subject, and teachers should consider the maturity of their students before proceeding with the activities on this site. In addition, teachers should be sensitive to the fact that there may be Chinese adoptees in their classes for whom this topic might be especially difficult.

At the time of this review, a few of the links were no longer active. We are keeping the listing because of the discussions that the site can produce. You may want to provide students with a corrected resource list without the dead links.

tag(s): china (66), population (60)

In the Classroom

While it is unlikely you will want to make a discussion on the plight of Chinese orphans the centerpiece of an examination of Chinese culture, this site may prove valuable for a student or student group to use in planning a special project. This site would be good research background for a debate on human rights.

For an extension activity, have student groups create online venn diagrams, dissecting the two different arguments. This can be done using a program such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Students can do this in their groups on classroom computers, or as a class on the interactive whiteboard. This would be a good way to lead into a discussion of the power of the media, and government responsibilities in regards to social services.

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Playing with Shadows - Kennedy Center

Grades
4 to 6
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Introduce your students to the ancient Chinese art of shadow puppetry with this delightful and interactive site. In addition to revealing the basic mechanics of the art, this resource...more
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Introduce your students to the ancient Chinese art of shadow puppetry with this delightful and interactive site. In addition to revealing the basic mechanics of the art, this resource provides historical background, descriptions of traditional stories and characters used in shadow puppetry, and videos of actual shows performed by the Shaanxi Folk Art Theater - a renowned Chinese puppetry troupe. After observing the step-by-step process of puppet and stage creation, visitors can construct virtual puppets and create their own shows.

tag(s): cultures (105)

In the Classroom

This site might provide some inspiration for a very different kind of multicultural class project. Create your own shadow puppets from straws, tape, paper fasteners, and scissors; then add a simple cotton screen and light source. Instructions and illustrations are provided.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Create a Timeline - Ourtimelines.com

Grades
1 to 12
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This online tool lets you create a timeline of an individual's life using dates from 1000 AD to the present year. Enter the person's name and dates, add events (historic ...more
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This online tool lets you create a timeline of an individual's life using dates from 1000 AD to the present year. Enter the person's name and dates, add events (historic or personal) and their beginning/ending dates, and click the "generate" button.

tag(s): timelines (62)

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Mysterious Mummmies of China - PBS Nova

Grades
6 to 12
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In the late 1980s, perfectly preserved 3,000 year old mummies began appearing in a remote desert in China. Surprisingly, they possessed the physical characteristics of Europeans and...more
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In the late 1980s, perfectly preserved 3,000 year old mummies began appearing in a remote desert in China. Surprisingly, they possessed the physical characteristics of Europeans and did not appear to be ancestors of the modern-day Chinese. Where did they come from? How were they preserved? What can linguistics reveal about such ancient people? The site explores these unsolved mysteries and makes connections to similar finds throughout the world.

tag(s): china (66), europe (75)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on Ancient China in a World History classroom. Because there's a lot of content on this site, try creating a guide to help students understand what's the most significant. For help creating graphic organizers easily, try Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Panda Central - San Diego Zoo

Grades
2 to 12
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The San Diego Zoo's panda pages offer a plethora of photos and other information about China's most reclusive citizens. Besides being undeniably cute, pandas make a great preservation...more
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The San Diego Zoo's panda pages offer a plethora of photos and other information about China's most reclusive citizens. Besides being undeniably cute, pandas make a great preservation study with some interesting international overtones. It now includes a live webcam stream of the pandas 24 hours a day

tag(s): animals (276), china (66), endangered species (38), species (29)

In the Classroom

Both elementary and secondary teachers will find this one useful.

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Berlin Wall - The Newseum

Grades
6 to 12
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The Berlin Wall and the Press is a short video (just over 14 minutes) that presents life on both sides of the Berlin Wall including escapes and protests. Find three ...more
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The Berlin Wall and the Press is a short video (just over 14 minutes) that presents life on both sides of the Berlin Wall including escapes and protests. Find three activities (downloadable in PDF format) to prepare students to analyze the impact of the Berlin Wall. The video is a fascinating presentation with primary sources about the origins of the wall from both western and Soviet perspectives. There are also nine Optional Extension Activities; these cover everything from graffiti art on the wall, to writing personal journals as one of the residents of East Berlin, to researching the unification of Berlin after the wall came down, and even more. Two of the activities help increase student awareness of political unrest in other parts of the world (China's Tiananmen Square Nov. 1989; Tehran, Iran June 2009; Tunis, Tunisia Jan. 2011; and Cairo, Egypt Jan. 2011), asking students to research challenges and criticisms of the press while trying to report on them.

tag(s): china (66), cold war (29), egypt (67), german (64), germany (28), iran (12), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Teachers should plan on spending ample time previewing the site before using it in class. Initially view the video as a class and have a discussion. You might want to use a backchannel tool like TodaysMeet, reviewed here, for the discussion. The advantage of a backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy. Have small groups choose which of the extension activities they would like to investigate. Allow students to create a final project other than an essay to share their findings and present to the class. Suggest something like an online poster using Checkthis, reviewed here, or a simple infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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China - Country Studies - Library of Congress

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations,...more
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations, and the material will be challenging for some students.

tag(s): asia (73), china (66)

In the Classroom

Teachers will find these summaries useful for their comprehensive scope, which frequently includes historical and cultural background information. Much of the content is 5 or more years old, so these pages are best used for historical or background information.

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Who Invented it? When? Chinese Inventions: An Introductory Activity - Ask Asia

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn about Chinese inventors and deflate erroneous stereotypes about Chinese technology. From the Ask Asia series. ...more
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Learn about Chinese inventors and deflate erroneous stereotypes about Chinese technology. From the Ask Asia series.

tag(s): asia (73), china (66), inventors and inventions (99)

In the Classroom

Use this free lesson plan in class during a unit on Chinese inventions and innovations. Make sure to mention the years inventions were made while performing the activity, students will be amazed just how many inventions we use today were made almost 3 thousand years ago!

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Visions of China - CNN

Grades
6 to 12
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This site from CNN offers a look at internal and international issues affecting China, considering everything from the rise of a new middle class to the ecological impact of a ...more
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This site from CNN offers a look at internal and international issues affecting China, considering everything from the rise of a new middle class to the ecological impact of a new dam to the future of relations with the United States. While there's plenty of history here, the focus is clearly on how China fits into the current world order. Beautiful design and artwork!

tag(s): china (66), chinese (48)

In the Classroom

Save this as a favorite and use it as a learning center or station during a unit on modern china. This activity works best if students have a graphic organizer to guide them through all of the information. If in need of help with the guide, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). This would be a great resource for a World History or US government class.

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Touring China - Chinese National Tourist Office

Grades
4 to 12
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This site from the Chinese National Tourism Office provides very general information on the features of China's various regions, paying particular note to places interesting to tourists....more
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This site from the Chinese National Tourism Office provides very general information on the features of China's various regions, paying particular note to places interesting to tourists. Despite the lack of detail, there's more than enough here to get a sense of the variations in China's geography, cultures, and history.

tag(s): virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on China, modern or Ancient since most of the spots mentioned have historical significance stretching over centuries. Allow students to explore the site on their own with the intentions of creating their own travel brochure based on this website and previous knowledge of Chinese history. Making sure that student projects are connected to historical content, projects can be as easy as paper brochures to as complex as video commercials. If using a video-based project,have your students make their own ads based on the videos and radio transmissions they can view here. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.

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Chinese Garden Markets

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is a photojournal of a tour through the Chinese countryside, noting the ways in which local "farmers' markets" contribute to the vitality of an otherwise centralized Chinese...more
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This site is a photojournal of a tour through the Chinese countryside, noting the ways in which local "farmers' markets" contribute to the vitality of an otherwise centralized Chinese economy. Interesting for its purely local and village focus, as well as for the photos showing what life in small Chinese villages really looks like.

tag(s): china (66)

In the Classroom

Use the images from this site to contribute to a class visual discovery based on the economic situation of China. Most of the images are representative of the free markets thriving in major cities, making it easy to compare and contrast with what students have seen in the US. Select 3-5 of the more stimulating images, placing them in a powerpoint presentation. Show students the slides via interactive whiteboard/projector, with students writing down what they can observe & infer about each image. After the display is complete, have a class discussion based on student findings. This would be a great review activity, allowing students to apply classroom knowledge on what they're viewing.

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The BBC's Special Report - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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BBC's report on the 50th anniversary of Communism in China ...more
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BBC's report on the 50th anniversary of Communism in China

tag(s): china (66)

In the Classroom

Although too outdated to be a current event's piece, this site could be used to study the ever-evolving nature of the Chinese government. Compare the reports on economic and social freedoms to those found elsewhere detailing those same rights today. Over the interactive whiteboard,use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast the two environments. This would be a great resource for a government or international politics class.

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65 History Twitter Feeds - Glenn Wiebe

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers a wonderful list of Twitter feeds to consider if you are just starting out or if you are adding to your feed related to history. The list ...more
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This site offers a wonderful list of Twitter feeds to consider if you are just starting out or if you are adding to your feed related to history. The list includes the Twitter name with a link and a short description. Feeds include the Library of Congress, quotes and sayings from Thomas Jefferson, and HistoryDay (see what happened on this day in history). Feeds are separated into categories such as media, educators and students, and military to help navigate the different types.

tag(s): congress (33), history day (23), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom twitter account and choose feeds to follow that relate to classroom studies. Assign different students to follow the feed each week to summarize and review. Challenge students to find other history Twitter feeds to follow. Have students create a Twitter account as a historical figure as part of research projects. Looking for more ways to use twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Mapeas - mapeas.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Find news videos from around the world in a unique way. Mapeas video links are located on a Google Map. Go to the specific geographical area of the world you ...more
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Find news videos from around the world in a unique way. Mapeas video links are located on a Google Map. Go to the specific geographical area of the world you want and click on the links. Larger dots contain more videos in that area. There are dots that indicate a news story in business, entertainment, or general. Continue to click on the dots until there are actual videos to choose from. Stay informed with current events around the world with this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): maps (287)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find events occurring around the world. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Research about many of these events to understand the history, culture, and background of the problem or event. Research other such events that may have occurred elsewhere in the world. Report findings using a blog, wiki, or through class discussion. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Challenge students to find their own news stories and create a short multimedia project highlighting "the news" by creating a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced) to explain their news story that they researched. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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