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Background Information

What is Asia?

“Asia” is a term invented by the Greeks and Romans, and developed by Western geographers to indicate the land mass east of the Ural Mountains and Ural River, together with offshore islands such as Japan and Java.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, Elementary School (4-5), High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Background Information

The Underground Army of the First Emperor

Just east of the modern city of Xi’an, you can see an army of soldiers unearthed. Discovered first in 1974, the work continues on three pits containing over 7,000 model soldiers. The army was buried within a framework of wooden pillars just east of the large tumulus containing the tomb of the First Emperor. It was a massive undertaking, certainly the largest ceramic project ever undertaken anywhere.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Lesson

Brushpainting: Nature in Art School Program (selected resources)

This selection of resources introduces students to the vocabulary, techniques, and values of East Asian ink painting. Lessons and background information compliment the Brushpainting: Nature in Art school program at the Asian Art Museum.

GRADE LEVEL: Elementary School (4-5), High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Activity

Scholar/Literati Scroll Project

Students will become members of the “literati/scholar” class by demonstrating their understanding of Chinese history, philosophy, and poetry. They will also display high achievement in the “Three Perfections”: calligraphy, painting, and poetry. This project is designed to be a creative alternative to daily or weekly assignments which might otherwise be assembled in a notebook or binder at the end of the 7th-grade Medieval China unit.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8)

Background Information

An Introduction to Ancient China

We will refer to Ancient China as the time between the Neolithic period (ca. 6,000‒ ca. 1750 BCE) and the Han dynasty (206 BCE‒ 220 CE), which is roughly equivalent to the period of the Roman Empire in the West. This is the formative stage of Chinese civilization. During this time, what we now call China developed from a collection of isolated cultural communities to a set of organized states which eventually coalesced around the idea of a single unified state, and then expanded to include contact with other civilizations.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Lesson

Good and Evil? Dynamic Opposites in the Story of Rama

Students brainstorm the qualities of good and evil and draw conclusions about the Balinese concept of “dynamic” or balanced opposites. Then, students will relate the idea of “dynamic opposites” in the Ramayana (Story of Rama) to present-day situations by identifying a current problem, creating a visual identify for their own pair of opposing characters, and scripting a dialogue.

GRADE LEVEL: Early Elementary School (K-3), Elementary School (4-5), Middle School (6-8)

Video

New Discoveries in Chinese Archaeology

Learn about some of the most prolific archaeological sites in China, including the burial complex of the First Emperor and Sanxingdui.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)