Samurai: Design Your Own Symbol
The imagery on a samurai’s armor expresses that samurai’s identity and source of inspiration or empowerment. Is there an image you connect with most?
Objective: Students will:
1) Build geographical awareness by identifying geographical features and resources that are specific to Japan
2) Analyze how these features affected Japanese culture and econmic life.
3) Develop argumentative responses utilizing their conclusions.
Common Core Standards:
History-Social Science Content Standard: 7.5 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Medieval Japan. 7.5.1 Describe the significance of Japan’s proximity to China and Korea and the intellectual, linguistic, religious, and philosophical influence of those countries on Japan.
Common Core Reading and Writing Standard(s):
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
1. Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
Lesson Teaching Thesis:
The natural resources of Japan created a distinct culture based on both isolation and regional connections. Japan, due to being an archipelago, is isolated by the surrounding oceans. Equally, the percentage of mountainous terrain created barriers within Japan, which hindered unification. The lack of some resources created a need for trade that promoted contact and exchange with the Asian mainland.
Warm-up: Human Development and the Environment
The teacher brainstorms with the class about the role of geography in human development:
Part 1: Analysis of Physical Geography and Resources
These images help students identify the basic geography and available resources in Japan.
Part 2: Human Adaptations and Resources Analysis
This set of images help students understand how humans have utilized the available resources to meet basic needs.
Section 3: The Impact of Japan’s Geography on its Isolation vs. Interconnectedness
This set of images helps students explore the ways Japanese society created connections internally and externally.
History-Social Science Framework Alignment:
Historical Thinking Concept and Guidepost:
Evidence: We use evidence to make inferences. Evidence must be corroborated.
Cause & Consequence: Causes and consequences result from an interconnected web of conditions and actions.
By: Evette Allen, San Jose Unified School District in partnership with UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project, 2017.