Friday, March 2, 2007

China Unit Details

Day 1 - Locate China on flat map and globe, What continent?, Identify Beijing as capital city, discuss population of 1.2 billion people, Read The Empress and the Silkworm by Lily Toy Hong and select stories from The Rainbow People by Laurence Yep (Chinese folktales), watch DVD Big Bird in China

Day 2 - Read from E.D. Hirsch's What Your 2nd Grader Needs to Know, Locate Yellow and Yangtze Rivers on their flat map and label them, discuss farming in China, use atlas to determine the various climates in China, use atlas to locate Himalayas and Mt. Everest - label on flat map, Lee read Rookie Read-About Geography: Mount Everest aloud to all of us, Read aloud Tiger of the Snows, Tenzing Norgay: The boy whose dream was Everest by Robert Burleigh and Ed Young

Day 3 - Introduce Saint Joseph as the Patron Saint of China, read brief biography while they color a St. Joseph coloring page, look up our Chinese Zodiac and read about each one of us. This was very fun. Although I don't put a lot of value on zodiac signs, it was interesting to see how each one of us fits our given animal quite well. Discussed the Year of the Pig and how many couples will attempt to have babies this year due to the good fortune that a Year of the Pig baby could bring. They colored a Year of the Pig coloring page. I found the zodiac and pig info here. Make paper bag dragon found in the Little Hands Big Fun Craft Book by Judy Press

Day 4 - Read Long is a Dragon: Chinese Writing for Children by Peggy Goldstein, use stencils to write Chinese fortunes and free hand characters with black paint and new round tip paint brushes. I thought this would keep them going for a long time, but they were just too excited about cousins coming, snow falling and dad's birthday tomorrow to even focus and relax. We'll pull out the materials again next week, make Chicken Oriental dinner

Day 5 - Read The Elephant's Pillow by Diana Reynolds Roome, read Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel, try our hand at paper folding using the book Chinese Paper Folding For Beginners by Maying Soong.

Day 6 - Read The Great Wall of China: A First Fact Book by Thompson and Overbeck and read The Great Wall of China by Leonard Everett Fisher, then build our own Great Wall with blocks and Legos

We are in the middle of this unit. As usual, I planned for it to take 6 school days, but we are on day 6 and not done yet. Looks like we have about 2 more days of discovering yet to do.

Other resources
Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story From China (video)
Li Lun: Lad of Courage by Carolyn Treffinger (Grace is reading this chapter book)
Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story From China by Ed Young
Between the Dragon and the Eagle by Mical Schneider (chapter book read aloud)
Tales of a Chinese Grandmother by Frances Carpenter
The Mountains of Tibet by Mordicai Gerstein
Made in China: Ideas and Inventions from Ancient China by Suzanne Williams