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Final Projects – Comparing Places

3 May


Students have been working very hard for several weeks now for our comparing places project. Students chose either China or India to compare with a country of their choice. Focusing on the physical and cultural geography and characteristics of their two places, they conducted research, evaluated resources, developed note-taking skills, and learned academic vocabulary and comparative language. They wrote an essay comparing and contrasting their two places, as well as learned how to cite their sources using an MLA format. Their final step is to create a visual product (video, poster, slide show, etc.) demonstrating the highlights of their two places and how they are unique. Final products are due this week. Next week on Monday and Tuesday, students will share their learning. 

What is climate?

4 Feb

What is climate? How is climate different than weather? You will be researching the climate of your country for your project. These videos could be helpful.

The New Silk Road & Globalization

15 Dec

These videos make connections between the ancient Silk Road network and the New Silk Road routes that China and other countries are developing today.

Why are they developing these ancient routes today? 

Is the ancient Silk Road an example of globalization?  

Should the ancient Silk Road be renamed?

The Silk Roads (Videos)

5 Dec

The legacy of Ancient China: Chinese silk was important in opening trade routes to the west. The trade routes stretched westward from China through central Asia to Mesopotamia and Europe. I have included several videos which tell the history of the Silk Roads, as well as talk about the Silk Roads today. Watch a video and comment about three things you learned about the Silk Roads from one or more of these videos. 

Archaeologists Uncover Another Branch of the Silk Road

29 Mar

Famous for facilitating an incredible exchange of culture and goods between the East and the West, the ancient Silk Road is thought to have meandered across long horizontal distances in mountain foothills and the lowlands of the Gobi Desert. But new archaeological evidence hidden in a lofty tomb reveals that it also ventured into the high altitudes of Tibet—a previously unknown arm of the trade route. Read this Scientific American article to learn more about this discovery. 



The Field Museum’s China Exhibit

22 Mar

If you happen to be visiting the U.S. this summer and are near Chicago, you should visit the Field Museum. I just learned about their new exhibit on Shi Huang Di, China’s first emperor and the terracotta warriors. You can see this exhibit until January 2017. If you cannot visit it, check out their website which has a lot of cool images and facts. Check it out!

The Silk Roads

18 Mar

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 12.36.39 PMsilk roadSilk_route

In class, we finished our ancient China unit by learning about the Silk Road. The Silk Road was a network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce. As the Silk Road was not a single thoroughfare from east to west, the term ‘Silk Routes’ has become increasingly favored by historians, though ‘Silk Road’ is the more common and recognized name. The greatest value of the Silk Road was the exchange of culture. Art, religion, philosophy, technology, language, science, architecture, and every other element of civilization was exchanged through the Silk Road along with the commercial goods the merchants carried from country to country. Here is a playlist I created that features some interesting videos on the these amazing routes. 



16 Mar

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Qin Dynasty, Terracotta Warriors and Great Wall of China

12 Mar

Here are some more videos related to our current lessons. I have included the TED-Ed video that we used for our Zaption activity. Enjoy!

Friday Quotes & Round-Up

11 Mar

Great quotes

See Think Wonder

See – Think – Wonder


Mr. M got his cast off on Thursday, March 10. Three more weeks in the “moon” boot.



Nice work from Madhulka on Do Now #15


It has been a great week of learning. Students finished presenting their projects on Chinese philosophies, we learned about China’s first major emperor Shi Huang Di and the Qin dynasty, and we used Zaption for the first time. Expect to see more Zaption activities this year, as we think it’s a useful tool to introduce and review topics we are learning, as well as to develop listening comprehension skills. Students continued to develop thinking routines through ‘See, Think, and Wonder’ activities (Shi Huang Di’s ‘silent army,’ the Terracotta Warriors). Finally, students began learning journey #2 for Out of Eden Learn. Have a great weekend! 

Ancient China Playlist

5 Mar

This playlist includes several helpful videos that cover some of the things we are currently learning in our ancient China unit. Enjoy!

China Presentations

2 Mar

Students have been working on a research project for our ancient China unit, focusing on one of the major Chinese philosophies (Legalism, Confucianism, or Daoism/Taoism) or one of two dynasties (Shang/Zhou). Here are some photos….more will be added later.




News: The country with the worst air pollution

23 Feb
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Image source: Greenpeace – screenshot from Washington Post article, Feb. 23. 2016

It’s a never-ending debate in Asia — whose air quality is worse, China’s or India’s? Read this article to find out the answer. This map is an example of a thematic map, a map that includes particular information about a place or region…in this case pollution in Asia.

Daoism and Legalism

22 Feb




Legalism and Daoism (Taosim) are two other Chinese philosophies we are currently studying in lesson 2. Here is a playlist of some helpful videos that will give you an overview of their basic beliefs. 

Confucius and Confucianism

22 Feb


In our ancient China unit (lesson 2), you are learning about Confucius. A simple Google search will lead you to many quotes by him. Here are some good ones to consider or reflect on. The following playlist also includes some good information about his life, his teachings, and why they are important today.

Ancient China…Isolated?

18 Feb

“China is isolated by barriers.”

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In class this week, we learned how ancient China was isolated by barrier – deserts, seas, mountain ranges – and how it developed  a unique culture. It made the spread of goods or ideas to China (until the Silk Roads) challenging too. In class you learned what barriers and isolated mean, while making a human map to show how China is isolated. 

This is a nice video which talks about the upsides (or good things) about being an isolated civilization. It uses Egyptians, the Mayans, and the Japanese civilizations as examples. However, many of the same things can be found in ancient China too.

Geography of China

9 Feb

“China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

This week we being our next unit on ancient Asia, China. Over the next few weeks we will learn about many new things about ancient China using our historical themes, or what we often call GRAPES. We begin by learning more about China’s geography. See Do Now #13!

What are the physical features of China? Use your textbook, library books in the classroom, the maps below, and the videos to help create a list of the features and what makes China unique. The British Museum also has an excellent link on geography in China (Story – Explore – Challenge).

Map_EastAsia_Physicalchina-location-on-the-asia-mapchinaslide_2China screenshotScreen Shot 2016-02-09 at 10.16.27 PM


13 Jan

Proverbs China

A proverb is a simple saying, popularly known and repeated, that expresses a truth based on common sense or experience. What does this one mean?

China Promises $46 Billion To Pave The Way For A Brand New Silk Road (NPR)

3 May
Source: Xinhua Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

Source: Xinhua
Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that allowed the exchange of goods and ideas between Asia and Europe, including between the Roman Empire and China’s Han Dynasty, towards the end of the first century B.C. Now China wants to build a new network of roads, railways pipelines and shipping lanes connecting China to South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Africa and Europe. With this in mind, China’s President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan last month, promising $46 billion in infrastructure investment.

Ancient China

22 Apr

Here is a nice list of of different video clips on a wide range of China topics.

Ancient China and India – Religion and Belief Systems

22 Apr

These video playlists feature short videos giving you overviews or introductions to Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and other belief systems covered in these units.

Legacy of China vs. India

16 Apr

These two video playlists feature videos that show the legacy of ancient China and India. If you find other helpful videos, please send them to your teacher and we will add them to these playlists.

The Silk Roads:

Chinese Dyansties Parody

5 May

I forgot to add a funny video from the Youtube channel “History Teachers.” There are many songs for our next unit on ancient Greece. Enjoy!

Ancient China Documentaries

30 Apr

These two documentaries are really excellent and give a nice overview of what we have learned in this unit. They will, of course, also feature new information as well. Enjoy!

Legacy of Ancient China

30 Apr

We will have a quiz on Lessons 3 and 4 on Friday. Watch some of the video clips on the Silk Roads or clips here. They support what we have learned in class and what you have read in your textbook. I am sure you will find even more information about the Qin, Han, Silk Roads and the legacy of ancient China in the videos. Post a comment and tell me something interesting you learned…maybe a new fact.