China is a rising global power with a rich culture and history, yet it is not generally well understood by outsiders. The 2008 Beijing Olympics brought increased attention to this ancient nation. To promote a deeper understanding of Chinese culture, history, and contemporary issues, we recommend the following diverse set of teaching resources and curriculum tools to bring China to life in K-12 classrooms.
This unit introduces students to modern China as a case study of
economic development. What are the characteristics of the
development process, and why does it occur? How is development
experienced by the people who live through it, and how are their
lives impacted? How do traditional cultural values—such as China’s
emphasis on education—contribute to and/or evolve as a result of
Along the Silk Road explores the vast ancient network of cultural,
economic, and technological exchange that connected East Asia to
the Mediterranean. Students learn how goods, belief systems, art,
music, and people traveled across such vast distances to create
interdependence among disparate cultures.
The Road to Beijing
The Road to Beijing units introduce students to the modern Chinese
city of Beijing through its history, geography, and major attractions
and sights, and include PowerPoint presentations with images and
information about major historical sites in Beijing and modern scenes of the city. Students also learn about the rapid development of the city in preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and the effect it's had on the city and its residents
Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble Documentary, The Road to Beijing
In this teacher's guide, students are introduced to the documentary, The Road to Beijing, which features Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Students learn about the Silk Road Ensemble and the Ensemble's musicians. Students also consider some of the musician's reflections on Beijing and China.
Through the NBC documentary, The Road to Beijing, students are introduced to some of the American Olympians participating in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and some sights in Beijing. This accompanying teacher’s guide encourages students to consider some of the quotes from the Olympians and engages them in small-group activities.