Friday, July 26, 2013

C is for China (Ancient)

Ancient China Activities For Kids

So we've found ourselves at the point in history with SOTW at Ancient China. We thought it might be a nice idea to try and spend a little more time on this period and so joined forces with a few others to accomplish this.

Our themed country days have been working really well so we simply took the same guidelines and used them for our Ancient China Day. Each family brings along an activity to cover with the group. We decided on one day only, even though we could've easily spent a great deal longer on this. I for one learned an amazing amount about this period in time, so was very pleased with the outcome.

As a group our main goal is for exposure, I don't have my kids memorise lists of names, places and dates, the more we read, talk and do activities on these topics the more they naturally memorise them anyway, because they are making the connections.

Ancient China Lapbooks

From the Great Wall, to Silk, The Mongols, a myriad of inventions, the Terracotta Warriors and the amazing people themselves there is such a vast amount of information you could cover with this topic.

All of this was one big group effort, many hands really do make light work and I love how easy it is to pull together a great unit for the group when you only need to focus on one component of it.

I chose the topic of Silk, we, of course talked a little about silk worms, we read a couple of the Silk Legends  and talked briefly about the early beginnings of silk trade. The kids loved this Mythtory clip I found on You Tube.

Ancient China Books For Kids

I always try to do more reading on the topic both prior and after group days like these. I thought I'd share the books we used in addition to SOTW and the chapters covering Ancient China. I also thought I'd show you inside some of them, I know I love to see a page or two inside a book before I commit. Can never judge a book by its cover.

This was a second hand book sale purchase so for $1 definitely a great buy!

It covers all major areas of day to day life in Ancient China, such as birthdays, dinner time, getting dressed, inside a home, live in the country/city,

travel and transport, going to school, festivals and ceremonies and getting married. My kids were very wide eyed with the ages of marriage in Ancient China, boys were 20 and girls were a mere 15 years old! They really couldn't contain themselves when we discussed the topic of arranged marriages.

A lovely Chinese folk tale, filled with gorgeous illustrations. "When the Emperor is taken prisoner, only his tiniest daughter's courage and a little help from her kite can save him."

We all enjoyed this story, we felt tremendous sadness for the Djeow, whom no one thought of ever, but it wraps up nicely with Djeow taking her rightful place within the family. A shame that she had to do something heroic so her father would love her though.

From the book cover, With lavish illustrations and a highly informative text, The Silk Route traces the early history of the silk trade. From Mulberry groves of China to the marketplace of Byzantium and explores how two of the worlds greatest empires were brought together, forever opening the channels of commerce between East and West.

This is quite in depth for a 'picture book' but is perfect for a middle primary school aged child.

Ok so the Story of Silk is actually set in Thailand, it does reference early China and in fact the first couple of pages are devoted to that.

This is a very thorough account of silk, the silk worm and silk production, with some stunning photographs.

From the book cover, The Emperor's Silent Army features more than forty full colour photo's that showcase the terracotta troops. A vivid and engaging text tells all about the army as well as the extraordinary story of the man who commanded its creation, the ruthless and tyrannical first emperor of China.

There is so much to learn in this book and the photographs are amazing. The next best thing before seeing the soldiers for real.

This book I grabbed a couple of years ago in a book store throw out sale because the cover was damaged. However that was the only damage. I truly love these bargains this is fabulous book with a large amount of information

A large pop up image on each page and a few other small pop ups as well. The kids have spent a considerable amount of time pouring over this book.

Turning the pages, talking about the images and wondering what life would've been like in Ancient China. I've struggled to find much online about this book, all I can really tell you is that it is published by Hinkler Books and the author is Peter Riley.

This day was a fabulous jumping off point for Ancient China, we truly could've spent a great deal more time on this era, however we decided to move on. I know we will revisit Ancient China again in the future where we will have the opportunity to build upon everything we covered during this time.

Useful Links

My Pinterest Board for Ancient China

Early Silk Trading in cartoon format. This short you tube clip is great for the kids

Crash Course History: The Silk Road and Ancient Trade. Slightly longer clip and probably more suited to the older child.

Ancient Lapbook on Homeschool Share

Ancient China Lapbook Dynamic 2 Moms

Squidoo Lens on Ancient China

Powerpoint Presentations and More


Mommy of Many Hats said...

What a wonderful unit. It appears you covered a lot of material. I hope it's okay that I pin it so when we study China, I can remember all the wonderful resources and ideas you've had. Thank you so much for taking the time to document it all, as I know that itself can be quite a task.

Raising a Happy Child said...

How fun that you have a group to do these things with. We also did quite a bit recently on China with focus on ancient China, of course. My main post covering our approach is, and now I pinned yours to my China board :)

Ticia said...

Awesome, I've pinned this for when we reach Ancient China!

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