Mapping Asia and Making Connections
Lesson Plan for Grades 9-12The United States is a nation of immigrants with many stories about journeys to America. Asian Americans journeyed from more than 50 Asian countries and, therefore, are a very diverse group. In this lesson, students map and learn about Asian countries and create a country quiz. Family history research helps students connect families and classmates to Asia and other parts of the world. Students connect their family birthplaces on a world map and see the web of journeys that brought students to their classroom.
- English Language Arts #12: Applying Language Skills
Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
- Geography #1: The World in Spatial Terms
Students understand how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective. Students understand how to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context.
- Learn from a map of Asia the names and locations of at least 15 Asian and Pacific island countries
- Compare and contrast countries by learning facts in categories, such as demographics, geography, religion and culture
- Learn about immigration patterns to the United States
- Practice mapping, research, presentation and interview skills
- Map A. Blank map of Asia
- Map B. Labeled map of Asia
- Fact Sheets for 15 countries (in four groups)
- Interview Guidelines
- Presentation Outlines
SET UP AND PREPARE
- Download the reproducibles.
- Print Map A, one copy for each student, plus one copy for each small group of five students.
- Print Map B, one copy for each student
- Create overhead transparencies of Map A and B
- Print one set of fact sheets for each small group
- Create a homework sheet with sample interview questions. Leave space for students to add questions the class agrees everyone will ask.
- Map A. Blank map of Asia (PDF)
- Map B. Labeled map of Asia (PDF)
- Fact Sheet Set 1 (South Asia) (PDF)
- Fact Sheet Set 2 (Southeast Asia) (PDF)
- Fact Sheet Set 3 (East Asia) (PDF)
- Fact Sheet Set 4 (Pacific Islands) (PDF)
- Interview Guidelines (PDF)
- Presentation Outlines (PDF)
Activity #1: "Mapping Asia"
- Ask the class to name as many Asian countries and Pacific Islands as they can. Make a list on the board.
- Give students a homework assignment to read three news articles about an issue that involves an Asian or Pacific island country. This article can be about any aspect of the country, e.g. business, politics, religion, society, etc. or its relationship to the United States.
- Distribute copies of Map A so that every student has one. Tell students to label as many countries and bodies of water as possible without any help. Reassure students that this will not be graded. This is for the teacher to see what students already know and can compare this to what they will have learned by the end of the lesson. If students know names of countries but cannot locate them on the map, the students can list the names on one side of the map. Collect this as a pre-test.
- Divide the class into small groups of around five students each. Distribute another copy of Map A, one for each group. Ask students to pool their knowledge to locate and label all the countries listed on the board
- After a few minutes, give each group a set of the 15 fact sheets. Students will continue working together to label the oceans and the countries. They will try to use the information on the fact sheets to help them match a name to the unlabeled country on the map.
- Distribute one copy of Map B to each student. In small groups, students should compare the group's map to Map B, correcting any mistakes in the group map by using Map B as an answer key.
- Each group will tell the class which countries the group was able to map and one or two they got wrong. They will describe what they know about the countries and ask the class to guess why the group matched the countries incorrectly.
- Lead a discussion on current events and ask students to share what news stories they read. What is their opinion on the issue and why? Was the article biased? Do any students have direct experience with the country or a personal interest in the country? Explain that many historical and current events and international relations can be understood through geography. Encourage students to link this mapping exercise and country facts to prior textbook readings and history lessons.
Activity #2: "Migration Stories"
- Ask students to think of someone to interview about what it is like to leave a home and start over somewhere else. This person can be a family member, family friend or peer, and the move can be across an ocean or another country, or within a state or even in the same town.
- Hand out the homework sheet with some sample interview questions and a description of the assignment. Students should be clear with their interview subjects about the purpose of the interview. This sheet should also outline the kinds of basic information that students should gather before the interview. Successful interviews rely on good preparation; students should think about what they already know about the person they will interview and try to learn more relevant information before the interview. (See Interview Guidelines handout.)
- Explain to students that before an interview, they should think about the kinds of questions they want answered. Have students brainstorm some of the questions they might ask.
- Sample questions that relate to individuals: Why did you decide to move? How did you decide on your destination? How many miles did you travel, across what oceans and which continents? What was traveling like? What was the hardest part of the journey? What was the best part of the journey? What did you do when you first arrived? Please compare your old and new home (examples: climate, neighborhoods)
- Sample questions that relate to groups of people: Was there an economic condition, such as famine, poverty, or drought, or a political condition, such as war, genocide, or religious persecution that caused a group of people to move? Can we explain any big migrations based on proximity (e.g. moved across the border to the neighboring country), climate or economic changes?
- Suggested framework for presentations:
Group students by country of origin or continent OR group students by time period of migration, e.g. 1800s, 1900s, etc. Have students make presentations in small groups
Small groups find similarities or differences and report them to the whole class.
- Are there connections between this information about immigration and something else the students have learned in history or social studies classes?