Lesson 2: China Quest
Students will study facts and a map to learn more about China—one of the world's oldest civilizations.
- Understanding basic facts about ancient and modern-day China
- Build map-reading skills
Aligns with Social Studies national standards: NCSS I-Culture; III-People, Places, and Environments; IX-Global Connections
1. Remind students that Confucius was born in China, which is one of the world's oldest civilizations and has one of the oldest written languages. It also is the birthplace of many great inventions. Ask students if they know of inventions attributed to China—answers may include: compass, gunpowder, fireworks, papermaking, printing. Kung fu, which refers to Chinese martial arts, also dates back to ancient times. Today, China is the world's most populous country, with about 1.4 billion people.
2. Distribute the "China Hunt" activity (PDF). As a class, read through the facts and review the map. Discuss the features common to every map, such as the compass rose and scale.
3. Practice directional words by identifying north, south, east, and west in your classroom. Invite students to make labels for each direction. Ask two students to stand at random locations, and challenge other students to describe the students' positions using directional terms, for example, "Amy is southeast of Tom."
4. Discuss scale. Show students how they can use their fingers or a ruler to estimate distance based on the scale on the map printable.
5. Invite partners or small groups to answer the questions on the printable, and discuss answers as a class. (Answers: 1. Great Wall, Yangtze River, Shanghai. 2. The Yangtze starts in southwest China, travels southeast, and then travels northeast toward Shanghai. 3. The East China Sea would be located east of Shanghai. 4. A little more than half of an inch.)
Visit the Activities page for ideas on fun student activities.