Books for Exploring China
- Grades: 1–2
These books are great for any primary class working on studying China. There are a variety of texts from fiction to nonfiction.
The following books are available in The Teacher Store.
Culture Kit: China by Linda Scher and Mary Johnson
This is a great nonfiction text accompanied by an audiotape. It includes many activities to do with your class as extensions to studying China.
Classroom Tip: The book has excellent photographs and age-appropriate content about Chinese culture and history for elementary students.
Look What Came From China by Miles Harvey
This is part of a series.
Classroom Tip: This is a strong introduction to the celebrations and artistic creations from China. The reading level is perfect for most second graders.
Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year by Madeline Slovenz-Low
This book has beautiful photographs of a Chinese New Year celebration.
Classroom Tip: I love to show this book to the students so that they can get a true visual of what a Chinese New Year celebration looks like.
Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Imperial China by Joanna Cole
Ms. Frizzle and the crew from The Magic School Bus take a trip to Imperial China to explore the culture first hand.
Classroom Tip: This is my favorite book to use in a China unit. The children are so engaged and there is so much to see, it is hard to read it all in one sitting.
Daisy Comes Home by Jan Brett
This is a simple story about a Daisy, a hen, and her adventure on a river in China.
Classroom Tip: I use this as part of my collection of Chinese stories. It is sweet and readable for most second graders.
Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young
This is an adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood. There are many distinctions between the one we all know and this one.
Classroom Tip: This is part of Lesson Two in the unit. I use this story to compare and contrast the two stories.
Ming Lo Moves A Mountain by Arnold Lobel
This is a story about a couple in China who are bothered by the mountain near their home. They go to a wise man for help.
Classroom Tip: I use this book to teach sequencing during our China unit. It's organized in such a way as to allow students to retell the story in a specific order.
Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges
This is a story of a girl who yearns to be educated in a culture where education is only for men.
Classroom Tip: This is another fictional story I use to demonstrate both Chinese storytelling and culture.
The Red Blanket by Eliza Thomas
This is a story of a woman who adopts a Chinese baby and the joy they bring each other.
From Unit Plan: Exploring China