The month of March had us studying China during our Geo Treckers group at the library. We learned a lot, had a fun game, cool craft, and enjoyed a tasty snack. Here are the plans that I used:
Geography Club Lesson Plans Over China
As Kids enter, have them start their craft project. They should take a piece of painter’s tape and make 4 sections on their paper. Then they should paint each section a different color. Have them set these aside. We will finish working on them at the end, after the paint in each square has a chance to dry.
Welcome to Geo Treckers for the month of March. Today we are in China!
Introduction to China
- Flag of China
- Find country on world map. Look at distance from USA. Look at size of country.
- The following facts are from this site: http://www.coolkidfacts.com/china-facts-for-kids/) Check out their site for more cool facts! Here are the ones I used:
- The Chinese invented paper, the magnetic compass, printing porcelain, silk and gunpowder
- They also invented toilet paper in the late 1300s, but only the emperors were allowed to use it!
- Kites were invented by the Chinese.They used them to frighten their enemies in battle!
- In 1974, a group of farmers uncovered the tomb of Qin (259-210 BC) who was the first emperor who united China. The tomb contained thousands of amazing life-sized soldiers, horses, and chariots. (show picture)
- Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on earth, is in China. It is called “Mother Goddess of the Earth” in Chinese.
- Even though China is big, it is all in one time zone, unlike other large countries.
- The giant panda is from China! Does anyone know what they eat? They eat bamboo! The only place where they are found in the wild is in China.
- China has a population of 1.3 billion people, which means they have more people in their country than any other country on Earth. This country holds nearly 19% of the earth’s population.
- Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world.
- 80% of all toys are made in China.
- The Chinese call McDonald’s “Maidanglao” which sounds similar and means that there is food made of wheat there.
- The Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday. On the seventh day, everyone turns a year older according to the lunar calendar, which means everyone has a birthday on the same day.
- Chinese students have to learn around 5,000 Chinese characters by the time they leave school. If they go on to college, they will learn around 10,000. There are around 40,000 characters total. (show samples of calligraphy characters)
Read: “The Magic Brush” by Kat Yeh.
- When a child loses a tooth, there are no tooth fairies here. If a top tooth is lost, it gets planted in the ground so the new tooth will grow straight and healthy, and if a bottom tooth is lost, it gets thrown to the rooftops so that the new tooth will grow upwards.
- Guess what? Fortune cookies did not come from China!!! They were invented in 1920 by a worker in the Key Heong Noodle Factory in San Francisco.
- Cricket fighting is a popular amusement in China. Many Chinese children keep crickets as pets.
- In China, wealthy men and women grew the nails of their little fingers extremely long as a sign of their rank. They often wore decorative gold and silver nail guards to protect their nails. (show picture)
- According to legend, tea was discovered by the Chinese emperor Shennong in 2737 BC. Apparently a tea leaf fell into his boiling water. Today tea is considered to be a very important part of life.
- The Great Wall of China is the largest man-made structure in the world. It stretches as long as 5,500 miles.
Read “You Wouldn’t Want to Work on the Great Wall of China” by Jacqueline Morley
The Yangtze River:
- The Yangtze River is in China. It is the largest river in China and 3rd largest in the world (behind the Nile and the Amazon). There are more than 50 bridges crossing the Yangtze River, all built after 1955. Before then, people used ferries to cross the river.
Read “The Story About Ping” by Marjorie Flack
Game: Chinese Ball
Children stand around in a circle with a ball as appropriate for the age group (such as a basketball).
The ball is thrown quickly around and across the circle. When a child catches the ball, the children on either side must raise one arm – the arm nearest the child with the ball – and hold it in the air until the ball is passed on to another child.
If a child fails to catch the ball, or fails to raise the correct arm when their neighbor catches the ball, or is too slow to pass the ball along, they drop out. Occasionally, let all the kids back in the circle.
Finish Craft: Take the papers from earlier. Use black paint and paintbrushes to write a different Chinese character in each section of the paper. (I printed off several pages of examples of Chinese characters and had them available for the kids to use.) Take home to dry.
My boys made these the night before for our Geo Treckers group. The kids all really liked them!
I also made a batch of noodles . . . I put chicken broth, chicken, carrots, broccoli, soy sauce, and garlic in a crockpot and had them cooking all morning. Then, when I started the Geo Treckers class, I added the noodles. By the end of the class, the noodles were cooked to the right texture. Most of the kids really liked the noodles, but by the end of the 2nd group, the whole library smelled like them!!!! I wanted to serve these with chopsticks, but I couldn’t get any. You might want to plan ahead and serve with chopsticks.
Make your own Great Wall of China! Use food or craft items! Be creative and have fun!
Make a Chinese meal. Try eating with chopsticks!
Make a kite. Use Chinese characters to decorate it. Go outside and try to fly it! http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Chinese-Kites
Study panda bears. Try to draw your own panda.
Learn some Chinese characters. Practice writing calligraphy.
Study dragons. How do the Chinese view dragons? Do a short report over dragons and China.
What famous people do you know of who are from China? Make your own video highlighting some of the famous people of China.
Draw a map of China.
Make your own Chinese flag. Research what the color and stars on the flag represent.
Paint with chopsticks.
Study the government of China. How is this different from the United States Government? Make a Venn Diagram comparing the two.
The Chinese ride bikes a lot. Take your own bike ride!
Study Mount Everest. Study someone who has successfully climbed it.
Make your own model of Mount Everest.
Watch a video of Chinese acrobats in action!
Listen to Chinese music. Try to write your own Chinese song.
Learn some words in Chinese.
Go to an authentic Chinese restaurant.