One of Christopher Columbus’ ships next to one of Zheng He’s treasure ships, in scale. Objective: to familiarize students with Admiral Zheng he and his Treasure Ships Purpose: so that students will have a more realistic view of world history and foreign accomplishments. For grade 7, but adaptable for any. Lesson duration: 3 weeks, flexible
Sources used Sources: De Mente, Boye’ Lafayette. The Chinese have a Word for It. pp. 148-150, 468-470. 1996. Insight guides: China. APA Publications. pp. 24, 93, 94, 98, 99. 2006. “Model of Zheng He's treasure ship built in E.China city”.. 11 Jan. 2008.http://english.people.com.cn/200506/21/eng2 0050621_191504.html Primary Source, Inc. The Enduring Legacy of Ancient China. Pp. 269-285. 2006. “Zheng he Treasure Ship”.. 10 Jan. 2008.http://www.janadkins.com/treasure.html
Specific points: Insight Guides: China P. 24 – Ming Dynasty P. 93 – poetry plays an important part in Chinese literature. Students and civil servants of any branch were expected to be able to write a poem for any occasion. P. 94 – poetry written on strips of bamboo, rolled P. 98 – plots are based on history or folklore P. 98 – puppet shows and shadow plays P. 99 – symbolism in the arts
Students will: Understand the pre-Ming naval accomplishments of the Chinese Appreciate the scope and significance of Zheng He’s voyages Understand the theory behind the tribute system Compare and contrast European and Chinese maritime technology Learn about some of the people, places, and products that figured in the voyages of the Ming treasure fleets Ask why these spectacular voyages are not well-known in the West. The Enduring Legacy of Ancient China, Lesson 20, “China and the South Seas”, p. 271.
SOCIAL STUDIES :: SEVENTH GRADE ASIA LANGUAGE ARTS :: SEVENTH GRADE ARTS EDUCATION :: THEATRE ARTS 6-8 Competency Goal 8The learner will assess the influence and contributions of individuals and cultural groups in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Competency Goal 1The learner will use language to express individual perspectives in response to personal, social, cultural, and historical issues. COMPETENCY GOAL 2: The learner will act by interacting in improvisations and assuming roles. COMPETENCY GOAL 3: The learner will design and produce theatre by conceptualizing and realizing artistic interpretations for informal or formal productions. COMPETENCY GOAL 4: The learner will direct through planning and presenting informal or formal productions. COMPETENCY GOAL 5: The learner will research by finding information to support informal or formal productions. (National Standard 5)
Key Questions: What had the Chinese accomplished in terms of maritime technology and travel before the voyages of Zheng He? Where did Zheng He and his treasure ships go? What was the Chinese attitude toward the people and countries they encountered? Why were the Chinese officials opposed to the treasure ships and future voyages? What did the Chinese state gain from the maritime expeditions? What if the Chinese had made it all the way to Europe? How might history have been different? The Enduring Legacy of Ancient China, Lesson 20, “China and the South Seas”, p. 271.
Shadow puppet screen made of tri-fold display board and shower curtain.
Behind the screen…. Light bulb (60 watt) Hanging from yardstick Aluminum pie pan as reflector and shield.
Instruments: http://www.musicmotion.com/ Chinese wind gong: http://www.musicmotion.com/product.htm?pid=405060 http://www.musicmotion.com/product.htm?pid=405060
Poetry: starter lines In fourteen hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. But a hundred years earlier, ‘though none seem to know, Was a fleet commanded by Admiral Zheng He. (pronounced “Chun Ho”) Between 1405 and ’24 A fleet of ships landed, but not to war.
Give students key historical moments and vocabulary words. Let students work in pairs. Assign specific vocabulary and facts to each group. Each pair must come up with lines to add to the poem that continue the retelling of this historical moment. Put all lines together, in order of events, for one longer collaborative “epic” poem. Students must memorize the poem. They will then create shadow puppets, including silhouettes that show the contrast between Columbus’ ships and Zheng He’s ships. Students will tell the story as they present a shadow puppet show, and teach other students from visiting classes through their presentation.
Shadow puppets, modeled after the wayang kulit of Indonesia. Puppets are made of poster board or cereal/gift boxes, with silhouettes cut out and taped to wooden skewers with pointed ends cut off.
Writing and storytelling are integrated with the social studies lesson.
Details and examples – important writing skills – are encouraged through artistic creation and physical manipulation of inanimate objects.
Students develop a greater understanding of a logical sequence of events as well as basic plot structure through storytelling.
Assessment: Vocabulary quizzes Short answer questions Paedaeia discussion group – participation Writing lines of poetry with all required elements in them. Creating a short play incorporating required elements such as specific historical fact, vocabulary, names with correct pronunciation, literary elements such as basic plot structure. Participation in building puppets and presenting the “show and share” event to other students.
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