Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CGP Grey Explains the Relationship Between China, Hong Kong, and Macau

This week CGP Grey released a new video about another tricky topic in political geography, the relationship between China, Hong Kong, and Macau. The four minute video covers the origins of the political separation of Hong Kong and Macau from China (spoiler alert! it's imperialism) and current relationship between China, Hong Kong, and Macau. The driving question behind the video is, are Hong Kong and Macau countries? Watch the video to find out.

Applications for Education
Like other videos from CGP Grey, this video is a fast-paced introduction to the topic. It won't give your students all of the answers, but it could definitely spark questions from your students that you can then have them investigate as part of a larger lesson.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Snag Films - Explore China

It's been a while since I last explored Snag Films. Over the weekend I spent a bit of time browsing the history section of Snag Films and watched an Explore film about China. Explore: China is a forty-five minute overview of the current state of human rights, environmental concerns, public health, and education in China. I was particularly interested in the portion of the film that explores the attitudes toward and the impact of the Three Gorges Dam construction. You can watch a preview of the film below.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Great Wall Across the Yangtze - Snag Learning Film of the Week

China's Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. The completion of the dam is regarded by Chinese officials as a marvelous engineering and economic success. But the completion of the dam had a tremendous economic and cultural impact on the people who live upriver from the dam.

In Great Wall Across the Yangtze PBS filmmaker Ellen Perry examines the effect of the Three Gorges Dam's construction on the people living upriver from the dam. Using a mix of new and archival footage the film also explains why the dam was built. Through the film students will learn not only why the dam was constructed but why some people were opposed to its construction.
Watch more free documentaries
You can watch the film in its entirety and find discussion questions for it here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Forrest Gump and Videos on Ping Pong Diplomacy

This morning I eavesdropped on one of my US History students telling another that he had recently watched Forrest Gump on television. As both students were commenting on how unreal some of the scenarios in the film were I interjected with, "some of those scenarios are based on real events in US History." That's how we got on the topic of ping pong diplomacy. To give them a quick, unplanned, lesson about ping pong diplomacy I jumped on YouTube, did a search and quickly found this NBC Nightly News clip from the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing. You can watch that clip below.

The longer clip that is mentioned at the end of the one above can be found here and is embedded below.

On a related note, the American Experience movie about Nixon is available to view in its entirety through PBS Video. I've embedded the video below and you can also find it here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

American Experience - Nixon Visits China

Yesterday, while planning a unit about China-US relations for my global studies class I rediscovered the American Experience videos about Richard Nixon. Through PBS Video it is possible to watch the whole series or just a segment of the series. I'm planning to use the seven minute segment about Nixon's trip to China in 1972. You can watch the segment below.

Applications for Education
American Experience suggests a simple scrapbooking activity as a follow-up to watching this video. While that activity is probably good for middle school students, it's a little too simplistic for my high school juniors and seniors. I'm currently developing an activity in which we'll be watching the segment then analyzing and comparing its influence in Cold War relations with that of post Cold War diplomatic relations.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

China Looks Back on 60 Years

Earlier this week Reuters produced a short video overview of the last sixty years in China. The two and one half minutes video takes a quick look at the impact of significant events including the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
When using videos in my classroom I generally prefer to use short clips rather than longer documentary films (although I have used those too). Short clips like this one don't strain my students' attention spans while at the same time providing a visual and audio introduction to or review of a lesson.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
30+ Alternatives to YouTube
Snag Films Now Offers More Than 800 Free Films
Safe Share TV - Safe YouTube Viewing
Tiananmen Square 20 Years Later
Nixon's Visit to China

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tiananmen Square 20 Years Later

Yesterday, I posted a small collection of resources for teaching about the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. This morning, CNN Student News provides a look back at the events of the Tiananmen Square protests. The episode also includes a short segment about the Chinese government's attempts to restrict information about the events of June 4, 1989.
The video is embedded below. Don't forget CNN Student News provides a quick ten question quiz that you can use with each video.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nixon's Visit to China

President Nixon's February 1972 visit to China is one of the high points of his administration and a historic moment in US - China relations. This week the National Archive's "Today's Document" feed has featured two documents about Nixon's visit to China. Today's document is the menu from one of Nixon's dinners in Peking. Earlier this week, the featured document was a photo of Nixon's plane landing in China.

The Nixon Presidential Library's website has a section about Nixon's visit to China. In this section you can listen to recordings of Nixon discussing the rationale for the trip and his post-trip reflections. You can also listen to Mrs. Nixon discuss the arrival of two Pandas at the National Zoo.

The PBS American Experience website has an interactive map of Nixon's visit to China. The map highlights the places that Nixon visited during his seven day visit in February 1972. The map and the rest of the website are designed as companions to the PBS American Experience film "Nixon's China Game."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Exploring Mount Everest Lesson Plans

One of my life goals is to climb in the Himalayan Mountains. Although I will be in China for the climbing season on my upcoming trip, I will not have a chance to travel until after my teaching responsibilities are over in June. Nonetheless, I still hope to see the Himalaya. On that note, the following are some good resources for lesson plans about Mount Everest.

National Geographic Expeditions has a lesson plan for middle school students about the history and development of climbing Mount Everest. The lesson plan also touches on the physical challenges posed by high altitude mountaineering.

The American - Canadian Mount Everest expedition of 2001 created a website of lesson plans that can be used in reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies classes. In all there are roughly 30 lesson plans available on the website.

A physical education teacher at the River Valley Middle School in Grand Bay Westfield, New Brunswick developed an extensive lesson plan about the physiological demands of climbing Mount Everest. The lesson plan is titled the Mount Everest Challenge. This lesson would be a great way to incorporate science, physical education, geography, and history into an interdisciplinary project.

The Rest of Everest video podcast provides more than 100 hours of video and commentary from two expeditions to the Himalayas. If you're looking for a way to show students what life on a mountain climbing trip is really like from start to finish, the Rest of Everest is the place to go.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My First Chinese Lessons

In preparation for my trip to China in February, I am starting to teach myself Chinese. The two resources that I am using are Chinese Lessons with Serge Melnyk and the BBC Chinese language lessons. The lesson with Serge have accompanying transcripts that I found useful during my first lesson. The BBC program is designed for people like me, traveling on relatively short notice and need to learn survival phrases.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm Going to China!

As some readers may recall, last year my school participated in a teacher exchange program that sent one of our teachers to a school in China and a school in China sent one of their teachers here to Maine. You can read about my colleague's experience here or here.

Yesterday, I found out that I was selected to be the teacher from our school to go to China. After discussing it with my wonderful girlfriend, Denise, I have accepted the opportunity. I have always wanted to visit China and Asia in general. As a poor school teacher this is my best opportunity to see some of the places that I been fascinated by since this first time I read about Marco Polo in my elementary school textbooks.

Here are the details that I can share so far. I will be teaching in Jinhua, Zhejiang beginning in mid-February and returning to the US some time in June or late May. There are other Americans teaching in the same school that I will be teaching in. I will have some time to travel while I'm in China. I am going to try as hard as I can to see Western China including Tibet although that may not be feasible depending on visa restrictions and, of course, the ever-changing political climate in China in regards to Tibet. Other than those details there aren't too many specifics that I can share right now.

While I am in China I plan to continue blogging (my colleague that went last year was able to blog on the blogger platform). I'll continue to try to share free resources I find on the web, but I will also be sharing as much of my experience in China as I can.

Obviously, I'm very excited about this opportunity. I am also a little nervous. As the logistics are worked out and my departure nears I'll keep everyone posted.

If you have been to China I would love to hear about your experience. I also welcome any advice you might have for a 30 year old man going to China for four month.

Here is a Google Map of where I'm going. Be sure to click the "explore" this area link.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two Virtual Tours Worth Taking With Your Students

In the last two days I've discovered two virtual tours that should be of interest to history teachers. The Vatican Museums Online provides six virtual tours including a tour of the Sistine Chapel. The imagery of the Vatican Museum tours is of the highest quality. On many parts of the tours visitors can zoom in to see some of the finer details of the displays. Along with great images, the Vatican Museum tours provide historical information and explanations for most aspects of each tour.

Beyond Space and Time offers a great virtual tour of China's Forbidden City. The Forbidden City tour has a similar look and feel to Second Life. In the Forbidden City tour users are assigned an avatar and are free to travel throughout the Forbidden City and complete activities that they come across. The Forbidden City tour does not provide images of real artifacts as the entire tour is animated in a Second Life style. The Forbidden City tour is not web based, you have to download a rather large file containing the Forbidden City tour. The Forbidden City virtual tour is available for Mac, PC, and Linux operating systems.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Calendars Through the Ages and Around the World has a great online exhibit about calendars used throughout history and about the calendars used in by various countries and cultures. In Calendars Through the Ages visitors will find the history of different calendars, how those calendars were developed, significant dates on each calendar, and in some cases why a particular calendar is no longer in use.

Applications for Education
The Olympics are in full swing and are sure to be a topic of conversation in classrooms now and in the fall. This will provide teachers and students with an opportunity to talk about Chinese culture and history. One of the aspects of Chinese culture sure to be discussed is the Chinese calendar and how it differs from the calendar of the west. By visiting Calendars Through the Ages students can explore the origins of the Chinese calendar and significant dates on the Chinese calendar.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

An American Teacher in China - Olympic Thoughts

The 2008 Olympics is sparking controversy around the world. As a Contemporary World Studies teacher, I always try to expose my students to multiple perspectives. Fortunately for me and my students, my friend and colleague, Jason Long is teaching in China this spring and sharing his observations and experiences via a blog titled Viking in China. In his most recent blog entries Jason shares his observations and experiences regarding the Olympics. One of the more interesting pieces of news from Jason is that some Chinese are boycotting American and European goods in response to the protests in the United States and Europe.

Jason also reports on less serious topics. In his latest writing he reports about his experience playing baseball with his Chinese students. And in earlier blog entries Jason talks about his difficulties overcoming the language barrier and the challenges of sticking out like a sore thumb amongst a sea of people.

Applications for Education
Blogs like Jason's are fantastic resources for exposing students to multiple perspectives on global issues. Jason's blog also has nice stories that can be used as conversation starters about culture and international travel.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Lessons from China

My friend and colleague, Jason Long, is spending the semester teaching in China. Last year our high school started a teacher exchange program with a school in Jinhua, China. Jason was the first teacher selected for the program.
Jason is writing a blog about his experiences as a teacher in China. Jason has been writing about the experience of adjusting to living in China as well as the adjustment to teaching in a large Chinese school. Here is an excerpt from one of Jason's recent posts regarding teacher access to technology,
"I had a flash drive in my pocket with the Power Point file on it the entire time. I could have just plugged it into the computer and it would work. But, the classroom computer is locked in a solid wood box and no teacher has a key. Another strange difference is that the only photocopier is in the administration building, staffed by three people who make the copies for you, and only available at certain hours. I suppose it is a good way to prevent teachers from unintentionally breaking computers and photocopiers, but it takes some getting used to." Read the rest of the post here.

Jason's Viking in China blog is entertaining and insightful, I encourage you to take a minute to read an American perspective on Chinese schooling.