In this unit, students will become familiar with fables and trickster tales from different cultural traditions and will see how stories change when transferred orally between generations and cultures. They will learn how both types of folktales employ various animals in different ways to portray human strengths and weaknesses and to pass down wisdom from one generation to the next. Use the following lessons to introduce students to world folklore and to explore how folktales convey the perspectives of different world cultures.
In this lesson plan, students will learn about the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. In the introductory first lesson, they will see how animals are often used as symbols. In the second lesson, they will hear one of several versions of how the 12 animals were chosen. They will then focus upon a few of the animals in the story and see how they can be used as symbols of certain human characteristics. In the third lesson, they will be introduced to the other animals of the zodiac, and they will be given a chart on which they will assign traits to each animal. Then they will consult a number of websites to find the traits traditionally associated with the animals, which they will add to their list. Then, they will come up with a number of ways to compare and contrast the animals in the list. In the third lesson, they will focus upon the animal associated with the year of their birth, learning about its traits and discussing whether or not these apply to themselves and their peers. Finally, each student will make an acrostic, combining the letters of his or her first name with adjectives that relate to his or her zodiac sign.
The Bedouins of ancient Arabia and Persia made poetry a conversational art form. Several poetic forms developed from the participatory nature of tribal poetry. Today in most Arabic cultures, you may still experience public storytelling and spontaneous poetry challenges in the streets. The art of turning a rhyme into sly verbal sparring is considered a mark of intelligence and a badge of honor. Students will learn about the origins and structure of Arabic Poetry.
This 14 day Unit Plan integrates the Utah Core Standards for Language Arts and for Reading and Writing in History/Social Studies with the existing Utah Social Studies Standards. The students read, research, draw conclusions, and write beginning level argumentative essays comparing/contrasting major world religions. For a more thorough summary see the Background For Teachers section.
Students research mask-making from various cultures, highlight the masks' connections to cultural practices, compose poetry to reveal their understanding, analyze their own culture, and create personal masks and poetry.
A little understanding can go a long way. After learning about difficulties that Palestinian youths face, students will write a letter to an official discussing these issues.
With e-pals, students develop real-life writing and social experiences, learn the format of a friendly letter and parts of an e-mail message, and discover other cultures, languages, and geographic areas.
Using various reading strategies and resources, students explore the issue of food waste. They also create persuasive arguments and blog posts examining this topic.
The most important festival in the Chinese calendar is the New Year or Spring Festival. One of the annual events used to commemorate the festival is a colorful parade complete with animated dragon and lion figures.
In the first activity the student will learn the major differences between Eastern and Western dragons and discover why Eastern dragons are associated with Chinese New Year. They will hear a story about how the dragons came to rule major rivers of China. In the second activity, they will also learn about the Chinese New Year Dragon Parade and discover why firecrackers are used to drive off evil spirits, especially one called the Nian. In the third activity the students will see images of parading dragons, including sound-enhanced video and read poems about the New Year. In the fourth lesson the students will discover that the Chinese lion has imaginary characteristics similar to the dragon. They will view images of the lion and hear about how this highly stylized beast once fought the ferocious Nian. They will learn about the lion dancers in the New Year parade and compare them to the dragon dancers. Finally they will make their own lion masks.
Pop culture and the classroom collide in this lesson when students go behind the scenes to analyze a television series for characterization to use in an original television show proposal.
This lesson challenges students' views of Native Americans as a vanished people by asking them to compare their prior knowledge with information they gather while reading about contemporary Native Americans.
Engage middle school students in a meaningful study of the lives of students from across the globe through the use of contemporary nonfiction and fiction. Students create personal autobiographies, sequence story events, and prepare well-crafted summaries while learning to use higher-level comprehension strategies such as Question-Answer Relationships and the Bio-Cube. Additionally, students conduct a critical study of the NCSS Notable Tradebook Nasreen̍s Secret School: A True Story From Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter, comparing and contrasting their own lives to Nasreen̍s and expanding their geographical knowledge of the Middle East.
Where did the stars come from? What makes lightning and thunder? Pourquoi tales are narratives developed by various cultures around the world to explain natural phenomena. Students study three tales and learn about their cultures of origin, then work cooperatively to write and present an original pourquoi tale.
This art history video discussion examines Auguste Rodin's "The Gates of Hell" 1880-1917, plaster (Musee d'Orsay, Paris).When the building, earlier on the site of the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, was destroyed by fire during the Commune in 1871, plans were drawn up to replace it with a museum of decorative arts. Rodin won the competition to design a great set of doors for its entry way. Although the museum was never built, Rodin continued to work on the doors. They became an ongoing project; a grand stage for his sculptural ideas. It's fitting that the plaster of this great unfinished sculpture, The Gates of Hell, is now on display at the d'Orsay, the former railway terminal that was built on this site instead of the museum of decorative arts and that, by lovely coincidence, was converted into one of the world's great art museums.
The Maya of Mesoamerica are renowned for their precise calendars and their knowledge of astronomy. Through systematic observations conducted over thousands of years, Maya skywatchers developed complex and accurate calendars that continue to mark agricultural and ceremonial cycles today. This lesson is an exploration of the Maya Calendar system and its intricate cycles. Hear the voices of contemporary Maya people as they weave their past and present together, and share with us their living traditions of Maya time.