Overview of Integration of Technology
Organization of the Unit
The China Contract
See Some Flying Dragons
See Our Folktales
Fifth Graders celebrate the Chinese Year of the Tiger with their version of a lion dance.
During fifth grade's study of China, a wealth of new avenues opens for the use of technology. Using the draw function of "Microsoft Works" each student draws their own personal Chop. With this as a model, they are able to create an actual stamp of their own in art classes. Also in art, the students create dragons which move with the pull of a string. Still and video images of these "ferociously benevolent" creatures are recorded by the students, and they become the impetus for dragon poetry, as well. "MacTimeliner 4.0" is utilized to put the inventions of the Chinese into historical perspective. After writing articles based on these innovations, the students are able to publish an Inventions Newspaper using "The Writing Center."
During literature classes as the students read Homesick by Jean Fritz, the computer is used continually. After discussing the Yangtze River, classes compose group poems incorporating similes about it that are both powerful and meaningful to the students. As the students read many Chinese folktales, a database is set up that enables a thorough analysis of the characters involved, literary points made, writing style used, and the cultural and/or gender stereotypes perpetuated.
Math classes take on a "Chinese flair" as we study decimal theory, base theory through the abacus, and geometry through tangrams. "Tesselmania" is a program which has enabled students to extend their understanding of geometric principles. A problem solving activity which engrosses many of the fifth graders during our study of China is a program called "Shanghai. Great Moments." This game, based on Chinese characters, tests the thought processes and logic of the students.
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Fifth grade's study of China is organized around Essential Questions which are brainstormed with the children. The activities the children are expected to complete in order to answer their essential questions are listed in The China Contract. This year's essential questions are:
What's it really like in
Why is it important to study China?
Imperial...Republic...People's Republic... contributions...Eastern philosophy
How will the study of China affect my life?
t'ai chi...decimals...economy...fireworks...food..dispelling of stereotypes
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Why Study China?
China is the world's oldest,
continuous civilization. It has the largest population of any
country in the world. This vast land is full of fascinating resources,
some remarkably different from our own. The people of China have
made extraordinary contributions in the areas of math, science,
technology, and culture.
Fifth graders will:
understand the significance of China in the world;
exercise math, language arts, research, and study skills within the context of an interdisciplinary study of China;
discover China's contributions in the areas of math, science, and technology;
explore cultural and racial stereotypes about Asia and its peoples; and,
learn about and appreciate a world culture different from our own.
practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication,
Contract Activity 2 "China's
Choose one of the following:
i. paper cut
ii. landscape painting
Each work of art must have a colorful illustration on it. A landscape, Chinese flower, or other symbols of China should be used. Be sure to include an attractive sign to explain your art work
Contract Activity 3 "Chinese Character Rebus"
Write a story incorporating at least 10 different Chinese calligraphy characters. Word Process it at size 48 so you can easily place the characters using your calligraphy brush and ink.
Sign your story with your chop
Contract Activity 4 "China's Influence on the World"
Research China's contributions to the world with a partner. You can choose an invention, a discovery, or a person.
Present your findings in a multimedia format using one of the following:
i. a "HyperStudio" presentation
ii. a "Writing Center" news article
iii. a "KidPix Studio" slide show
iv. a "MacTimeliner" or "Chronos" time line
Some examples of presentations are:
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Fifth grade math classes gained proficiency with checking accounts during their study of China. Checkbooks were issued and students were awarded $2500.00 to start. First, a shopping spree enabled the children to practice their computational skills of adding and subtracting decimals. Tax and special discounts brought percentages, multiplication, and division into the picture. Special bonuses for thrifty shoppers encouraged comparative shopping and careful calculations. Classmates audited each other and gained auditors' fees for finding errors. An imaginary trip to a Chinese restaurant, where the children had to pay for their family's eight-course meal, including tax and tip, forced them to spend more of their hard-earned cash. Awards for neat lockers, random acts of kindness, and success with academic challenges, helped students replenish their checking account coffers. An end-of-term bonus, a hefty percentage of their earnings, was a real high point of their financial careers. Unfortunately, tax day followed shortly thereafter and students reeled from federal tax (20%), state tax (4%), township tax (6%), school tax (2%), and even a room tax of .75%.
After reading numerous folktales from China and interpreting Chinese proverbs, students were each given a fortune cookie containing a proverb and were instructed to compose a folktale which would illuminate that proverb.
Choose a topic for research.
Obtain two (2) reference books for your research
Decide on three essential questions for your research paper. Write one question on each of three envelopes.
Find facts which answer each question. Fill each envelope with cards containing facts which answer that question.
Organize each envelope. Write your paper. It should be 2-3 pages in length and include an attractive cover and some pictures or illustrations. Charts, graphs, and maps are all appropriate.
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