Worldschooling lesson plan ~ China & Japan
Here’s a peek at how our homeschool club used Day of the Dragon King and Night of the Ninjas to visit China and Japan. Our club meets for two hours once a week. We have a variety of ages ranging from 3 years up to 9 years. The majority sit in the 6-8yr range and that’s where these activities are geared. We spread these activities over 5 weeks and truly we could have kept going. I have provided links to the websites we used as well as links to the products I created (posted in my TpT store Explore Time).
Our club decided to read two books (there are more) to explore China and Japan. We read Day of the Dragon King (China) and Night of the Ninjas (Japan).
For every book we read we spend one lesson on discussion. The emphasis of our book discussions are not fill-in-the-blank or true and false type activities. I’m not concerned that every detail of the book is retained. Instead we focus on the story elements (beginning, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution) of every story and how they work together to create an adventure.
Day of the Dragon King transports the reader into a period of Chinese history when the first emperor conquered and consolidated the land into what we now call China. This adventure highlights a well-known Chinese legend, The Silk Weaver and the Cowherd. It also mentions bamboo books, the famous Teracotta soldiers, as well as, the infamous book burning incident. Though not emphasized in the book, this emperor was also responsible for the initial construction of The Great Wall, therefore it was also added to the lesson.
Night of the Ninja transports the reader into historical Japan where ninjas and samurai feud. This book has a strong emphasis on nature and respect, however it is light on historical and cultural events.
Below is a list (with links) to the activities we completed in our exploration of China and Japan.
Activities for China
- Rice hats (craft)
- Pandas lapbook
- Legend of the Silk Weaver
- Terracotta Warriors
- create warriors (animal/human/other) out of clay
- provide historical facts on these warriors
- introduce a discussion of symbolism (strength/protection…etc)
- Lapbook for China
- Books Burning lesson (mini lesson and worksheets)
- introduce a discussion on censorship
- ask students to name all the places they have books or read books
- Great Wall lesson (mini lesson and worksheets)
- introduce a discussion on forced labor (see this resource)
- construct a wall using items such as sugar cubes, blocks, foam etc.
- Bamboo books (craft)
- introduce a discussion on paper (a Chinese invention) and pre-paper
- Paint a Character
- introduce a discussion on the differences between our Roman alphabet and a character based alphabet (also in Japanese)
Activities for Japan
- Ninja face (activity)
- introduce a discussion on who the ninja (and samurai) were
- the book emphasizes nature and respect, incorporate those elements (be a log, be a rock etc.)
- Ninja moves (Create movements based on these principles. For example walking like a fox on the tips of your fingers.)
- Create a Haiku
- Kimono (craft)
- introduce a discussion on cultural dress
- Create a Carp kite
- share facts about Koinobori (carp) Day
- Music (utilize the internet or local library)
- compare the sound or style of music to what the students commonly listen to
- Tea and Sushi Party
- introduce Japanese customs (take off shoes, bow, sit on floor, use chopsticks….)
- Wild China documentary
- You Wouldn’t Want to be a Great Wall Laborer (book)
- Child Just Like Me (a must have book)
- Explore Time Store on TPT
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