Asia Unit Study

Unit Safari Units
Name of Unit: Asia

Date: January 2002
Bible References:
· Psalm 24:1-21 The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell
therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
· 1 Timothy 2:1-2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of
thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and
peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
· Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Learning Objectives:
· The student will be able to label countries of Asia.
· The student will be able to list the capitals of countries and major cities of Asia.
· The student will be able to label rivers, mountains, and other important land features of Asia.
· The student will be able to recognize famous landmarks in Asia.
· The student will be able to describe the climate and cultures within Asia.
· The student will be able to appreciate the diversity that is within Asia.
· Jesus
· Pearl S. Buck
· Ghandi
· Akbar
· Birbal
· David
· Mohammed
· Moses
· Abraham
· The twelve tribes of Israel
· Judas Maccabeus (Jewish leader that fought against King Antichus, king of Greece that had forced
his subjects to practice the state religion. Root of the celebration of Hanukkah)
· Buddha – the name called Gautama, founder of Buddhism Confucius
· Hammurabi
· Alexander the Great,
· Nebuchadnezzar
· Xerxes
· Ahasuerus
· Solomon
· Darius
· Daniel
· Marco Polo
· Lottie Moon
Boy – otoko no ko girl – onna no ko child – kodom
mother – haha no – lie (pronounced ee-eh) yes – hai
father – chichi (teacher – sensei pronounced
school – gakko
book – hon Japan – nippon Feast of Dolls
haiku poem origami Tokyo
abacus kimono Torii gates (mark entry to the
Japanese shrines and are
painted red –
symbol of good luck.)
oriental Hiroshima samurai warriors
Japanese Alps chopsticks Tangrams
lanterns fortune cookies panda
Himalayan Mountains Yangtze River Gobi Desert
dreydl menorah Hanukkah
star of David Jewish Palestine
kashrut or kosher – dietary
Shalom – peace – used as a
daily greeting
Falafael – Israeli hamburger
shofar (trumpet made from a
ram’s horn)
latkes synagogues
Mediterranean Sea Dead Sea amen – truth
hallelujah – praise God ah-hat – one shtah-yim – two
shal-losh – three ar-bah – four hay-mesh – five
shesh – six she-vah – seven shmoh-neh – eight
tay-shah – nine e-sair – ten mosque
shah camels Mecca
Mohammed Muslims Ramadan
Taj Mahal saris (long and beautiful piece
of cloth wrapped around
women and
worn as dresses)
dhoti (white piece of framic
wrapped around male
farmers’ waists and
between their legs)
turban Lakshimi (the goddess of
good fortune)
na-mas-kar – hello to a group nah-mas-tay – hello to one
dhan-ya-vaad – thank you to a
shu-kriya – thank you to one
Kree-paya – please Na-Hee – no
Hah – yes Bharat Natyam (ancient
dance where India women
dance using their
hands, eyes, and positions of
necks to tell a story)
Namaste (an Indian hello that
means “I bow my head to
Pakistan Mahouts (men who train the
smalled-eared Asiatic
elephants to move
and carry heavy logs)
bindi – (little round dot women
often wear in the middle of
Book Resources:
· Laurence Yep, The Star Fisher, (older than 5th grade)
· Laurence Yep, The Boy Who Swallowed Snakes
· Laurence Yep, The Rainbow People
· Laurence Yep, The Shell People and the King
· Ed Young, Lon PoPo: A Red Riding Hood Story From China
· Robert Wyndham, The Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes
· Arlene Mosel, Tikki Tikki Tembo
· Rafe Martin, Foolish Rabbit’s Big Mistake
· Margaret Mahy, The Seven Chinese Brothers
· Ai-Ling Louie, Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story From China
· Nightingale by Hans Christian Andersen
· Chin Yu Min & the Ginger Cat by Jennifer Armstrong
· Good-Luck Horse by Chih-Ye Chan
· Paper Dragon by Marguerite Davol
· House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert De Jong
· Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz
· China Homecoming by Jean Fritz
· China’s Long March: 6,000 Miles of Danger by Jean Fritz
· Clearing Weather by Grace Hallock
· Mei Li by Thomas Handforth
· Ming Lo Moves the Mountain by Arnold Lobel
· Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis
· Dragon’s Pearl by Julie Lawson
· Li Lun, Lad of Courage by Carolyn Treffinger
· Ghost Train by Paul Yee
· Child of the Owl by Laurence Yep
· Ties That Bind Ties That Break
· The Great Games Book by Susan Adams from DK has more than 30 popular games
from around the world to make and play. There is one in there from China called Spillikin.
· Celebrations! by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley from DK has festivals, carnivals and feast days
from around the world, including the Chinese New Year.
· The Story of Chopsticks by Ying Chang Compestine
· Treasure Mountain: Folktales From Southern China retold by Catherine Edwards Sadler
· The Lost Horse: a Chinese Folktale by Ed Young
· Ten Suns: a Chinese Legend retold by Eric A Kimmel
· Mouse Match: a Chinese Folktale by Ed Young
· Moon Festival by Ching Yeung Russell
· The Cricket’s Cage: a Chinese Folktale by Stefan Czernecki
· The Dragon’s Tale And Other Animal Fables of the Chinese Zodiac retold by
· The Ch i-lin Purse: A Collection of Ancient Chinese Stories by Linda Fang
· The Magical Starfruit Tree: a Chinese Folktale by Rosalind C. Wang
· The Seventh Sister: a Chinese Legend by Cindy Chang
· Wishbones: A Folktale From China by Barbara Ker Wilson
· The Luminous Pearl: A Chinese Folktale retold by Betty L. Torre
· Chasing the Moon to China by Virginia Overton McClean with short lessons in
Chinese and folk songs.
· China, the People by Bobbie Kalman
· The Rooster’s Antlers by Eric A. Kimmel
· The Donkey and the Rock: a story of the Chinese zodiac by Demi
· The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine
· This Next New Year by Janet S. Wong
· Celebrating Chinese New Year by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
· Chinese New Year by Catherine Chambers
· The Dancing Dragon by Marcia K. Vaughan
· Dragon Parade: a Chinese New Year Story by Steven A. Chin
· The Chinese New Year by Han-Tien Cheng
· Celebrate! Holidays Around the World by Laurie Rozakis with a coloring page
and activity for the Chinese New Year.
· India, the Culture by Bobbie Kalman
· The Man Eating Tigers of Sundarbans by Sy Montgomery
· Cats of Myth by Gerald Hausman
· The Merchant and the Thief: A Folktale of Godly Wisdom by Ravi K.
· Zacharias No Dinner! The Story of the Old Woman and the Pumpkin by Jessica Souhami
· India by Elaine Landau
· Tigers at Twilight by Mary Pope Osbourne
· India by Steve Brace
· Look What Came From India by Miles Harvey
· Traditions from India by Shellby Mamdani
· India by Patrick Ryan
· India by Mike Hirst
· India by Sunandini Arora Lal
· India by John C. Caldwell
· Look What We’ve Brought You from India by Phyllis Shalant
· The Peacock’s Pride by Melissa Kajpust
· Teacher’s Friend, January (Has some neat sections on China)
· The Best of Good Apple Newspaper, 1995 Good Apple (A mini-unit on Japan)
· Teacher’s Friend, March (Has some neat sections on Japan)
· Another Trip Around the World, Carson-Dellosa (Has many of the ideas for Israel and India)
· How my Parents Learned to Eat
· Timimoto is an excellent Japanese fairy tale.
Video and Software Resources:
· Big Bird Goes To Japan
· Chinese outdoor
game called The eagles and the chicks.
Clip Art:
Coloring and Activity Web Sheets:
· Zoom School on the Enchanted learning site has lots of things to print out for Japan and China:
maps, flags,quizzes, etc.
· Tangrams:
· Flashcards on Asia Countries and Capitals
· Asia Outline Map
· China Flashcards
Recipe Web Resources:
Art Web Resources (Visual and Hands-on):
· Neat site on craft ideas for unit
· Japanese Art Lessons
· Activities and recipes for a unit on Japan
· Islamic Geometric art
· Jewish crafts
· under the kids section it has some great origami
Activity Web Resources:
· At this site, you can have your Chinese name generated (you have to give it some information) AND
hear it pronounced in Chinese!
· has some wonderful maps
· Links to Chinese New Year ideas
· Canaan and Ancient Israel Activity Ideas
Complete Unit Web Resources:
· Grade 6 unit on China
· Complete Unit on Japan
· Japan unit
· Core Knowledge unit on Japan
· ABC Teach’s unit on Japan
Information Web Resources:
· Explore an ancient China town
· Web toolbox on Japan
· covers government, cultures, business, lifestyle, etc.
· This was a great one for the kids! climate, regions, history, daily
life, food
· has lots of history about the Imperial family
· http://www/ covers just about everything. arts & crafts, language,
economy, food, history
· Ancient India Resource Links
· Highland Heritage’s Links to Japan and China
Field Trips:
· Fortune cookies were an American invention, and were introduced to China by Chinese-Americans.
Even so this is fun to do. Make sure you have lots of time and all your family can help you.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Prepare Fortunes: Cut 12 small slips of paper about 2 inches by 1/2 inches. On each paper write a
fortune or saying (or it could be a joke or a riddle….)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease large baking sheet. In large bowl stir sugar and egg whites until
sugar is totally dissolved. Add flour, melted butter, and almond extract. With an electric mixer at high
speed, beat until smooth.
Drop 1 heaping teaspoonful of batter onto prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. You will only
have 3 or 4 cookies on each sheet, because they will spread. Bake 5 minutes or until edges are
browned. Carefully remove the cookies from the cookie sheet. While cookies
are still warm, put a fortune across the center of each circle; fold the cookie in half over fortune. Fold
the half circles over the edge of a large bowl to shape them. Let cookie sheet cool completely before
continuing, or use a second cold cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining
fortunes and cookie batter.
Makes 12 fortune cookies.
Note: The cookies are pliable only when warm. If cookies cool before folding, re-warm them in the
oven so they are flexible. Continue to fold cookies. Do not make these cookies on a humid or rainy
day. It will be too hard to fold them and for them to set crisp.
· Make an Chinese dinner. China has many extremes of geography and climate. Because of this,
cooking varies from place to place. To better understand the many differences in Chinese food, it
helps to think of China as being
divided into four areas: North, South, East, and West. Each area boasts its own cooking style.
The North has a cool climate. Wheat is the main crop. Noodles, steamed bread and buns, which are
all made with wheat flour, are eaten in northern China. Peking is one of northern China’s largest
Peking duck, which was served to royalty back in ancient China, is still a popular dish for banquets.
Canton is the principal province of South China. It is also the name of the biggest city. The climate is
generally warm, and there are heavy rainfalls and humidity in this region. Rice is the most common
food. It is harvested twice a year, and eaten for lunch and
dinner. The province of Canton is known as “the rice bowl of China.” Canton is also famous for its
dim sum – a phrase which means “touch the heart. ” The phrase, dim sum, is also the name given to
a variety of small, delicious snacks such as hot appetizers of pastry stuffed
with a mixture of pork, beef or seafood. Dim sum can also be made up of soups, dumplings, reads,
cakes, and noodles. Crispy wontons is popular dim sum recipe.
Eastern China is known as ‘the land of fish and rice’ and ‘heaven on earth’. The climate of Eastern
China is mild. This part of the country has rainy summers and cool winters, giving it a year-round
growing season. Shanghai is Eastern China’s biggest city and greatest port. This area has some of
the most fertile land in China, which produces many fruits and vegetables. Because of this,
vegetarian meals are popular. The region has a long coastline, so fish and
shellfish are abundant.
West China has beautiful, humid mountains, steamy summers, and mild winters. It is called ‘the land
of abundance’.
Szechuan, a province of Western China, is the home of many bamboo groves. Because they grow so
abundantly, tender bamboo shoots are a favorite food of many Szechanese people. Panda bears
come from Szechuan. They eat bamboo shoots too.
Throughout China, everyone eats with chopsticks. Chinese people call chopsticks ‘quick brothers’.
Because they are used to cook with, as well as to eat, they can be made of bambo, wood or plastic,
as well as ivory, silver or gold. Chinese chopsticks have blunt ends.
(Japanese chopsticks are pointed.)
· Compare some of the Chinese folktales with those of our own. Examples would include Lon PoPo: A
Red Riding Hood Story From China, Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story From China, Foolish Rabbit’s Big
Mistakes (similar to Chicken Little), and Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes.
· Make Chinese hats as seen in the story The Seven Chinese Brothers. (Cut a posterboard circle 16-17
inches across. Find the center and cut from the outer edge to the center. Overlap the cut ends,
making a peak. Punch two holes on sides with overlapping edges in back. Then string two yarn
pieces, about two feet each, in each hole, knotting the ends at the top of the hat so that they won’t slip
· Make a paper dragon as seen in several books discussing the Chinese New Year. (Take colored
construction paper lengthwise and fold into threes. Cut the thirds out. Give each child 6-8 third sheets
in a variety of colors and have them cut each sheet into a perfect square fold (known as a taco fold
for you Dinah Zike fans). Turn the square on its side to form diamond shapes. Staple or glue the
diamond side points together, forming a long streamer. Trace a
head and tail pattern on colorful posterboard (patterns are my own so they will soon be uploaded to ) and let children add their own designs.
Attach one end of diamonds in tail fold and staple end. Take head and wrap around other end of
diamond and staple. Glue two bamboo skewers or other smooth, round sticks into ends for carrying.)
(Another version of this uses cardboard
boxes. That pattern is attached)
· Make a fish kite (pattern attached)
· Map out China adding geographical features. Attach and label blue yarn rivers, yellow tissue paper
deserts, and brown paper triangle mountain ranges.
· Try writing some Chinese characters of their language from top to bottom.
· Eat some Chinese food with chopsticks such as scrambled Chinese eggs. (Heat 2 T of oil and sauté
1/2 minced onion in a frying pan or wok. Beat six or eight eggs with 2 t of soy sauce
and add to the onions. Stir over medium heat until the eggs are cooked. Serve with stir-fried
snowpeas, bean sprouts, and bamboo shoots. Also serve with rice, the main staple of the Chinese
· Study a mini-unit on pandas. Create a panda face-shaped book and write all that you discover on
pandas in it.
· Learn about the China lantern festivals and create some paper lanterns.
· Make some fortune cookies (Write fortunes on small strips of typing paper and fold into halves. Take
8 egg whites, 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup melted butter, 1 c flour, 1 t vanilla, 1/2 t salt, and 4T water.
Separate the egg whites and beat them until they form stiff peaks. Blend in the sugar and butter.
Discard the yolks. Add the flour, vanilla, salt, and water to the mixture until it is smooth. Grease a
cookie sheet and spoon the batter into 3 inch circles. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. When
the cookies are done, remove them with a pancake turner onto waxed paper. Place a fortune in the
center of each circle and fold the cookie in half. Bend the cookies gently in the center until they form
crescent shapes. If the cookies become to difficult to bend, put them back into the oven for a minute.)
· Create some designs and explore with Tangrams.
· Design and create paper fans.
· Make and fold some origami designs.
· Learn how the Chinese were the first to create a wheelbarrow, fly a kite, and invent ink and
blockprinting. Have a wheelbarrow race, make and fly kites, and do some blockprinting art to
celebrate these findings.
· Do a biography on Pearl S. Buck
· Write a haiku poem about nature.
· Make and use an abacus (Use a box lid and 36 beads or buttons. Punch three small holes in each
end of your box. With a needle, pull heavy thread through one hole and secure one bead to the
outside of the box. Pull the thread back to the inside of the lid and slip the needle through ten of the
beads. Thread the needle through a hole on the opposite side of the lid and secure another bead to
the outside. Repeat for the other row of beads.)
· Dress in a costume that looks like a kimono.
· With your daughters, celebrate the Feast of Dolls. This is held the third day of March in Japan. The
girls dress in their pretty kimonos and display their beautiful doll collections.
· Practice writing some calligraphy.
· Speak some Japanese (Boy – otoko no ko, girl-onna no ko, child – kodom, mother – haha, fatherchichi,
teacher-sensei (pronounced sen-say), school-gakko, book-hon, Japan-nippon, yes-hai, no-lie
(pronounced ee-eh).
· Grow a Japanese moss garden.
· Have a Japanese Tea Ceremony
· An idea I got last year, is to make candy sushi. It went over SO WELL! In this order, help your
children build a layer each of: fruit roll up (seaweed), marshmallow treat squares rolled flat (=rice),
and gummy worms (fish). Roll them up tight and then slice through. Looks like real sushi and the kids
will eat it. I even got sushi from the supermarket to compare the candy to.
· Make the flag of Japan
· Learn to count in Japanese
· Using a thin paint brush and black paint, write the characters for the Japanese numbers
· Talk about table manners…they bring the food to their mouths and slurp their tea
· Draw a picture to show differences in houses…Japanese live in very small places…they eat and sleep
in the same room…use futons to sleep
· May 5th…Boy’s Day.. make a large fish or carp kite..paint the kite and add crepe paper streamers for
flair…attach to a rolled up newspaper pole…they use the carp as a symbol of courage and strength
because it must swim upstream
· Manufacturing….Japanese make cars and electronics, watches…draw a picture to show these
· Kimonos…trace a kimonon for each child on fancy wrapping paper…older students may write about
the custom of wearing these special dresses
· Obis…fuse fancy fabric to a strip of file folder and add a yarn tie…make an obi for each girl…tie a red
headband on each boy
· Have a stir fry feast…the children will sit on the floor …serve sticky white rice and broccoli, carrots and
celery that have been stir fried in the classroom…use chopsticks to eat
· Read books by Alan Say
· Origami…fold a simple piece into a cat or a dog
· Fold a newspaper into a Japanese warrior helmet
· Fuku Warai….pass a head or face outine to each child…blindfold them….have them add their facial
features…their faces should resemble a Picasso
· Talk about food sources in Japan…fish, rice and seaweed
· Greetings…bow when meeting is the same as a hanshake…learn the Japanese words for greetings
· Sing “Ichi Ni San” to the tune of “Three Blind Mice”
· Talk about the art of flower arranging…ask for silk flowers and have the children use free time to
make them in arrangements
· Oyster poem…put it into the “shell’ with a pearl
· Rage-Bohi-Onigo…a game like shadow tag…the “it” must step on your shadow…talk about what
makes a shadow
· Daruma dolls…these are like roly poly dolls … use Easter eggs …paint on faces…put plaster of Paris
in one side to anchor
· Uses a Venn diagram to compare and contrast Japanese and American schools
· They wear high platform wooden sandals…use a block of wood, sand it and add elastic around the
block, practice using these shoes to walk
· Design your own pagoda…they must have an odd number of stories, each story must be smaller as
you go to the top
· Japanese book binding
· Make Japanese fans…children draw a preating design on a flat sheet of paper…accordion fold and
staple the bottom
· Japanese lanterns… using a 8 X 12 sheet of construction paper, glue a sheet of 6 X 12 fancy
wrapping paper to the center…fold in half hot dog style…cut the wrapping paper section on the fold in
one inch up and staple the short edges together
· Make Japanese house screens…using very fine tissue paper scraps, make a tissue paper “sandwich’
using waxpaper for bread…iron the tissue paper inside…show this is how thin the walls are
· Use Oriental take out boxes to store some of the goodies you make or make math games with them
· Make Kimonos from adult t-shirts
· Dress in saris or dhotis for a day. Girls can paint a bindi on their faces.
· Boys who practice the Sikh religion never cut their hair. When they turn five, they wear turbans. Try
wearing a turban for the day.
· Do a study on the Taj Mahal
· Watch a demonstration or video of a Bharat Natyam – Indian dance. Some Indians in our area put on
such dances each year in culture fairs.
· Make some chapattis (popular unleavened bread): Ingredients>4 cups whole meal flour, 2
Tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup water. Directions>In a large bowl, mix the flour,
oil, and salt. Gradually add the water to make a thick dough. Knead the dough and divide into twelve
equal balls. Flatten each ball with a rolling pin and roll into a 5” circle. Fry on low heat, turning several
time to avoid burning. As the chapattis cooks, it will puff. Serve warm and dip in butter, curries, or
sauces. Families are important to Indians, and brothers and sisters have a special relationship. They
celebrate a festival called Raksha Bandhan every year where girls tie bracelets on their brothers’
wrists. Boys, in return, promise to love, help, and protect their sisters forever. Have your children to
celebrate and list all the things that makes their siblings special. Color an Indian flag. The circle in the
center is the ancient
symbol called Dharma Chakra – wheel of law.
· Do a biography study on Ghandi, and his very important contributions to the Indian people.
· Many people in India believe cows are sacred – thus the term “Holy Cow.” Investigate why.
· Do a map study of India.
· Akbar, a great Indian emperor, had nine advisors in his court, but his favorite was Birbal. Many
folktales in India tell wisdom stories of Birbal. Many of these can be found in the
book “Folktakes from India,” A. K. Ramanujan, Pantheon Books, 1991.
· Do a map study noting especially all the holy places that fall in this area.
· Do a floating experiment with fresh water and salt water. Discuss the Dead Sea and how it is three
times as salty as ocean water. The water is so thick with salt and minerals that everyone and
everything floats on its surface. Mention also that the land around the Dead Sea is the lowest point on
earth – 1296 feet below sea level.
· Read, read, read. The favorite pastime in Israel is reading.
· Soccer is a sport that people in Israel love to attend. Attend a game or play a game yourself.
· Learn the rules and strategies of soccer.
· Have a Maccabiah Games day. This is patterned after the Olympics but is only for Jewish athletes.
· Investigate the holiday Hanukkah and what it symbolizes. Have your own Festival of Lights.
· Make Falafel (Israeli hamburger) – Ingredients>1 lb canned chick-peas, drained, 1 large chopped
onion, 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped parsley, 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon
garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 3/4 cup bread crumbs, and vegetable
oil for frying. Directions>Combine chick-peas with onion. Add parsley, egg, and spices. Mix in
blender. Add bread crumbs until mixture forms a ball without sticking to your hands. Form small balls
(about 1″ in diameter) and flatten them slightly. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Serve
individually with toothpicks.
· Do a study on dietary laws.
· Make a dreidel and play.
Evaluation Ideas:
· Lapbook
· Map Labeling of China Quiz
Worksheets: (following pages)

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