Historical Borders of China in Four Periods. Source: Asia for Educators at https://tinyurl.com/y7vjs4p9.
Author’s notes on student reactions
Students needed prompting to think specifically about the ancient world given our class is rooted more in the present, however they were much better prepared to think about geography and its impact. They noted location could determine weather and the likelihood of natural disasters like earthquakes, physical features can encourage or limit interactions with other people, it will shape the economy, it relates to safety, it determines architecture, clothing, as well as health and diet.
Class No.3 How might we learn more about these civilizations?
Estimated time: Approximately fifty minutes to one hour
Activity 1 -- What can we learn from artifacts?
First distribute Handout 3 entitled Analyzing Historical Artifacts to the class.
Have the class view the seventeen-minute long TED Talk by Rajesh Rao “A Rosetta Stone for a Lost Language.” where the author, a computer science professor tells the story of his work to decipher the Indus River Valley written script. Before viewing, they should complete two questions, while viewing, they complete several others, and when finished, they use the Creative Questions Visible Thinking routine to examine objects from each of the three civilizations. This activity will provide students with an opportunity to use three museum webpages to look for answers to their questions and to the complete an activity where they will choose a question to imaginatively explore by playing out its possibilities by writing a story or essay, drawing a picture, creating a play or dialogue, inventing a scenario, or conducting an imaginary interview
Class Nos. 4 and 5: How might we compare the contributions of these civilizations?
Estimated time: Approximately two hours.
In the final comparative civilizations work, students conduct further research on early China, India, and the Roman empire.
Estimated fifteen to twenty minutes: minutes in partners, up to a whole class period if the options are projected and the two activities are completed with group participation and explanation of reasons behind proposed rankings.)
Using Handout 4, Student Research Handout, students will work in pairs to read and discuss a list of innovations and developments so they will be able to rank them in order of their importance to the world.
It would be helpful for students to start by accessing the timeline feature in the Ancient History Encyclopedia. Here students can search by category, by civilization, or by keyword. The timeline results include short passages that should provide students with some context to further research the items they have chosen. Similarly, the Directory of the Smith College Museum of Ancient Inventions can provide students with a brief description, time periods, and associated empires for the artifacts that appear in the museum collection (which include several from the list of choices.) The context in these sources will allow students to choose suitable next sources from the Student Sources for Research Activity list provided on page 8.
Research and Sharing findings
Teacher will help students choose one innovation to share with the class so that a wide range of contributions will be covered.
To prepare, students will complete the “I used to think, Now I know, But I still Wonder “protocol to reflect on their prior thoughts.
Presentations should cover their initial thoughts about the importance, when they thought it had been developed, which group or groups they believed to have been responsible for it, and the new information they uncovered in their research.
Each student will look at their initial rankings and decide which changes they would make to their original thoughts, if any. Additionally, students should look back on their “wonderings” throughout the module to see which of their questions have been addressed and which have not.
Choose questions from remaining “wonderings” to research and record findings.
Author’s notes on student reactions
Students needed much more time than expected to rank the items and there were almost no patterns in their responses. Teachers may wish to limit their list to fewer items that our most relevant to your teaching goals or essential questions. In terms of the impact of an event or accomplishment the majority felt it was best measured by the number of people who used it then and continue to use or need it now. Only one student suggested evaluating any changes or shift the invention may have triggered. They were consistently surprised by the contributions of the Harappan Civilization, partly because they had never heard of it and partly because of how early the civilization flourished.
References and resources:
Jeffrey L. Richey, “Teaching Early China and Ancient Rome Comparatively” Education About Asia 13, no. 2 (Fall 2008).
Tansen Sen and Victor H. Mair, Traditional China in Asian and World History (Ann Arbor: Association for Asian Studies, Inc., 2012).
Richard H. Davis, Global India circa 100 Ce: South Asia in Early World History (Ann Arbor: Association for Asian Studies, Inc., 2009).
https://www.pbs.org/video/indus-valley-civilization-ufdsp9/: A video on the “Indus River Valley Civilization” from PBS
https://www.pbs.org/video/discovery-first-chinese-writing-0nuw50/: Video on “The Discovery of the First Chinese Writing” from PBS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0zrLZrlyko: “Chandragupta, Ashoka and the Maurya Empire” video by the Khan Academy on YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZWy7IFBCEQ “Gupta Dynasty” video from Khan Academy on YouTube. An overview of accomplishments in India’s golden age.
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/ancient/twelve_tables.asp: “The Twelve Tables” entry from Yale University’s Avalon Project.
http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/ashoka.html: “King Ashoka: His Edicts and His Times” from the Colorado State University website
https://dharma-documentaries.net/the-indus-valley-the-masters-of-the-river “The Indus Valley (The Masters of the River)” video on YouTube via the Dharma Documentaries website
https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/arts/28iht-melvin.html: The New York Times article “Missionary to the Forbidden City” by Sheila Melvin from September 27, 2010.
http://www.myoldmaps.com/maps-from-antiquity-6200-bc/: Index of Cartographic Images illustrating maps from the Ancient Period: 6,200 B.C. to 600 A.D.
http://www.henry-davis.com/MAPS/AncientWebPages/AncientL.html: Index of Cartographic Images illustrating maps from the Ancient Period: 6,200 B.C. to 400 A.D. A digital collection of cartographic Images sponsored by Henry Davis Consulting.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabula_Rogeriana#/media/File:TabulaRogeriana_upside-down.jpg Tabula Rogeriana 1154 A.D. Muhammad al-Idrisi. Restored by Konrad Miller in 1927
http://cartographic-images.net/Cartographic_Images/115_Strabo.html: Strabo’s World Map from the Henry Davis Consulting cartographic maps collection.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomponius_Mela: Pomponius Mela’s World Map A.D. 37 Reconstruction by Konrad Miller 1898 on Wikipedia.
http://www.henry-davis.com/MAPS/AncientWebPages/118.html: The Roman Map Reconstruction. Orbis Terrarum A.D. 20. Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Reconstruction from Raisz. From the Henry Davis Consulting cartographic maps collection.
http://www.phschool.com/curriculum_support/map_bank/pdfs/China_Early_EmpiresA.pdf: Early Empires in China map from PH School
http://www.phschool.com/curriculum_support/map_bank/pdfs/India_Early_EmpiresA.pdf: Early Empires in India map from PH School
http://www.phschool.com/curriculum_support/map_bank/pdfs/Roman_Empire_500AD_A.pdf: Map of the Roman Empire to 500 AD from PH School
http://www.phschool.com/curriculum_support/map_bank/pdfs/the_world_reliefA.pdf: World Map from PH School
https://www.archives.gov/files/education/lessons/worksheets/written_document_analysis_worksheet_novice.pdf.: Primary Source Analysis Guide by the Library of Congress.
http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/china/geog/maps.htm#1a: Chinese Geography Readings and Maps by Asia for Educators
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0239%3Abook%3D2%3Achapter%3D5%3Asection%3D17: The Geography of Strabo. Literally translated, with notes, in three volumes. London. George Bell & Sons. 1903. Book II, Chapter 5. Section 17. From the Tufts University Perseus Digital Library
www.loc.gov/item/2007626789/: Idrisi, Approximately, and Konrad Miller. Weltkarte des Idrisi vom Jahrn. Ch., Charta Rogeriana. Stuttgart: Konrad Miller, 1928. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~asia/CartographyPaper.html Richard J. Smith, Rice University, article, “Mapping China's World: Cultural Cartography in Late Imperial Times. Early World Maps in China.”
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2124/2124-h/2124-h.htm: The Project Gutenberg EBook of Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, by Fa-Hsien Translator: James Legge
Release Date: March 28, 2006 [Ebook #2124] Last Updated on January 26, 2013
https://www.ted.com/talks/rajesh_rao_computing_a_rosetta_stone_for_the_indus_script: “A Rosetta Stone for a Lost Language.” A TED talk video by Rajesh Rao from 2011.
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/49.40.1/: Image of Stamp Seal and Incense Burner by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/02/ssa.html: Timeline of Art History by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
http://www.nationalmuseumindia.gov.in/en/collections/index/6: Prehistory and Archaeology by the National Museum of India.
http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/china/geog/M_Wall.htm: Map Grand Canal and Great Wall by Asia for Educators.
http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/china/geog/maps.htm#2f: Descriptions for Captions of China Map from Asia for Educators.
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/publications/online_research_catalogues/rrc/roman_republican_coins/a_guide_to_types.aspx: The British Museum Guide to Roman Republican Coins.
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/history-magazine/article/roman-aqueducts-engineering-innovation: “Aqueducts: Quenching Rome’s Thirst” article by National Geographic
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/roman-aqueducts.html: “NOVA Watering Ancient Rome” article by PBS.
https://interestingengineering.com/roman-arch-bridges-weight-hold: Interesting Engineering Roman Arch Bridges: How Much Weight Can They Hold by the Interesting Museum website.
http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/ps/cup/oracle_bone_general.pdf: Oracle Bone Inscriptions of the Late Shang Dynasty from Asia for Educators.
https://tn.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/moveable-type-story-of-china/moveable-type-story-of-china/#.WqaQQZPwagQ: “Inventions and Science: Movable Type, The Story of China” by PBS Learning Media.
https://tn.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/astronomical-clock-story-of-china/astronomical-clock-story-of-china/: Inventions and Science: Astronomical Clock and Other Advancements, The Story of China by PBS Learning Media
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/world-history/world-history-beginnings/ancient-india/a/the-indus-river-valley-civilizations: “Indus River Valley Civilizations” reading by Khan Academy.
https://china.usc.edu/sites/default/files/forums/Chinese%20Inventions.pdf: “Top 20 Ancient Chinese Inventions” by the University of Southern California US–China Institute.