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Monday, June 15, 2009

History of China... Preliminary Plans

We visited the Asian Civilizations Museum three weekends ago to view the Kangxi Emperor Exhibition: Treasures from the Forbidden City. It was International Museum day and that meant the public could enter the museum for free!

My personal favourite object in the exhibition is a painting (on hand-scroll) that is 22 metres in length, depicting Kangxi emperor on his second inspection tour. We had fun studying the details of the painting and trying to spy where the emperor was. It's a pity we were not allowed to take pictures in the exhibition...

We spend some time musing at the not-so-ordinary family tree- what with 50 wives and 55 children!

Our interest in the History of China was sparked off and I am now researching to see how I can incorporate Chinese history into our History curriculum. That was my original plan anyway. I just haven't sat down to seriously do my research.

There is a spatter of Chinese history in Story of the World, but in my opinion, too superficial. Being Chinese, we ought to know more. It is a pity our command of the Chinese language isn't good enough for us to use Chinese history books (or any primary sources), we would have to resort to those in English instead.

Here are some things I've managed to find so far...

An Amazon Listmania provided me with a list of books I could use to explore deeper. Two books stood out from the rest; The Story of Ancient China (from Neolithic times through the Tang Dynasty) and its sequel China's Later Dynasties (mainly on China's last four dynasties - the Song, the Yuan, the Ming, and the Qing) both by Suzanne Strauss Art. They are written for middle school students (ages 10-14 yrs old) and look like wonderful spine books I could use for our study on the History of China!

Here are some websites with important information that is geared for children (I will add on to this list if I find more useful sites):

Post update on 12 July:
I found a unit study called Ancient China: To the Great Wall and Beyond by Judy Wilcox. This is a twelve-week study that brings you through eleven key dynasties through reading and project work. One interesting point brought up in reviews (1 & 2) was the fact that the student is challenged to research and make biblical contrast. Efforts were even made to relate historical events in China to the biblical timeline for context. This looks really promising!

Post update on 14 July:
Here are 2 books available as etext on Chinese History:
1. China's History by William E. Griffis
2. The Story of China by R. Van Bergen

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sarah,

    To study Chinese history with the children is also one of the things I was thinking of starting with my boys. So thankful that you have done the research and so generously share the information! Will let you know when we really start :) Grace


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