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Welcome students, parents, and colleagues. Thank you for visiting my blog. This blog I have designed to introduce myself and inform you about what is going on in my classes. Currently, I teach ELD inclusion for grades 6.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Exploring China through Folktales SIOP lesson plan

Exploring China through Folktales

Developed for Middle School Social Studies (Grades 6, 7 or 8)

By: Crystal-Mae Waugh
ESL Inclusion Teacher
Framingham Public Schools

Exploring China East and West Study Tour
Primary Source Educating for Global Understanding

Lesson Introduction:
Exploring China through Folktales” is a middle school (6th/7th/8th grade) social studies unit developed for an inclusion classroom setting. It can be adapted for Sheltered English Instruction or mainstream student populations. The lesson fosters conversation and higher order thinking skills and text has been adapted to be more accessible for English language learners. This unit fits into the middle school study of world geography and civilizations. The lesson incorporates multimedia footage of today with folktales from the 7th century B.C.E. Students will analyze the impact of folktales on the development of Chinese culture by observing video footage and retelling a folktale. The folktales give students a sense of the people and the culture. These stories are an integral part of Chinese history, rich in language that describes both environment and sentiment. The tales show the students the history of Hangzhou through the folklore and oral tradition of its local people. The footage of the Chinese opera will allow them to see the authentic ways of oral tradition and compare the different modes of storytelling. The Chinese opera is an iconic depiction of Chinese storytelling and history. In this unit, students will analyze the ways in which a folktale can give Westerners a glimpse of Eastern history and culture.

Teacher Name:
Mae Waugh
School Name:
Primary Source

Middle School
Social Studies/ESL

October 2012
Unit Title:
Exploring China through Folktales

Unit Length:
One week (45 minute blocks)

Lesson Overview:
In this lesson, students will learn about Chinese history and culture through a famous Chinese folktale. Students will compare and contrast the merits of reading a text versus watching a traditional Chinese opera.
Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks:
6.RL.7 Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story to listening to or viewing an audio, video or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when
reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch
6.RIT.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event or idea is introduced, illustrated and elaborated in a text
6.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding
plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
6.SL.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g. visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text or issue under study
6.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking

Higher Order Questions

What can the folktales tell us about what China was like in the past?
What are the benefits of using primary sources to learn about the history and culture of China and which is a
more reliable source—a video or a folktale?
How is the Chinese Opera an enduring icon in China's history and today?

Language Objectives:
Students will be able to...
Read and retell a folktale fluently
Discuss and interpret the difference between reading a folktale and watching a dramatization
Determine and clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words in context

Content Objectives:
Students will be able to...
Evaluate different primary sources for validity and information
Synthesize information from various sources including video footage, websites and folktales
Analyze the importance of the Chinese opera and folktales and their roles in the enduring legacy of Ancient China

Key Vocabulary
oral tradition
Chinese opera

Lady White Snake Text:

Hangzhou ~ HONG-JO
Emei ~ um-AY
Xu Xian ~ SHOO shee-EN
Zhenjiang ~ JUN-jee-ONG
Fahai ~ FAH-HI
Kunlun ~ KUN-LUN
Yangzi ~ YONG-dzuh

Resources and Materials

Lady White Snake” Chinese Opera performed at the Beijing Tea House, July 31, 2012

Lady White Snake A Tale From Chinese Opera” Retold by Aaron Shepard http://www.aaronshep.com/stories/062.html

The Legend of the White Snake” http://www.chinapage.com/wsnake.html

Shepard, Aaron. Lady White Snake: A Tale From Chinese Opera Pan Asian Publications (USA) (April 1, 2001).

Children of Hangzhou, Connecting with China (video series.) ISBN: 9780887277634

West Lake Tour Video

About the Story”
About Chinese Opera”
Venn Diagram
Lady White Snake through Yangliuqing woodcut paintings”

Building Background Activities:

1. Introduce West Lake and Hangzhou with the West Lake Tour Video.

2. Watch Hangzhou Kids video

Links to Student Background and Experience

1. Discuss what is a folktale. Have students brainstorm folktales they know from their native cultures or childhood.

2. Have students create a KWL chart for Opera.

3. Create as a class, (or have students create individually) a Mind Map for what they know about China. As the unit progresses, have students add what they are learning to their Mind Map in a different color.

Learning Strategies

Graphic organizers

Lesson Progression Activities:

1. Read the picture book, “Lady White Snake A Tale From Chinese Opera” Retold by Aaron Shepard, if possible.

2. Class discussion. Is it a folktale? Why or why not?

3. Read handout “About the Story.”

4. Answer comprehension questions in groups that lead students to analyze figurative and literal meaning in the text.

5. Make a t-chart about examples from the text in which we can make inferences about Chinese culture.

6. Read handout “About Chinese Opera.”

7. Watch the Chinese opera footage.

8. Use a Venn Diagram to compare Lady White Snake Chinese Opera and text.

9. Give students the 5 Yangliuqing woodcut paintings handout and have them retell the folktale in writing.

Final Assessments
  1. Writing assignment: answer this question, How do folktales and Chinese opera provide us insight into Chinese culture?
  2. Students choose one project:
    1. Record and oral narrative for video of the Chinese opera in English
    2. In groups, write a script and act out the folktale for Lady White Snake

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