Monday, January 27

Ancient Asia Unit Resources

One of the things I love about The Good & the Beautiful History is that we cover all four eras of classical history each year. As part of the second year, we spent a unit in Ancient China & Japan...an area the kids have been interested in since discovering Lego Ninjago!

Archaeologists believe the Xia Dynasty began around the year 2,000 BCE, about 4,000 years ago. Legend says this dynasty was founded by the best engineer from the Lungshan people, who settled along the Huang He River a thousand years earlier.
From what scientists can tell, these early people were very advanced for their time. They worked together and used a system of irrigation to water the fields. They baked bricks in ovens for strong building materials. The floors of their huts were plaster instead of earth. They used a potters wheel to make vases and pots. And they made beautiful, colorfully dyed and designed woven fabrics, made from silk!
The people were deeply religious. They believed in the gods of nature, like the river god, the rain god, and the earth god. They believed in a great many gods, but the most powerful god was the sky god, T'ien, the king of all the gods, a god more powerful than any earthbound king.



All of these courses are included with your family membership.....which includes a print magazine, goodies for parents, and every course, for every subject, for every student!  

The Three Sovereigns and the Five Emperors 

The Three Sovereigns were powerful demigods who lived to be very old and brought peace and prosperity to the land during their rule.
  • Fu Xi was said to have invented fishing, trapping, and writing. His sister was Nuwa. It was Fu Xi and Nuwa who crafted the first humans out of clay.
  • Nuwa was the sister of Fu Xi. She helped him to create humans and also repaired the wall of heaven.
  • Shennong means "Divine Farmer." He brought the knowledge of agriculture to the Chinese people. He invented the plow, axe, hoe, irrigation, and the Chinese calendar.
 The Five Emperors were perfect kings who ruled wisely and with honor. The most famous of the Five Emperors was the Yellow Emperor. He ruled for 100 years and brought about the start of the Chinese civilization. In addition to the Yellow Emperor were Zhuanzu, Emperor Ku, Emperor Yao, and Shun. 
The greatest creature in Chinese mythology is the legendary dragon. The dragon is a long, winged, snake-like creature with four legs each with long and dangerous claws. Dragons were thought to have power over water and the weather.  The dragon was the symbol of the emperor. His throne was even called the Dragon Throne. It is said that the Yellow Emperor turned into a dragon and flew to heaven when he died. 

Interesting Facts about Chinese Mythology

  • Only the emperor could wear clothes that had pictures of the dragon.
  • Nian was said to have the body of a bull and the head of a lion.
  • Sometimes the Yellow Emperor was considered one of the Three Sovereigns.
  • The Three Sovereigns are also known as the Three August Ones.
  • Some records show that the Three Sovereigns each ruled for over 10,000 years.
  • It was the Yellow Emperor's wife, Leizu, who taught the Chinese how to make silk from silkworms.
  • Emperor Yao was said to have been morally perfect and served as the example of how all future Chinese emperors should behave.
    Our Ancient Asia study included daily morning meditations and Japanese calligraphy at art time.  Physical education was spent learning basic Karate For Kids, and we used some of that leftover gingerbread mix to make Ninja-bread cookies.

    When the boys got rowdy, I dressed them in bathrobes, strapped pillows to their stomachs, made a tape circle on the floor, and had them fight it out like sumo wrestlers.  The bickering quickly gave way to giggles.  Don't you just wish that you could bottle up that innocent laughter?
      
    We hosted the Lego club meeting this month, and they wanted to do a Japanese tea, so we made rice balls and peach tea.  We finally used up all of those leftover chopstick packets that make their way home from the chinese restaurant, and all of the kids seemed to enjoy the party.

    Our last art lesson was to create terra cotta sculptures, like the Chinese terra cotta soldiers found in the Yellow Emperor's tomb.  They made snakes and soldiers...I made a flower vase.
     

    China resources:
    Japan resources:

    Crafts

    2 comments:

    1. I love the idea of making your own Terracotta warriors. Thank you.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Love it! Post your terracotta warriors and tag us when you do so that we can see. :)

        Delete