Week 7: Self Strengthening & The Fall of the Qing


1. Current Events.
2. Timeline processing: Innovations & Events
3. Uighurs in China Say Bias is Growing (nytimes.com)
4. Review Kudos form for Unit Two.


1. Tuesday Tunes. MC Jin is a Chinese-American rapper born in Miami in 1982 in a household where the primary language was the Chinese dialect, Cantonese. He started out rapping primarily in English and the first Asian-American rapper to release an album on a major US record label.  When his career stalled, he released an album in Cantonese, “ABC”, which means “American-born Chinese”. This album led to him becoming a household name in Hong Kong.

2. Opium Wars role play.


The Kowtow Question discussion.


Beyond the First Opium War…the decline of the Qing.

Start here with an overview of the Qing’s decline  and/or China’s Qing Dynasty then go into specific research on your assigned issue.

  1. Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) & Nien Rebellion (1851-1868)
    1. Taiping Economic Reforms
  2. Second Opium War (1856-1860)
    1. Treaties of Tientsin/Tianjin (1858)
    2. Frederick Bruce
    3. Dagu Forts
  3. Relations with Russia (1860)
    1. Lin Zexu and Wei Yuan “barbarians fight barbarians”
    2. Treaty of Aigun
  4. First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and here is another from Princeton U.
    1. Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905)
  5. Self-strengthening movement (1861-1895) & the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901)

Other terms to search: century of humiliation, decline of the Qing dynasty

Timeline of Modern China (for reference)


1. Current Events.

2. Finish processing From Preeminence to Decline

  • First Opium War/Treaty of Nanjing
  • Protestants in China
  • Taiping Rebellion
  • Sino-Japanese War
  • Boxer Rebellion
  • Russo-Japanese War

Related Sources:

Is China Ripe for a Revolution? (nytimes.com remembering the Taiping Rebellion)


Week 6: Meet the Barbarians…


1. Discussion on the Singularity of China reading.
2. Vogue Dynasties

: Game day!

1. Thematic review of timeline:

a. trade and relations with foreigners
b. innovations

2. Semester reflection.

3. How did the Qing officials act? How does that compare to present day officials’ behavior?

Developmental Guidance.
Watch Engineering an Empire: China from the History Channel, 2010. Complete the viewing guide while watching.
1. Read and discuss The Kowtow Question and the Opium War. (in class) What about the use of the term “Oriental?”  Definition: of, from, or characteristic of East Asia.
2. Current events presentations.

Extra Resources

This week for Tuesday Tunes we are doing Jingju or Peking Opera. This is a theatrical tradition that goes back to the 18th century though its heyday was the 19th century. Jingju is known for its elaborate costumes and sparse stages. Often the stage setting consists of nothing more than a couple of chairs and a table. In the 18th and 19th centuries, acting troupes would travel from town to town performing thus basic stage settings were simply a matter of logistics.
The actors used four basic means of expression in Jingju: Speech, Singing, Acting and Fighting. Actors were admired not just for their speaking and sing but also for the beauty and grace in their movements. Characters typically belonged to four archetypes: Sheng (Man), Dan (women),Jing (painted face), and Chou (clown). Each archetypal role would have its specialty, such as the Dan, who would typically specialize in singing and acting with little emphasis on acrobatics.
Jingju changed during the Cultural Revolution. Mao deemed most operas subversive and wanted more working-class stories. He designated 8 operas as “Model Operas” and only these 8 operas were performed until the 1980s.

Week 5 Dynastic & Early History


1. Guidance Presentation (10 minutes)

2. Current Events from last Friday.

3. What are the basics of each of the major Chinese dynasties? Watch Crash Course: Dynasties.

HomeworkText mark-up on The Singularity of China due Monday, 10/7. Discussion based on the reading for Monday.


1. What is the Mandate of HeavenWhat is the Dynastic Cycle?

2. Create dynasty work groups. Look through textbooks to gather background information.

How do China’s dynastic periods compared to the events you learned last year in Western Civ? You and your partner(s) will be researching one of the major Chinese dynasties, and its corresponding time period in Western Civ. You’ll be identifying, among other things, a connection you can make to your dynasty and today. Each pair will be responsible for one part of the two-tiered class timeline.

Wednesday & Thursday (meet in LMC)

  1. Nation’s Online (really basic on most of the dynasties)
  2. Wikipedia’s entry on dynasties
  3. Columbia University’s Asia for Educators timeline and Primary Source listing
  4. Minneapolis Institute of Arts annotated timeline
  5. USHistory.org (be sure to check out the drop-down menu for each of the dynasties…)
  6. University of Washington timeline
  7. Travel China (a visually attractive, but detail-limited, timeline)

Information should be gathered, compiled, and organized during class these two days. As well, you should begin to narrow down and identify the best way to display the most important information onto the class timeline.

Here is the timeline template to use for organizing your data.

HomeworkText mark-up on The Singularity of China due Monday. Discussion based on the reading for Monday 10/7.

In case you have an extra moment..have a listen!

This week for Tunes, we’re going to listen to Jiangnan Sizhu, which  translates to “silk and bamboo music”. The name is due to its instrumentation consisting of stringed instruments (the strings were traditionally silk) and bamboo flutes. Traditional Chinese instruments are classified into 8 sound systems by the material from which the instruments are fashioned. This classification system is called Bayin. The 8 categories are: Stone(chimes), Earth(clay ocarinas), Skin(drums), Wood(clappers), Bamboo(flutes), Silk(strings), Metal(bells), and Gourd(hollowed out to create a mouth organ similar to a harmonica).
Jiangnan Sizhu is the tea house music of Southern China, specifically the Shanghai area. It was traditionally played by professional musicians at weddings and local operas but from the 20th century on, it was primarily played by amateurs, much like Irish Folk music at pubs.


1.  Finishing touches on the timeline and gallery walk.

2. Current Events

Week 4: Continuation of Schools of Thought

Song Dynasty created the tangram.

Monday 9/23:

Compare the Confucian tradition with the Age of Enlightenment

1. Current events presentations.
2. Tangrams | The oldest Chinese puzzle

HOMEWORK: Have all of your notes on the Syria crisis and your assigned school thought for class tomorrow. They will be used all hour and collected.

Tuesday 9/24:
Strategic planning day for schools of thought teams.

HOMEWORK: Prepare for debate tomorrow. Be sure your debate preparation guide is completed.

Wednesday 9/25:
Debate: What would Obama do in Syria if he were a Confucianist? Legalist? Daoist?

HOMEWORK: Review your Kudos form for test review tomorrow

Thursday 9/26:
1. Current Events (3-Peter, Matt, Luis; 4-Kyle G., Harry, Mason)
2. Review for Unit One Test.

Friday 9/27
Unit One Test; use Kudos form to remind you what we’ve studied this unit.

Week 3: Migration and Chinese Belief Systems

Monday 9/16:

1. Review data collected in LMC on Thursday, 9/12.

2. Introduce Infographics. Infographics organize data visually. To look at some examples, we will look through this site.  We will be creating a simple one for some demographic data about China. Consider a theme for your data, then collect the data for the story you want to tell. (due Wednesday, 9/18)

3. Distribute two readings:

Qiyan in Sha'anxi province

The new town of Qiyan in Sha’anxi province is being built by the government to help house and urbanize rural peasants.

Pitfalls Abound in China’s Push from Farm to City” NY Times
and China’s Great Uprooting: Moving 250 million people into the cities.

These readings are due Wednesday. We’ll have a little bit of time in class Tuesday to work on them.

Tuesday 9/17:

1. Brief check-in on Rural to Urban Migration Readings:

Pitfalls Abound in China’s Push from Farm to City” NY Times
and China’s Great Uprooting: Moving 250 million people into the cities.

2. Data work- Where is most of the migration to/from in various provinces?Consult your maps to see where these migrations are occurring. How could we map those?

Wednesday 9/18:

1. Scored discussion on migration readings. Marked-up readings will be collected.

2. Gallery walk for Infographics. (All infographics should be ready to be displayed when you arrive to class today.)

Thursday 9/19:

Infographic Gallery Walk/Data Collection:

On a blank sheet of notebook paper…

  1. Collect 5 pieces of data that you can relate.
  2. What might you hypothesize about China using the data you collected? Use “How China Sees the World,” “How China Became Chinese,” and the migration articles along with class discussions on the geography of and migration trends in China as evidence to support your claim. This should be at least one paragraph.
  3. Example: “The happiness level in China is _________ which is  lower than it could be perhaps due to harmful government action. For example, the government is forcing many Chinese peasants into cities which is hurting their livelihood. Also, the “Chinese Dream” and its accompanying policies aimed at creating a world power status for China allows for a per capita GDP of  ____ , which is similar to developing countries along with literacy rates of _________.”

Origins of Chinese belief systems. We’ll be looking specifically at Legalism, Daoism, and Confucianism including the basic tenets of each system.

  1. Basic tenets of Confucianism: from Columbia University (teachings, relationships, etc.) | Confucianism and Legalism
  2. Introduction to Legalism
  3. Introduction to Daoism

Friday 9/20:

Unit One test will be Friday September 27, 2013. Check your Kudos sheet for content covered.

(Will present Monday 9/23) Current Events (3-Jake F., Alex L., Kevin; 4-Mira, Trina, Antonia)

1. LMC work time on: “Daoism, Legalism, and Confucianism” Debate preparation for Wednesday 9/25.

Each of your group members should gain background knowledge on both the Syrian conflict and their assigned school of thought. Take notes to prepare for a strategy briefing on Tuesday and debate on Wednesday. Your group will argue for and defend a proposed US action based on your group’s assigned school of thought.

3rd hour:
Confucianism: Luis, Alex L., Hank, Kyle K., Jake R., Cole, Kevin, and Matt
Legalism: Cade, Kelsey, Michael, Steven, Alex G., Petra, Celia, and  Jake P.
Daoism: Simon, Anthony, Tad, Chris, Bella, Eleanor, Reid, and Vinoth

4th hour:
Confucianism: Iszie, Jessie, Kyle G., Grant, Mira, Sam, and Trina
Legalism: Jonathan, Kyle K., Evan, Chris G., Mason, Sean, Harry, and Chris A.
Daoism: Parker, Tiger, Aidan, Andy, Lino, Antonia, and Anahi

Background on Syria:

  1. Cheat sheet from PBS (start here if you have little to no knowledge of the conflict)
  2. 9 Questions about Syria (Washington Post overview…also pretty basic)
  3. Multimedia, interviews and in-depth coverage of the Syrian conflict (assumes you know something about what’s going on…)
  4. Infographics on Syria
  5. Syria’s War (Al Jazeera’s coverage)

Background on: all three schools of thought (a good place to start…)

Confucianism: IEP | The Analects-excerpts | China Guide | Stanford 

Legalism: Stanford | Penn State  | CUNY |

Daoism: BBC Religions | Patheos | IEP | Stanford U 

How could these positions be applied to the situation in Syria? If you were President Obama and you were operating under one of the 3 schools of thought, what would you recommend he do?

Week 2: Geography and Demography of China

Monday 9/9:

1. How China sees the World article discussion. For students who are absent, you’ll need to complete a 1 1/2 page discussion paper on the discussion questions from the reading. See IC for details.
2. Introduce excerpt from Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond: “How China Became Chinese.”

HOMEWORK: Read/text-mark-up for Diamond reading. Due Friday, 9/13.

Tuesday 9/10

1. Introduce map assignment.
2. Geographical changes in China over time. (lecture notes/maps) China’s changing borders: How have China’s boundaries changed over time? AND China’s borders during 4 periods
3. Boundary disputes with Japan. Read article in class.

HOMEWORK: Diamond reading. Due 9/13. Map assignment, due Monday, 9/16.

Wednesday 9/11

1. Demography lecture (population pyramids)
2. Dynastic maps. How has China changed over time?

HOMEWORK: Work on Infographics (due Monday 9/16)

Thursday 9/12

Data collection for Infographics in LMC. Meet in LMC. Sources to use:

  1. Nation Master
  2. World Bank Data by region
  3. National Bureau of Statistics of China
  4. International Programs, US Census
  5. Population Pyramids
  6. The World Factbook by the CIA
  7. International Statistical Agencies
  8. World Mapper

HOMEWORK: Complete Infographics for Monday! We’ll talk more about them in class tomorrow.

Friday 9/13

1. Current Events (Petra, Jake R., Steven-3/Sean, Izzie, Kala-4)
2. Discuss “How China became Chinese” by Jared Diamond.
3. Play a couple rounds of Chinese jump rope.

Week 1: Introduction to China

Wednesday 9/4: (37 minutes)

Discussion Question (DQ): What images are projected by China to the world?

1. History is about using the past to better understand today. Let’s look at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremonies to see the images and themes projected:

Opening Ceremonies in Beijing (2008) from NBC News. We’ll watch until about 6:12.

2. Get to know YOU! 

3. Nim (if time)

Thursday 9/5: (45 minutes)

DQ: What are your perceptions of China? Are these perceptions accurate?

1. Discuss connections to China/student information sheets

2. Walk through syllabus, administrative tasks, contact information, blog, etc.

3. What do you know about China and how do you know it?

4. Preview TIME article How China Sees the World


Read “How China Sees the World” (Time Magazine) for Monday 9/9.

Friday 9/6:

DQ: How has China changed over time geographically? Culturally?

1. Share initial thoughts on TIME article, How China Sees the World

  • Remember you don’t need to understand every aspect of this article! Generate questions/thoughts you have!

2. Ms. Doherty’s example current events presentation

3. Geography Lecture (begin)

  1. Writing Basic Chinese Characters | Understanding basic Chinese characters
  2. Maps of China: Varying units of analysis:
    • Physical Map Outline (Physical features: What are they? How might they impact living? What geographic questions can we ask about China?
  3. China’s Changing Borders: How have China’s borders changed over time?

Extra Resources:


Complete TIME article, How China Sees the World and its text mark-up for Monday!