Korea

GEOGRAPHY—Maps & Images

Lesson IdeaJourney to Korea!
Have the students make passports that will be stamped as they enter Korea. On a large world map, students can plot their journey to Korea.

Lesson PlanLet’s Go to Korea [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 2-5. In this lesson students will: 1) Listen to information from multisensory lessons, 2) Read a variety of material including maps, 3) Create a journal and make a passport, 4) Create a travel brochure to Korea, and 5) Create a Venn diagram of the various topics on Korea.

Lesson PlanAn Introduction to South Korea [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 4-6. In this lesson students will discuss information about Korea including population density using language arts skills, math and science.

Lesson PlanDiverse Korean Communities [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 4-6. In this lesson students will identify the geographic regions of Korea used for human settlement and analyse the physical systems and how they have affected human life and shaped Korean culture.

Maps & Images East Asia in Geographic Perspective [Asia for Educators]
Teachers seeking maps and other visual materials on landscape and culture are encouraged to consult this teaching module on East Asia’s geography.

Lesson PlanKorean Geography: It’s in the Bag [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 4-6. In this lesson students will: 1) identify the physical shape of the Korean peninsula; 2) label the physical and political features of the peninsula; and 3) draw conclusions as to how physical systems affect human systems.

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GEOGRAPHY—Food & Culture

Lesson IdeaRice Cultivation
Have students research and discuss the stages of rice cultivation and compare wet-rice and dry-rice techniques. Discuss how climate determines which crops are grown around the world.

Lesson IdeaChopsticks
Have students practice using chopsticks. Discuss what countries use chopsticks as eating utensils. [Answer: China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam — the countries that form the East Asian cultural sphere. They also share Confucian thought, Buddhism, and the use of Chinese characters at some point in their histories.] Note that in many other countries of South, Southeast, and West Asia the custom is to eat with one hand, often using breads to scoop food.

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LANGUAGE—Han'gui, the Korean Alphabet

Lesson PlanThe Korean Alphabet: Sounds and First Words [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 1-3. In this lesson students will: 1) learn the sound for each letter of the Korean alphabet (han’gul ) and 2) sound out simple words and phrases written in han’gul.

Lesson PlanKorean Expressions [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades K-6. In this lesson students will learn and use Korean expressions.

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LANGUAGE—Names

Lesson PlanName and Identity [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 6-8. In this lesson students will: 1) appreciate the role of the name in identity; 2) become aware of the cultural variations in naming.

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CULTURE—Festivals & Families

Lesson PlanFamily Celebrations: A Comparison of Korean and American Cultures [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades K-6. In this lesson students will: 1) identify holidays and describe ways they celebrate them with their families; 2) identify special celebrations in the Korean culture and describe the activities of the families on those occasions; 3) complete a Venn diagram that lists unique and common family celebrations in Korea and the United States.

Lesson PlanKorean Lifestyles [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 4-6. In this lesson students will: 1) identify traditional aspects of Korean food, clothing, dance and houses; and 2) evaluate the extent to which Koreans maintain cultural traditions in today’s modern society.

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CULTURE—Religion

Lesson Plan Korean Pagodas [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades K-3. In this lesson students will 1) demonstrate visual and verbal recognition of the pagoda form; 2) introduce the basic meaning, parts, and materials used in pagodas; and 3) create a drawing and/or sculpture of a pagoda.

How to Identify a Buddha [Asian Art Museum, San Francisco]
The earliest surviving representations of the Buddha date from hundreds of years after his death, so they are not portraits in the usual sense. Buddha images vary greatly from place to place and period to period, but they almost always show these conventional features...

Fold a Paper Lotus Flower [Asian Art Museum, San Francisco]

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HISTORY—History Through Art

The Arts of Korea: A Resource for Educators [PDF] [The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
“This publication introduces Korea’s artistic achievement and places it in the context of its history and religions. Works from the Museum’s permanent collection form the core of the discussion and are used to illustrate the diversity and beauty of Korean art. These include Buddhist paintings, celadon wares and white porcelain vessels, inlaid lacquerwares, and traditional musical instruments. The boxed set also provides useful teaching tools for the classroom, including maps, an illustrated timeline, a chronology, a glossary, lesson plans, questioning strategies, cross-cultural comparisons, and two large posters. In addition, there are bibliographies for educators and students as well as lists of relevant Web sites, cultural resources, and film and video resources.”

Learning from Asian Art: Korea [Philadelphia Museum of Art]
“This online resource introduces students to Korean art and culture as they explore works in the Museum’s collection. Each art image is accompanied by background information, a set of looking questions, and related classroom activity suggestions that students can use individually, in small groups, or as a whole class. A map, timeline, and a list of recommended print resources and websites are also included.”

Korean Historical Periods [The Art of Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
“Cultures with long histories—like many in Asia—can be difficult to grasp. This guide to Korea’s historical periods describes its major eras in terms of artistic production and significant political developments.”

See the Art section for more art-related units that can be used to teach history.

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SCIENCE & MATH—

There are no math-related resources at this time. Please check back.

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LITERATURE—Proverbs

Lesson Plan Korean Proverbs [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 4-6. In this lesson students will 1) analyze Korean proverbs and discuss their meaning; 2) compare a Korean proverb to its Western counterpart; and 3) rewrite a Western proverb to reflect Korean culture.

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LITERATURE—Folktakes

Lesson Plan Tale of Hungbu and Nolbu [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 4-6. In this lesson students will read this Korean folktale and 1) retell the tale in their own words; 2) understand family relationships that apply to Korean tradition; and 3) identify and discuss this tale’s lesson or moral.

Lesson Plan Tigers: A Look at Korea [PDF] [Korea Society]
Grades 4-8 In this lesson students will: 1) recognize the tiger as a symbol of Korea, 2) learn a Korean folk story that includes a tiger, 3) draw a tiger expressing the Korean tiger’s personality, and 4) identify aspects of the story intended to reflect social, religious, and/or economic norms in Korea.

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LITERATURE—New Titles

Freeman Book Awards [NCTA]
An annual list of the winning titles (see the elementary category) for the Freeman Book Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature on East and Southeast Asia from the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA). Please refer also to Recommended Titles of children’s books, by grade level, also on the NCTA site.

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ARTS & CRAFTS—Overviews

The Arts of Korea: A Resource for Educators [PDF] [The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
“This publication introduces Korea’s artistic achievement and places it in the context of its history and religions. Works from the Museum’s permanent collection form the core of the discussion and are used to illustrate the diversity and beauty of Korean art. These include Buddhist paintings, celadon wares and white porcelain vessels, inlaid lacquerwares, and traditional musical instruments. The boxed set also provides useful teaching tools for the classroom, including maps, an illustrated timeline, a chronology, a glossary, lesson plans, questioning strategies, cross-cultural comparisons, and two large posters. In addition, there are bibliographies for educators and students as well as lists of relevant Web sites, cultural resources, and film and video resources.”

Learning from Asian Art: Korea [Philadelphia Museum of Art]
“This online resource introduces students to Korean art and culture as they explore works in the Museum’s collection. Each art image is accompanied by background information, a set of looking questions, and related classroom activity suggestions that students can use individually, in small groups, or as a whole class. A map, timeline, and a list of recommended print resources and websites are also included.”

Korean Historical Periods [The Art of Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
“Cultures with long histories—like many in Asia—can be difficult to grasp. This guide to Korea’s historical periods describes its major eras in terms of artistic production and significant political developments.”

Lesson PlanKorean Culture Mystery Box [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 4 – 6. In this lesson students will have a hands-on experience with artifacts that represent Korea.

Lesson PlanSouth Korea and Its Culture [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 3 – 5. In this lesson students will: 1) become familiar with Korea’s geography, 2) learn basic facts about Korea and its culture, 3) learn to count in Korean, and learn about Korean contributions in science including astronomy.

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ARTS & CRAFTS—Art & Society

Yangban: The Cultural Life of the Joseon Literati [The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
An extensive discussion of the yangban, the scholar-official class of Joseon Korea. The Joseon yangban were Confucians, and they considered themselves to be “custodians of proper Confucian mores” in Korean society.

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ARTS & CRAFTS—General

OMuERAA (Online Museum Resources) [Asia for Educators]
Additional lesson plans and resources on art can be found at the OMuERAA (Online Museum Educational Resources in Asian Art) which can be explored by a number of categories, including country or region.

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DRAMA & MUSIC—Masks & Dance

Korean Masks [Hahoe Mask Museum]
A guide to traditional Korean masks, with images of more than 125 different masks. With links at the top of the page to other essays about Hahoe and Byungsan masks.

Lesson Plan Masks and Mask Dances: Local Folk Dance of Hahoe in North Kyongsang Province [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 4-6. In this lesson students will 1) use a variety of world and local maps to identify and locate sites relevant to this lesson; 2) understand the historical significance of masks and mask dances in Korean village life; 3) understand the meaning of social satire and read social satire and apply it to modern American society; and 4) develop an understanding of and respect for cultural difference through the interpretation of traditional practices.

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DRAMA & MUSIC—Music

Kim Duk-soo, Samulnori Master of 27 Years [Korean Broadcasting System]
An overview of the samulnori tradition through the discussion of the life and career of a samulnori master musician.

Lesson PlanA Korean Hand Game for [PDF] [Korea Society]
Students will learn the Korean hand game “Flying Wild Geese”

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