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China's Mountain and Deserts: Questions for Discussion

  1. Why was China's early civilization relatively isolated from other early civilizations?
  2. What sort of terrain did the eventual route between early China and other civilizations follow?

[From the Asia for Educators teaching unit, CHINA'S GEOGRAPHY]


China's Rivers: Questions for Discussion

  1. What are China's two major rivers?

    Huang He (Yellow River)
  2. Why is this river called a "yellow" river?
  3. Why is this river called "China's Sorrow"?
  4. What is loess? How is it useful for human habitation?

    Chang Jiang (Yangzi or Yangtze River)
  5. Why is this river called China's "main street"?
  6. In what part of China are the upper reaches of this river?
  7. Why is happening in the area called "The Three Gorges"?

    Zhu Jiang (Pearl River)
  8. What kind of land surrounds this river?
  9. What is grown in this river's ecosystem?

    Research questions involving all the readings and maps about China's rivers:
  10. If you wanted to travel in China with a row boat, which river would you choose to go on and why?
  11. Could you travel by boat from one river to another without going into the open sea or carrying the boat across land? Which parts of China would you see if you did this?

[From the Asia for Educators teaching unit, CHINA'S GEOGRAPHY]

  • The Ring of Fire [National Geographic]
    For grades 9-12. Becoming educated in physical geography requires an understanding of the theory of plate tectonics and the Earth's geological history. In this lesson, students will learn more about these concepts as they investigate the region known as the Ring of Fire, where 75% of the Earth's active and dormant volcanoes are located.

  • Understanding Earthquakes: Learning from Kobe [National Geographic]
    For grades 6-8. The purpose of this lesson is to understand earthquakes, using the case study of the 1995 earthquake in the port city of Kobe, Japan. In the first activity, students learn about causes and effects of earthquakes, and explore why some locations on Earth are more prone to earthquakes than others. In the second activity, students learn about the earthquake in Kobe and use it as a case study to understand earthquake cause, effect, recovery, and preparedness. Students learn about the devastation that the people of Kobe endured as a result of this force of nature. In the closing activity, students use their research on the Kobe earthquake to create an earthquake preparedness brochure.

  • How India Moved: Plate Tectonics and India's Landscape [National Geographic]
    For grades 6-8. This lesson plan can be adapted and used for a lesson on Japan: This lesson will help students to connect plate tectonic movement with physical features in the environment using India as a case study. In activity 1, students learn about plate tectonics and the formation of present-day continents, beginning with Pangaea. In activity 2, students learn how the Himalaya Mountains formed. In the closing activity, students work in small groups to research a physical feature in India’s diverse landscape and present it as part of a class "tour" of India.
  • The Mekong River
    For grades 3-5. This lesson plan is designed to fulfill Hawai'i's State performance standards and has excellent materials on Vietnam. Teachers can go to the "Procedures" section for an outline of the classroom activities and for several links to Vietnam-specific websites.

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