Parallels in England and the Yangzi Basin of China in the 1800s

 
 

Sarah Chrichton, Herbert Lehman High School, Bronx, New York

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Introduction
Class Activities
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Lesson Plan(PDF)

China and Europe, 1500-2000 and Beyond: What is "Modern"?

Teachers’ Guide with Study Questions: China and Europe, 1500-2000

Lessons:

Rethinking the rise of the West: The Great Divergence Debate

Rethinking the rise of the West: Global Commodities

Standards of Modernity – China and Europe

Parallels in England and the Yangzi Basin of China in the 1800s

Class Activities

  1. Anticipatory Set:
    Students start with an anticipation set: "What are the features of a modern economy?"
    This can be conducted as a "think, pair, share" activity. Students have five minutes to brainstorm on their own, two minutes to discuss with partners next to them, and five minutes to share their thoughts with the whole class.
  2. Show the interactive for China and Europe: New Units of Analysis.
    • "Why is it unfair to compare England and all of China?"
  3. Ask students to skim the section China and Europe: 1500-1800
    • Provide students with an organizer (see template below) and tell them they are searching for features of a modern economy and the reasons why those features are significant. Students should work with their partner.(20—30 minutes)
    • Review students’ findings and create a "master organizer" on the SmartBoard.
    • Pose the next essential question: "Why did England begin industrialization but the Yangzi Basin did not?"
  4. Review the term "industrialization." Elicit definitions from students and distill them into a class definition on the SmartBoard.
  5. View the interactive Comparing Core Areas.
    Invite a student to come to the Smart Board and navigate through the interactive.
    • Geographically, what advantages do both of these regions have in common?
    • What industries do England and the Yangzi Basin have in common?
    • What products are specialties of the Yangzi Basin?
    • What resources does England have that the Yangzi Basin does not?
    • How do you think resources played a role in England’s industrialization?
  6. View map: New World: Both Periphery and Market
    This map is located in the section "China and Europe, 1780-1937" under "What Happened?" – scroll to the final section under this topic.
    • What other resources has Europe gained access to by the 18th century?
  7. Concluding discussion:
    • Discuss the role of resources and geography in industrialization