For monthly updates on new lesson plans, subscribe to our email list!

 

Math | Social Studies | Language Arts | Science | Healthful Living | Visual Arts

Mandarin Chinese can be found in High School Resources

Math

The Art of the Warli
By Dee Camp White
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will look at Warli paintings and reflect on the meaning of culture and the use of geometry. They will examine how Warli culture translates into paintings about everyday experiences and how students’ own everyday experiences reflect on the culture around them. Common Core Standards for Geometry can be met.

The Long March: Finding Mathematical Equivalence
By Charlee Raddish from Green Intermediate School
Published on and developed with National Consortium for Teaching about Asia-Ohio
This lesson teaches 5th grade math students about Mao Zedong leading China’s Communist Party on the Long March in 1934. It requires students to find mathematical equivalences between units of measure and capacity.

Magic Squares
By Asia for Educators from Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University
A “magic square” is a square divided into multiple additional squares or blocks, each block containing one number. This introductory guide to “magic squares” includes some puzzles for students to solve. For more advanced problems, visit https://plus.maths.org/content/anything-square-magic-squares-sudoku.

Money in India: Comparison Shopping
By Marjorie Fendt
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Children will be exposed to a monetary system different from their own. They will compare prices in India versus prices in the U.S. and practice necessary mathematical functions to find comparison.

Tangrams
By Asia for Educators from Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University
This lesson will focus on students learning tangrams, a game-puzzle played in ancient China. This puzzle was played by royalty and was made of ivory, gold, and other materials. For another interactive website where students can solve tangram puzzles, visit http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/math-games/tanagram-game/.

China Abacus
By University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Published on Asia for Educators from Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University
Students will learn how to calculate using the abascus. They will practice place value while learning a new method for addition and subtraction.

 

Social Studies

Animals of the Chinese Zodiac
By EDSTIEment at the National Endowment for the Humanities
Students will learn about the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac in this lesson plan. In the process, they will learn about Chinese culture and improve reading, writing, and researching skills.

Family and Other Families: Using Totoro to Teach Family Structure
By Rosemarie Young from Japan Society
Students will read a story and watch a Japanese movie about the fantasy creature Totoro. Students will discuss the structure of the family in Japan and discuss its similarities and differences with their family. Common Core Standards can be met.

Flags as Tools to Share Identity
By Becky Rosenbert from Lincoln Elementary School, Madison, WI with help from Marc Kornblatt
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will compare flags around the world, and then develop their own personal flags according to Vexillology guidelines.

Human Power or Machine Power
By Randy Colton
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will compare different means for accomplishing tasks by looking at different pictures of human power and machine power in India.

Japanese American Internment: How Young People Saw It
By Smithsonian Education from Smithsonian Institute
Through primary and secondary sources, students will learn of the experiences of children and teens in World War II internment camps. This set of four lessons is divided into grades K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12. Younger students will read (or listen to) Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki.

Japanese Carp Kites/Children’s Day
By Arts of Asia in Reach Program from the Allen Memorial Art Museum
Students will listen to the story “A Carp for Kimiko” and discuss its theme/lesson. Students will also be introduced to the Japanese holiday Children’s Day and design and create their own carp kite (koinobori). National Standards for Social Studies can be met.

Lions, Dragons, and Nian: Animals of the Chinese New Year
By EDSTIEment at the National Endowment for the Humanities
In this lesson, students will study the differences between Eastern and Western dragons and discover why Eastern dragons are associated with the Chinese New Year. For an additional video of the Triangle’s TACAS Lion Dance group, visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA5SOAyjQaQ&index=2&list=PLnlixMoRkDHKCFSzwy7hSUiNu5tJ-F9gb

Mapping India
By Judith Freund
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will actively participate in one IEARN project and interactive forum while learning basic information about India. Students will do research for two other IEARN projects.

Obento: The Japanese Lunch Box
By About Japan Editors from Japan Society
Students will understand the importance of an obento (lunch box) in the Japanese lifestyle, learn the basic rules of an obento, and be exposed to Japanese food culture.

On the Road with Marco Polo
By EDSTIEment at the National Endowment for the Humanities
Students will become Marco Polo adventurers in this curriculum unit, following his route to and from China. Students will record their “journey” by creating journal entries, postcards, posters, and maps related to the sites they explore. Unit includes eight lessons.

Ordering a Chinese Meal
By Asia for Educators from Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University
Students will plan a meal through a local Chinese restaurant and order “take-out” dishes to be brought to school. Students will practice chopsticks, discuss distinctive ingredients, and the differences between popular dishes in US versus China.

Our Mapping Perceptions
By Asia Society
Students will create their own map and analyze a historical map of China. Students will identify key elements of maps, functions that influence their creation, and how they serve as resources.

Puppets on the Move: China and the Silk Road
By Daniella Garran and Theresa Soto from Arts Edge at The Kennedy Center
Students in this lesson plan will gain an understanding of the dynamics of trade in China along the Silk Road and the role of trade in urbanization. The lesson will culminate in student-produced and student-created shadow puppet performances.

What is Democracy?
By Dee Camp-White 
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will expand their knowledge of democracy, political parties, and elections. This five-day lesson includes comparing/contrasting India and United States, holding conventions, and voting. Common Core Standards for Social Studies can be met.

What Makes a House a House?
By Lori Woitalla
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
This lesson will examine the ways in which the environment influences house design through reading A House is a House for Me.

We’re Off to India!
By Virgina vonReichbauer
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
This curriculum unit for 3rd and 4th grade students helps introduce young children to geography, landmarks, literature, languages, celebrations, schools, and arts and daily life of India.

 

 

Language Arts

The Art of the Warli
By Dee Camp White
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will look at Warli paintings and reflect on the meaning of culture. They will examine how Warli culture translates into paintings about everyday experiences and how students’ own everyday experiences reflect on the culture around them. Common Core Standards for Writing can be met.

Can You Haiku?
By EDSTIEment at the National Endowment for the Humanities
This lesson plan explores the rules and conventions of haiku, provides examples of master haiku poets, and helps students create haiku of their own. This simple yet highly sophisticated form of poetry can help sharpen students’ response to language and enhance their powers of self-expression.

Chinese Instruments
By Carol Parenzan Smalley; Adapted by Mary Beth Bauernschub from Arts Edge at The Kennedy Center
Students will explore Chinese instruments through demonstration, research, and instrument making. Students will present their findings formally to the class, participate in a musical performance, and create their own song. Common Core Standards for Language Arts can be met.

How Many Languages do you Speak?
By Lori Woitalla
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will listen to parts of a story read in English, Hindi, and Tamil. They will practice saying basic Tamil words while matching Tamil word cards with English equivalent.

Journey to the West: The Adventures of Monkey
Re-told by John S. Major from Asia Society
These online storybooks help students practice reading through a popular Chinese fairytale.
Part 1: http://kids.asiasociety.org/stories/journey-west-part-1
Part 2: http://kids.asiasociety.org/stories/journey-west-part-2

Our Family and Other Families: Using Totoro to Teach Family Structure
By Rosemarie Young from Japan Society
Students will read the story and watch the Japanese movie about the fantasy creature Totoro. Students will discuss the structure of the family in Japan and discuss its similarities and differences with their family. They will also create a poem about families. Common Core Standards for Language Arts can be met.

The Science of Shadow Puppets
By Theresa Sotto; Adapted by Amy Heathcott from the ArtsEdge at the Kennedy Center
Through online learning tools and the creation of shadow puppets and plays, students will learn how light interacts with matter. While using puppets created by students and performing shadow plays, students will learn, first-hand, what differentiates opaque, translucent, and transparent materials. Common Core Standards for Language Arts can be met.

Texts and Contexts: Teaching Japan through Children’s Literature
By The Program for Teaching East Asia (TEA), University of Colorado Boulder
Contributors:
Wendy Blasingame and Mandy Lover, Summit School District, CO
Blanca Carbajal-Rodriguez and Axel Reitzig, St. Vrain Valley School District, CO\
Michael Carlson and Gail Stine, Englewood Schools, CO
Christine Cervera and Carridy Koski, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, CO
Fran Cohen and Nina Marks, Cherry Creek Schools, CO
Casey McMorrow, Aurora Public Schools, CO
Gina Dupre and Leah Ebel, Falcon School District 49, CO
Jill Fenn and Kelly Himeisen, Poudre School District, CO
Noel Gannett, Roaring Fork School District, CO
Brenda Gates, Rebecca Laverdure, Stacey Mandel, Jill Maxwell, Katie Peterson, Katherine White, Lynn Williams, and Mike Wojczuk, Boulder Valley School District, CO
Gayle Green, Dawson School, CO
Sue Grieshaber and Linda Katzenmeyer, Academy School District Twenty, CO
Catherine Ishida and Jessica Rodd, TEA, CO
Kathy Keidel, Buena Vista School District R-31, CO
Karen Munch, Pueblo City Schools, CO
This resource of six teacher-developed, standards-based, cross-curricular K-6 lessons, features authentic children’s literature books on and promotes the teaching of cultural studies of Japan while developing students’ knowledge and skills in literacy and communication.

Trash! How Cities Work: Dealing with Garbage in the U.S. and India
By Joel Anderson and Jackie Kaplan
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will be able to identify how different cultures deal with the challenge of trash through storytelling, comparing and contrasting different ways to deal with trash, and discussing the importance of recycling.

 

 

Science

Grow Bamboo in the Classroom
By Asia for Educators from Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University
Students will research the uses of bamboo in China. Plants can be ordered from an online vendor such as the Bamboo Sourcery, which also has extensive information about bamboo.

Gyotaku: Japanese Fish Printing
Lesson Plan Kindergarten-2nd Grade: By Arts of Asia in Reach Program from the Allen Memorial Art Museum
Lesson Plan 5th-8th Grade: Adapted by Jill Gerlman from ArtsEdge at the Kennedy Center
“Gyotaku (guh-yo-tah-koo) is the Japanese art of fish painting. It was developed more than a century ago as a fisherman’s method of recording the size and species of his catch. In this lesson, students will: 1) learn to look long and carefully as they create exact replicas of fish; 2) familiarize themselves with the printing process of Gyotaku; 3) learn about the history and culture of the Japanese fisherman at the end of the Edo period; 4) learn how to use printing materials properly. For Grades K-2: http://www.oberlin.edu/amam/asia/gyotaku/Default.html For Grades 5-8 http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/lessons/grade-5/Gyotaku_Japanese_Fish_Printing.aspx National Standards for Art and Science can be met.

Living Efficiently: Daily Energy-Saving Practices from Totoro and Today
By Yen Pham from Japan Society
The rural 1950s way of life depicted in the anime film My Neighbor Totoro offers lessons in green living that are applicable across cultures and time periods. In this lesson, students will 1) describe traditional Japanese attitudes toward nature; 2) identify at least five energy-saving practices in Totoro; and 3) design an advertising poster to promote those energy-saving practices in today’s world. Common Core Standards for Language Arts can be met.

Raising Silkworms
By Asia for Educators from Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University
Order the worms from an online vendor such as Insect Lore, then have students observe and record the life cycle of the silkworm, learning scientific procedures in the process. Mature cocoons can be boiled and unraveled, revealing the silk.

The Science of Shadow Puppets
By Theresa Sotto; Adapted by Amy Heathcott from the ArtsEdge at the Kennedy Center
Through online learning tools and the creation of shadow puppets and plays, students will learn how light interacts with matter. While using puppets created by students and performing shadow plays, students will learn first-hand what differentiates opaque, translucent, and transparent materials. Common Core Standards for Language Arts can be met.

The Web of Life: Seaweed
By Kasi Kiehlbaugh from Marine Discovery at the University of Arizona
By making use of common household foods, this activity presents the concepts of food chains and food webs. It teaches students about the differences between a producer and a consumer and emphasizes that humans are just one piece of this very complicated web of life. It illustrates that the ocean is part of our food web and that marine algae are an important ingredient in many of our foods. National Standards for Science can be met.

 

 

Healthful Living

 

Truyen-Truyen: A Vietnamese Game
By Asia Society
This game of jacks teaches counting and hand-eye coordination skills. Children will use a rubber ball (or a tennis ball) with ten chopsticks to learn about this Vietnamese game.

 

 

Visual Arts

1,000 Cranes Lesson Plan
By Loren Fawcett at Arts of Asia in Reach Program from the Allen Memorial Art Museum
This lesson covers origami, crane biology, cranes in Japanese art, “1,000 cranes” as a symbol of peace, the bombing of Hiroshima, and the true story of Sadako. Students will: 1) improve motor skills through careful folding, a discipline necessary in the practice of origami and 2) develop multicultural awareness by exploring Japanese history. National Standards for Visual Arts can be met.

The Art of the Warli
By Dee Camp White
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will look at Warli paintings and reflect on the meaning of culture. They will examine how Warli culture translates into paintings about everyday experiences and how students’ own everyday experiences reflect on the culture around them.

Chinese Instruments
By Carol Parenzan Smalley; Adapted by Mary Beth Bauernschub from Arts Edge at The Kennedy Center
After learning about different types of instruments (string, woodwind, and percussion) in traditional Western music, students will explore Chinese instruments through demonstration, research, and instrument-making. Students present their findings formally to the class and participate in a musical performance. Common Core Standards for Language Arts can be met.

Gyotaku: Japanese Fish Printing
Lesson Plan Kindergarten-2nd Grade: By Arts of Asia in Reach Program from the Allen Memorial Art Museum
Lesson Plan 5th-8th Grade: Adapted by Jill Gerlman from ArtsEdge at the Kennedy Center
Gyotaku (guh-yo-tah-koo) is the Japanese art of fish painting. It was developed more than a century ago as a fisherman’s method of recording the size and species of his catch. In this lesson, students will: 1) learn to look long and carefully as they create exact replicas of fish; 2) familiarize themselves with the printing process of Gyotaku; 3) learn about the history and culture of the Japanese fisherman at the end of the Edo period; 4) learn how to use printing materials properly; 5) practice writing haiku and understand syllables and pattern in poetry; 6) select one final print on which to write their haiku and display. National Art and Science Standards can be met.
For Grades K-2: http://www.oberlin.edu/amam/asia/gyotaku/Default.html
For Grades 5-8 http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/lessons/grade-5/Gyotaku_Japanese_Fish_Printing.aspx

Hachimaki/Shibori
By Loren Fawcett at Arts of Asia in Reach Program from the Allen Memorial Art Museum
Hachimaki is a thin towel or strip of cloth tied around the crown of the head. According to Japanese legend, hachimaki strengthen the spirit and repel evil spirits. In this lesson, students will: 1) learn about a Japanese dyeing method, arashi shibori; and 2) learn about the hachimaki and make their own to wear. National Standards for Visual Arts and Social Studies can be met.

India Motifs and Kalamakari
By Marjorie Fendt
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will create a design as a response to an introduction of Indian motifs. They will explore at least two principles of design and two elements of design into their work. Students will be able to talk or write about why/how they created and finished their completed design.

Japanese Carp Kites/Children’s Day
By Loren Fawcett at Arts of Asia in Reach Program from the Allen Memorial Art Museum
Students will listen to the story “A Carp for Kimiko” and discuss its theme/lesson. Students will also be introduced to the Japanese holiday, Children’s Day, formerly known as Boy’s Day. The students will design and create their own carp kite (koinobori). Lesson materials are provided and can be printed off. National Standards for Visual Arts can be met.

Puppets on the Move: China and the Silk Road
By Daniella Garran and Theresa Soto from ArtsEdge at the Kennedy Center
Through map-making, research, and class discussions, students will gain an understanding of the dynamics of trade in China along the Silk Road. The lesson will culminate in student-produced and student–created shadow puppet performances that demonstrate students’ understanding of Chinese culture during the days of the Silk Road and the connection between trade and urbanization. Common Core Standards for Art Education and Social Studies can be met.

The Science of Shadow Puppets
By Theresa Sotto; Adapted by Amy Heathcott from the ArtsEdge at the Kennedy Center
Through online learning tools and the creation of shadow puppets and plays, students will learn how light interacts with matter. While using puppets created by students and performing shadow plays, students will learn first-hand what differentiates opaque, translucent, and transparent materials. They will also learn how light travels and how an object’s shadow is affected by the intensity and position of light in relation to both the object and the surface on which a shadow is cast. Common Core Standards for Language Arts and National Standards for Science can be met.

We are More Common than Not: Connecting the Cultural Dots between U.S. Students of South Asian and West Indian Descent
By Nikita Hunter 
Published on and developed with Center for South Asia Outreach at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Students will do a variety of activities to learn about Indian history and culture. They will see overlapping cultural traditions between India and the West Indies.

 

The Carolina Asia Center supports diverse Asia-related lesson plans. However, CAC did not create these lesson plans. This lesson plan database does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein. As an academic institution, we value diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding.