Fit for the Emperor: Curriculum Connections

Skills:

Grades 6–8:

Chronological and Spatial Thinking

  • students explain how major events are related to each other in time
  • students construct various timelines of key events, people, and periods of the historical era being studied

Research, Evidence and Point of View

  • students frame questions that can be answered by historical study and research
  • students distinguish fact from opinion in historical narratives and stories
  • students distinguish relevant from irrelevant information, essential from incidental information, and verifiable from unverifiable information in historical narratives and stories
  • students assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources and draw sound conclusions from them
  • students detect the different historical points of view on historical events and determine the context in which the historical statements were made (the questions asked, sources used, author’s perspectives)

Historical Interpretation

  • students explain the central issues and problems of the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place
  • students understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events, including the long-and short-term causal relations
  • students explain the sources of historical continuity and how the combination of ideas and events explains the emergence of new patterns

Grades 9–12:

Chronological and Spatial Thinking

  • students compare the present with the past, evaluating the consequences of past events and decisions and determining the lessons learned

Historical Research, Evidence and Point of View

  • students distinguish valid arguments from fallacious arguments in historical interpretations
  • students identify bias and prejudice in historical interpretations
  • students construct and test hypotheses; collect, evaluate and employ information from multiple primary and secondary sources; and apply it in oral and written presentations

Historical Interpretation

  • students show the connections, causal and otherwise, between particular historical events and larger social, economic and political trends and developments
  • students recognize the complexity of historical causes and effects, including the limitations on determining cause and effect
  • students interpret past events and issues within the context in which an event unfolded rather than solely in terms of present day norms and values
  • students understand the meaning, implication, and impact of historical events while recognizing that events could have taken other directions
  • students analyze human modifications of a landscapes, and examine the resulting environmental policy issues

Content

Grades 5–6:

  • Understands the fundamental elements of Chinese society under the early imperial dynasties (e.g., policies and achievements of the Qin emperor Shi Huangdi, the life of Confucius and the fundamentals of Confucianism and Daoism, what life was like for ordinary people in ancient China as illustrated in Chinese folktales)
  • Understands the role of art in conveying ideas in China
  • Understands features of class structure and sources of social change in China (e.g., the effects of American crops and silver on demographic, economic, and social change in China; the stratification of Chinese society under Ming rule)

Grades 9–12:

  • Understands features of cultural life in various regions of China (e.g., differences between the lifestyles and living conditions in rural areas and urban communities during the Tang Dynasty, and how urban centers influenced growth in the arts; the significance of Chinese popular culture from the Tang Dynasty onward; the place of poetry and painting in the lives of scholar-officials in China, the values of the Chinese elite, and attitudes of poets toward the common people)
  • Understands how art, literature, and architecture reflect features of different cultures and religions