March 23rd Update

Posted by Colleen Sweeney on 3/23/2020 12:00:00 PM

Dear Students and Families,


Our textbook is a great resource that will enable us to continue our study of ancient civilizations. Let us begin a unit of study about ancient China this week! 

In our study of China, we will see an ancient and continuous civilization that developed independently from the West.  We will learn about the grandeur and diversity of China’s landforms, which both divided and united the Chinese people.  We will discover in China’s Neolithic cultures and early dynasties elements similar to those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley.  We will see how the development of writing unified China.  We will learn about the ideas of Confucius and his opponents, the impact of Emperor Qin who was the first emperor of China, and the remarkable achievements of the Han Dynasty.  China is a land that is important today as home to vast populations and as a major international power.


On pages 254 and 255, read the chapter title and the opening text.  China is different from other civilizations that we have studied so far.  The Chinese were not influenced as much by outsiders, so they came up with unique customs, values, and inventions.  Remember that India's culture was a blend from a variety of ancient people who moved there. The bronze pot on the far left of p.254 was made about 1300 B.C. It is enormous! It was used in rituals for offering sacrifices to ancestors. The ancient Chinese believed the wise spirits of their ancestors controlled their lives. 


The photo of the Great Wall of China was taken from a guard tower about 43 miles north of Beijing, the capital of China.  Construction of the Great Wall of China was ordered by the emperor Qin in about 214 B.C. and was completed in 204 B.C.  The wall wound like a catepillar covering about 2500-3000 miles.  In most places it was about 30 feet high. The wall's thickness was 25 feet at the base and 15 feet at the top.  A road upon which Chinese soldiers could travel ran along the top of the wall.  The wall contained 40,000 watch towers that were bulit about 750 feet apart. Light signals could convey messages rapidly from one end of the country to another. The trememdous task of building this wall, which at one time was the largest in the world, is even more astounding in light of the lack of technology and tools in the ancient world.  

As the story of Meng-Jiang Nyu on pages 256-261 tells, many men lost their lives to the cruel hardships inflicted on them by the building of the wall.  I recommend reading it!

Later in the week, please read Chapter 9, Lesson 1 (pp. 262-269).  Try answering the Review Questions at the end of the lesson.  Restate the question in your answer and write complete sentences.  If there is interest, I can post answers to the Review Questions!   

For Language Arts, please consider honing your grammar and conventions skills through the use of Quill, connecting through Clever, not Google.  Be sure to read, read, read!  Writing is also important.  There are many resources shared last week on my Blog, as well as the district webpage.  


Please feel free to reach out to me through email.  I am happy to support you in your efforts!


Kind regards,

Ms. Sweeney