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Lindsay Kaye Ohlert

Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010


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“Asian Life” Curriculum Unit

Unit Overview
Program Particulars
Language: English as a Second Language
Program Model: Sheltered English
Class: Social Studies 1b: Geography of the Eastern Hemisphere
School: Hazel Park Middle School Academy, a 7th-8th grade campus in the St.
Paul Public School District.
Additional Information: This trimester-long course is intended to address the
“human geography” of the Eastern Hemisphere, while providing ELLs with
opportunities to further develop their English language and the Social Studies skills
and knowledge that they may be missing due to interrupted or limited prior schooling.
The previous trimester, the students studied the Western Hemisphere. This unit
immediately follows large units on Europe and Africa, and precedes a unit on the
Pacific region. A major course goal is to build the background knowledge necessary to
fully participate in future courses in Civics, Literature and History. The students have
just completed a mini-unit on the physical geography of Asia.

Student Characteristics
Grade Level(s): 7th/8th
Context

L2 Proficiency: Intermediate (Cappellini, 2005, p. 29)


L2 Literacy Levels: Early to Early Fluent (Cappellini, 2005, p. 31)
L1 Literacy Level: Students range from no practical literacy in the L1 to full
fluency, with a majority of students falling into the Early Fluent Reader category.
Ethnolinguistic Background: Arabic, Karen, Oromo, Amharic, Burmese,
Spanish, Hmong
Additional Information: The students have varying degrees of literacy in their
L1 (for example, some Karen students were educated in Burmese rather than their
native language), but all of them have at least some schooling prior to coming to Hazel
Park. Most of the students have been in the country for less than two years. This is a
small class of 12 students, and they are a close-knit group, as most of them have been
together for most of their classes for about a year and a half; they are comfortable
speaking and reading aloud in front of one another, enjoy working together
cooperatively, and tend to keep one another on task. They are generally active
learners, and when confused or frustrated will ask for further information or
clarification rather than withdrawing or pretending to understand.
Despite having limited English vocabularies, these students are effective oral
communicators – due to the variety of L1s in the class, they are accustomed to
circumlocution and speaking using examples and gestures in order to get their points
across to their classmates in English rather than reverting to their L1 when stymied.
However, most of the students find writing in English challenging, particularly since
many students’ L1s use a non-Latin alphabet. While these students are sufficiently
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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familiar with structural conventions that they are able to easily scan texts for particular
pieces of information, when reading aloud most of them tend to focus more on
decoding individual words than on comprehending the meanings of full sentences and
paragraphs, and several do not yet effectively read silently in English.
Several of the students are gifted/talented; one of the students has a learning
disability that affects his ability to process written information.
Informal pre-assessment prior to implementing this unit revealed that most
students tend to view Asia mostly in terms of Chinese and/or Japanese media tropes
and whatever had most recently been in the news; the students who are from Asia
were knowledgeable about their countries of origin and some of their countries’
neighbors, but beyond that their views of Asia were similar to their classmates’ –
basically, that Asia is all about anime, martial arts and tsunamis.

Assumptions About What Students Already Know and Can Do


Essential Skills: Make inferences, use high-frequency verbs in the simple
present and simple past tense, differentiate between fact and opinion, circumlocute,
read maps, accurately form and punctuate simple and compound sentences, skim and
scan texts, conduct internet searches, use word processing software; use resources
and context clues to understand unfamiliar words; request clarification; decode
English writing using phonics and high-frequency sight words; work cooperatively;
cope emotionally with language-related frustration
Knowledge: Physical geography of the Asian continent; physical and political
geography of Africa, Europe, N. America and S. America, basic conceptualization of
“culture”; familiarity with the history and cultures of their countries of origin, including
the effects of colonization

Unit Theme: “Asian Life”

Big Idea: Asia is home to a diverse population that has a wide range of ethnicities,
cultural practices, beliefs, socioeconomic status and lifestyles.
Desired Results

Key Content Concepts: culture, cultural transfer (diffusion), world religions (including
Sikhism, Buddhism, Shinto, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam), rural versus urban,
cultural practices (customs), relative economic strength, social class, transportation,
recreation, architecture

Targeted National and State Standards


MN ELP Standards
Understand contextualized conversations (1.1); understand, with repetition, speech
delivered at slow to ordinary rates (1.2); understand target vocabulary in sentence-
level discourse (1.2); follow multi-step instructions (1.2); understand main idea and
supporting details of academic content (1.2); infer some implied meanings (1.2);
recount events and stories (2.1); participate in discussions (2.2); use general and target
vocabulary to get ideas across (2.2); describe (2.2); read to obtain information (3.1);
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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access age-appropriate information on websites (3.1); interpret texts by answering


questions, drawing pictures, filling out graphic organizers, taking simple notes (3.2);
make simple inferences (3.2); compare and contrast (3.2); explain and give examples
(3.2); exchange information with peers (4.1); express and support opinions (4.1);
organize ideas logically (4.2)

MN Social Studies Content Standards


Students will use political and thematic maps to locate major physical and cultural
regions of the world (V.B.1.); Students will locate areas of major world religions,
including Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and indigenous religious traditions
(V.B.2.); Students will locate and describe major physical features and analyze how
they influenced cultures/civilizations studied (V.C.1.); Students will describe economic
patterns on the surface of the Earth (V.D.5.); Students will describe patterns of culture
on the surface of the Earth (V.D.6.); Students will demonstrate the ability to obtain
geographic information from a variety of print and electronic sources (V.E.1.)

Unit-Level Goals
Essential Questions: What does it mean to be “Asian”? What is the relationship
between country and culture? What inferences can we make about people’s cultural
perspectives based on their cultural practices and products? What are some common
cultural practices and perspectives in the selected areas of Asia?

Enduring Understandings:
Students will understand that national boundaries are culturally porous; that
countries are not culturally monolithic; that Asia is home to people with a hugely
diverse range of beliefs and practices; that cultural diffusion occurs by various
mechanisms and surfaces in various cultural practices, products and perspectives
Students will know the regions of Asia and which countries they encompass;
common cultural products, perspectives and practices in each of the studied countries;
that folktales provide a window on historical cultural practices and perspectives
Students will be able to use grammatical constructions to differentiate between
facts and inferences; to make inferences about cultural perspectives and practices
based upon cultural products; to compare and contrast; to take notes; to self-monitor
reading comprehension; to use selected graphic organizers; to retell factual
information using a variety of methods, including graphics and dialog

Rationale
When I began my student teaching placement, I was told to “cover Asia” with
this class and given a month to do so. I was provided with a list of state Social Studies
and ELP standards to address, but how to address them was basically left up to me.
This presented a serious challenge, as the topic is huge.
To make the content more relatable for students this age and in light of the
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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course focus on “human geography,” I chose to focus primarily on the everyday lives of
people in Asia, drawing in bits of history and literature as applicable; larger issues of
politics and government are beyond the scope of this particular course. In an attempt
to balance breadth and depth, I chose to focus on one country from each primary
geographic region of Asia: Vietnam from SE Asia, Japan from E Asia, India from S Asia,
Uzbekistan from North/Central Asia, and Saudi Arabia from W Asia. I chose Vietnam
both due to my personal familiarity with the country, and because it illustrates many
issues common across SE Asian countries, such as colonial influences and a wide rural-
urban divide. I decided that I had time to do either India or China, but not both, and
as India is the dominant country in S Asia, I elected to forgo China and focus on Japan
instead. I chose Uzbekistan because its location along the Silk Road and status as a
former Soviet republic has filled it with good examples of cultural transfer. From W
Asia, I elected to discuss Saudi Arabia rather than other Middle Eastern countries in
order to bypass certain contentious political issues that would invariably come up due
to my students’ countries of origin, stated personal beliefs, and current political
events; while delving into these issues would arguably be desirable given ample time,
my own classroom, and students with whom I had a well-established relationship, as a
student teacher new to the school I felt it was inappropriate for me to tackle them.

Unit Level Summative Performance Assessment Task(s) and Other Evidence:


Evidence

Students will create comic books depicting a person from one of the studied countries
traveling to another of the studied countries, and reflecting on ways in which the
countries are similar and ways in which they are different. Please see the PowerPoint
instructions and the rubric [Appendix A] for more details about this task.

Detailed Lesson Plan: Vietnam


Day One:
Lesson Topic: Introduction to Southeast Asia and Vietnamese Life
Desired Results

Learning Objectives
Language:
Content obligatory: Students will use geography-related vocabulary, including
names of countries and ethnic groups, to take notes on factual reading passages.
Students will form questions in the simple past and simple present to set a purpose for
reading and listening.
Content compatible: Students will use logical connectors such as “because” to
support assertions with evidence.
Content: Students will identify the countries, climate, and basic socio-political facts
about Southeast Asia.
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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Culture: Students will identify and describe the characteristics of everyday life in urban
Vietnam.
Learning strategies: Students will use questioning to monitor understanding of written
texts. Students will use graphic organizers to take notes for use in future lessons.

State Standards Addressed


MN ELP Standards
understand, with repetition, speech delivered at slow to ordinary rates (1.2);
understand target vocabulary in sentence-level discourse (1.2); follow multi-step
instructions (1.2); understand main idea and supporting details of academic content
(1.2); infer some implied meanings (1.2); use general and target vocabulary to get
ideas across (2.2); read to obtain information (3.1); interpret texts by answering
questions, filling out graphic organizers, taking simple notes (3.2); exchange
information with peers (4.1); organize ideas logically (4.2)

MN Social Studies Content Standards


Students will use political and thematic maps to locate major physical and cultural
regions of the world (V.B.1.); Students will locate areas of major world religions,
including Buddhism, Christianity (V.B.2.); Students will describe economic patterns on
the surface of the Earth (V.D.5.); Students will describe patterns of culture on the
surface of the Earth (V.D.6.); Students will demonstrate the ability to obtain
geographic information from a variety of print and electronic sources (V.E.1.)

Time Frame: 45 minutes

Materials/Resources: SmartBoard, projector and laptop; World View: Book Two


(Lubawy, 2001); Hanoi video clip (Lonely Planet, 2009); paper and writing utensils
Learning Experiences

Learning Activities/Tasks
Preview Phase—“into” activities (10 min)
 Bellwork: Students respond in writing to the prompt “List everything you know
about Vietnam.”
 Teacher explains to the class that for the next month, they will be studying
Asian culture, and day-to-day life in Asian countries. He or she explains to
students that they will look closely at one country from each of the geographic
regions; and uses the classroom map to point out the regions and countries to
be studied: Vietnam (SE Asia), Japan (E Asia), India (S Asia), Uzbekistan (Central
Asia), Saudi Arabia (W Asia).

Focused Learning Phase—“through” activities (20 min)


 Students read the “Southeast Asia” overview from their textbook aloud.
Students take turns reading, switching after each paragraph. After each
paragraph, the teacher asks the students a couple of quick comprehension and
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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vocabulary questions (e.g. “What is climate?” “What are the climates of S.E.
Asia?”) and students respond en masse; if the majority are not able to respond
promptly, the class re-reads the paragraph to look for the answer.
 Students individually fill out the note-taking sheet that accompanies the
textbook passage.
 Students receive the packet of KWL charts [Appendix B]. Teacher projects the
Vietnam page on the SmartBoard. Students take turns sharing what they wrote
during the bellwork, and the teacher scribes their input into the K column of
the chart on the SmartBoard in recast grammatically correct sentences.
Students copy this into their own charts. The teacher gives the students a few
minutes to think about some questions they have about Vietnam for the W
column, then asks each student to share their one or two most important
questions, and scribes what they say into the chart on the SmartBoard, again
recasting as necessary.

Expansion Phase—“beyond” activities (15 min)


 Students prepare to watch the “Lonely Planet: Hanoi” video clip *CD-ROM].
The teacher calls on a student to find Hanoi on the classroom map of Asia, and,
if no student has volunteered that it is the capital of Vietnam, the teacher
points this out. The teacher informs the students that they will watch the clip
three times, and the first time they should simply watch and think; the second
time they should look at the images, then record observations about
Vietnamese life in the L column of their charts; the third time they should listen
to the narrator and record observations.
 After the two viewings, students share their observations aloud, and the
teacher scribes them into the chart; students copy classmates’ information into
their own charts. If a student makes an inference based upon evidence (for
example, “Buddhism is practiced in Vietnam”) then the teacher asks the
student how s/he knows (“There were Buddhist statues for sale in the market”)
and scribes this in (“Because there were Buddhist statues for sale in the
market, we conclude that Buddhism is practiced in Vietnam.”)
 Students put their KWL charts and consumable textbooks into their class
period’s storage bin in the classroom.

Lesson-Level Formative Assessment Procedures:


 The teacher can use students’ answers in the K and W columns to judge
whether any misconceptions will need addressing over the next few days, and
Evidence

if so, make additions or modifications to the plan.


 Students’ oral responses when filling in the L column after the video allow the
teacher to assess both their descriptive language skills and their understanding
of Vietnamese urban life.
 Students written responses on the note-taking sheet allow the teacher to
gauge both how well they understood the textbook passage, and how well they
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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are able to use the target vocabulary.

Day Two:
Lesson Topic: Cultural Products, Practices and Perspectives in Vietnam

Learning Objectives
Language:
Content obligatory: Students will form complete sentences in the present tense to
describe scenes and occurrences. Students will use vocabulary such as the verbs
“conclude” and “believe” and logical connectors such as “as” and “because” to make
and support inferential statements.
Content compatible: Students will use classroom vocabulary such as “tape” and
“category” to make requests while working collaboratively with peers.
Content: Students will categorize information in a logical manner. Students will make
inferences and support them using factual evidence.
Desired Results

Culture: Students will describe everyday life in Vietnam. Students will draw
conclusions about cultural practices and perspectives based upon cultural products.
Learning strategies: Students will use graphic organizers to organize information and
take notes for use on future assignments.

State Standards Addressed


MN ELP Standards
follow multi-step instructions (1.2); use general and target vocabulary to get ideas
across (2.2); describe (2.2); read to obtain information (3.1); make simple inferences
(3.2); explain and give examples (3.2); exchange information with peers (4.1); express
and support opinions (4.1); organize ideas logically (4.2)

MN Social Studies Content Standards


Students will use political and thematic maps to locate major physical and cultural
regions of the world (V.B.1.); Students will locate areas of major world religions,
including Buddhism, Christianity (V.B.2.); (V.C.1.); Students will describe economic
patterns on the surface of the Earth (V.D.5.); Students will describe patterns of culture
on the surface of the Earth (V.D.6.); Students will demonstrate the ability to obtain
geographic information from a variety of print and electronic sources (V.E.1.)

Time Frame: 45 minutes

Materials/Resources: World View: Book Two, classroom sets of encyclopedias, photos


(TrekEarth, 2009), post-its, writing utensils, tape, inferences graphic organizer sheet
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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Learning Activities/Tasks
Preview Phase—“into” activities (10 minutes)
 Bellwork: “Name the three countries that have occupied (taken control of)
Vietnam in the past. You may use your textbook and the classroom reference
books.”
 The teacher corrects the bellwork with the students, reinforcing the timeline of
events – that Vietnam has been variously occupied by China, France and the US
in that order over the last thousand years, with periods of self-determination
between; the country is currently independent.

Focused Learning Phase—“through” activities (15 minutes)


 The whiteboard at the front of the room is divided into the following
categories: transportation, family life, economy, food, religion, architecture,
art, recreation, and clothing/style. The teacher gives instructions for the day’s
activity, telling students that they will be placed in groups of two or three, and
each group will be given a packet of photos [Appendix C] and a pad of post-its.
Learning Experiences

The students are to write descriptions of the photograph on a post-it and


attach it to the photo, then tape the photo under the correct category on the
board. The teacher and students read the categories aloud while pointing to
them, and the teacher checks that the students know the meaning of the
lower-frequency words, such as “transportation,” “architecture” and
“recreation.” The teacher chooses a photo to use as an example, and calls on a
student to describe it; she writes the student’s description on a post-it, then
asks the class which category it belongs under. The teacher should choose a
photo that could potentially go in multiple categories (e.g. a family on a
motorbike) and ask students to justify their answers (“I think it should go under
transportation because they are using a motorbike to travel.”)
 The teacher distributes the photo packets, post-its and tape to the groups.
Each group receives a different color post-it pad, so the teacher can easily
judge individual groups’ participation. Students write their descriptions and
sort the photos.

Expansion Phase—“beyond” activities (20 minutes)


 As groups finish their labeling and sorting, the teacher meets with them
individually, giving them the graphic organizer [Appendix D] and going over the
instructions for it – students should use the photos and descriptions to make
inferences about the beliefs and practices of people in Vietnam. The teacher
should do at least one example with each group, e.g. “Based on the photos of
Catholic churches and Buddhist pagodas, I conclude that the most common
religions in Vietnam are Christianity and Buddhism.” The teacher reminds the
students that they can look for Chinese, French and American influences when
making their inferences.
 The class regroups. The teacher calls on students to each choose two or three
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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of their most insightful inferences to share while showing the pictures upon
which they based their conclusions. At this point, the teacher can correct any
inaccurate inferences.
 Students use their inference sheets to update their KWL chart.

Lesson-Level Formative Assessment Procedures:


 Students’ written descriptions and inferences provide the teacher with
vocabulary to directly teach the next day (for example, if a student writes
“People in Vietnam are Buddha,” this would show a need to teach the words
“Buddhist” and “Buddhism.”) Teacher should add these vocabulary words to
the classroom word wall, point them out to students the following day, and
Evidence

encourage students to use them in future assignments; if there is a lot of


necessary vocabulary, the teacher should modify the following lesson plans to
address this.
 The inference graphic organizer sheet allows the teacher to gauge both how
well the students are using the target grammatical form and the quality of their
inferences.
 The colored post-it notes allow the teacher to judge which groups are
successfully categorizing information according to the targeted concepts and
which need more support in future lessons.

Day Three:
Lesson Topic: Comparing and Contrasting Rural and Urban Life in Vietnam

Learning Objectives
Language:
Content obligatory: Students will use vocabulary related to Vietnamese culture and
targeted Social Studies concepts to orally form and respond to persuasive arguments.
Desired Results

Content compatible: Students will use basic interpersonal communicative language


to discuss cooperative tasks with peers and negotiate roles and turn-taking.
Content: Students will categorize data logically. Students will support arguments with
facts. Students will compare and contrast.
Culture: Students will describe characteristics of urban and rural Vietnamese cultural
practices and products. Students will compare rural and urban Vietnamese life.
Learning strategies: Student will work collaboratively with peers to problem-solve
more effectively.

State Standards Addressed


MN ELP Standards
Understand contextualized conversations (1.1); understand, with repetition, speech
delivered at slow to ordinary rates (1.2); understand target vocabulary in sentence-
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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level discourse (1.2); follow multi-step instructions (1.2); recount events and stories
(2.1); participate in discussions (2.2); use general and target vocabulary to get ideas
across (2.2); describe (2.2); interpret texts by filling out graphic organizers, taking
simple notes (3.2); make simple inferences (3.2); compare and contrast (3.2); explain
and give examples (3.2); exchange information with peers (4.1); express and support
opinions (4.1); organize ideas logically (4.2)

MN Social Studies Content Standards


Students will use political and thematic maps to locate major physical and cultural
regions of the world (V.B.1.); Students will locate areas of major world religions,
including Buddhism, Christianity (V.B.2.); Students will locate and describe major
physical features and analyze how they influenced cultures/civilizations studied
(V.C.1.); Students will describe economic patterns on the surface of the Earth (V.D.5.);
Students will describe patterns of culture on the surface of the Earth (V.D.6.); Students
will demonstrate the ability to obtain geographic information from a variety of print
and electronic sources (V.E.1.)

Time Frame: 45 minutes

Materials/Resources: photo cards, tape, Venn diagram handouts, debate position


statement handouts, writing utensils

Learning Activities/Tasks
Preview Phase—“into” activities (10 min)
 Bellwork: “Would you rather live in the country or in the city? Why?”
Learning Experiences

 The whiteboard is separated into two categories: “Rural” and “Urban.” The
teacher asks the class if anyone can define either of the words; if they cannot,
she informs them that “rural” means “country” and “urban” means “city.” The
teacher gives instructions for the day’s activity: students will receive the photo
cards from yesterday, and working in pairs they will tape the photos under
whichever category they fit best.

Focused Learning Phase—“through” activities (15 min)


 After students have finished sorting the photos, they receive a Venn diagram
with circles labeled “rural” and “urban.” The teacher reminds the class how to
correctly fill in a Venn Diagram, then the students use the photos to do so.

Expansion Phase—“beyond” activities (20 min)


 The teacher divides the class into two teams, “Chi” and “Em,” and gives the
“Chi” team the Debate 1a position statement slip and the “Em” team the
Debate 1b slip [Appendix E]. The teacher explains to the students that they will
send one member of their team to the center of the classroom to argue with
one member of the other team. At any point, the debaters may return to their
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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groups for advice, or to allow another teammate to take a turn as the debater.
The group may also call a time-out at any time to bring their teammate back
and give him or her some advice. Not all students need to take a turn as the
debater, but all students need to participate and help advise the debater.
 The teacher has the students brainstorm ideas for a few minutes, then opens
the debate. If a debater appears to be struggling, or is monopolizing the time,
the teacher should remind the debaters to return to their groups for advice, or
trade places with a volunteer teammate. The teacher should neither force
reluctant students to take a turn as the debater nor allow more outgoing
students to monopolize the conversation.
 Time permitting, if the student exhaust topic 1, the teacher may have them
move on to topic 2.
 Students update their KWL chart using their rural/urban Venn diagram.

Lesson-Level Formative Assessment Procedures:


 The students’ accuracy in filling out the Venn diagrams can demonstrate both
Evidence

how well they are comparing/contrasting and how accurately they understand
the characteristics of Vietnamese rural and urban life.
 The teacher can gauge the students’ content recall based on the accuracy and
frequency of the students’ contributions to the debate.

Day Four:
Lesson Topic: Vietnamese Folktales

Learning Objectives
Language:
Content obligatory: Students will use vocabulary related to rural Vietnamese life,
Desired Results

such as “tiger” and “fishing net” to ask and answer questions about the events of
stories. Students will use vocabulary related to Vietnamese cultural values, such as
“debt,” “forgiveness” and “repay” to derive morals from folktales.
Content: Students will make inferences based upon evidence. Students will describe
how characters change in response to plot events.
Culture: Students will infer cultural perspectives and practices from a culture’s
folktales. Students will compare their own values to those honored in the stories.
Learning strategies: Students will engage in questioning to monitor comprehension.
Students will use graphic organizers to process information.

State Standards Addressed:


MN ELP Standards
understand target vocabulary in sentence-level discourse (1.2); follow multi-step
instructions (1.2); understand main idea and supporting details of academic content
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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(1.2); infer some implied meanings (1.2); recount events and stories (2.1); participate
in discussions (2.2); use general and target vocabulary to get ideas across (2.2); read to
obtain information (3.1); interpret texts by answering questions, filling out graphic
organizers (3.2); make simple inferences (3.2); explain and give examples (3.2);
exchange information with peers (4.1); express and support opinions (4.1)

MN Social Studies Content Standards


Students will describe patterns of culture on the surface of the Earth (V.D.6.); Students
will demonstrate the ability to obtain geographic information from a variety of print
and electronic sources (V.E.1.)

Time Frame: 45 minutes

Materials/Resources: paper, writing utensils, folktale packet handouts (Kohler, 2010)

Learning Activities/Tasks
Preview Phase—“into” activities (10 min)
 Bellwork: “What does it mean to be a good person?”
 The teacher explains to the class that folktales are fictional stories, but they
often contain lessons that are considered important by the people who tell
them. The teacher briefly relates the well-known European story of The Boy
Learning Experiences

Who Cried Wolf, then asks the students what the lesson – the moral – of that
story is.

Focused Learning Phase—“through” activities (20 min)


 The class reads the first folktale in the packet [Appendix F] aloud, taking turns
paragraph by paragraph. After each paragraph, the teacher asks the class a
few comprehension questions – “Why does the son wait by the river?” “What
is the mother’s problem?” – and the class answers them aloud; if the class
cannot accurately respond, then they re-read that paragraph, looking for the
answer.
 The teacher has the students think-pair-share with a neighbor about each of
the questions at the end of the story, and after the class has satisfactorily
answered each of the questions orally (for example, touching at least upon the
fact that the mother learns to forgive the tiger; the tiger makes amends and
decides not to hurt people anymore; and that the story shows that enemies
can become friends, forgiveness and repayment are important Vietnamese
values, etc.)

Expansion Phase—“beyond” activities (15 min)


 In pairs, the students read the second folktale aloud, taking turns paragraph by
paragraph. After each paragraph, the listener asks the reader a comprehension
question. (The teacher should call on students to model this before they begin
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Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
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the task, and should circulate through the room offering support in doing this)
about the previous paragraph.
 After completing the story, the pair answers the questions at the end of the
story.
 When all groups have finished, the teacher calls on students to share their
answers.
 Students update their KWL charts.

Lesson-Level Formative Assessment Procedures:


 Students’ responses to the reading questions allow the teacher to gauge both
Evidence

their comprehension of the story and whether they are accurately making
inferences about Vietnamese cultural values.
 The quality and ease of the students’ questioning during the pair reading
allows the teacher to gauge whether students are beginning to be able to
engage in self-questioning without direct teacher guidance.

Outlines of the Subsequent Lessons


Days 5-8: Japan Lesson (E Asia)
Objectives:
Language: Students will use geography-related vocabulary, including names of countries and
ethnic groups, to take notes on factual reading passages. Students will form questions in the
simple past and simple present to set a purpose for reading and listening. Students will use
comparative forms such as more/less+adjective and adjective+er to describe differences
between countries. Students will use a combination of basic interpersonal vocabulary such as
greetings and interjections and content-specific vocabulary to write topical dialog.

Content: Students will identify the countries, climate, and basic socio-political facts about East
Asia. Students will compare and contrast. Students will make observations based on evidence.
Students will use internet resources to gather information.

Culture: Students will identify and describe the characteristics of everyday life in Japan.
Students will describe key Shinto beliefs and practices. Students will describe role of nature in
Japanese cultural practices and beliefs. Students will compare life in Japanese communities to
life in Vietnamese communities. Students will describe the lifestyle of ethnic minorities such as
the Ainu in Japan.

Learning strategies: Students will use questioning to monitor understanding of written texts.
Students will use graphic organizers to logically process data and take notes for use in future
lessons. Students will work collaboratively to improve performance on tasks.
Lindsay Kaye Ohlert
Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
Page 14 of 23

Learning Activities:
 Students read the E Asia overview from their textbook, and update the accompanying
note-taking form. During this reading, they practice self-questioning.
 Students fill out the K and W columns of the Japan KWL chart, and continue to update
the L column after each major activity.
 Students watch the video clip on Japanese life (Japan Fulbright, 2007) [CD-ROM] twice,
the first time simply watching and thinking, and the second time writing observations in
the L column of the KWL chart. Students share their observations with the class, the
teacher scribes them (recast as necessary) on the SmartBoard, and students copy this
on their own papers.
 The teacher explains to the class that the most popular religions in Japan are Shinto and
Buddhism. She explains that the class will be talking more about Buddhism later when
discussing India. Students watch the video clip on Shinto (Clearwaters, 2003)[CD-ROM]
three times, the first time simply listening and looking, the first time writing
observations about the images, and the third time writing observations about the
voiceover.
 In the computer lab, students do a web quest about important historical, cultural and
religious sites around Japan, including Nibutani (an Ainu village), Mount Fuji, and
Ritsurin Park. For each location, they write a short journal entry as though they had
really visited there, describing what they saw, what they heard, what they felt, and
what new facts they learned.
 Students create a Venn diagram comparing Vietnam and Japan. The class does a mini-
lesson on comparative grammatical forms, particularly differentiating between high-
frequency “more/less adjective” and “adjective-er” forms, and using their Venn
diagrams, students write several sentences comparing the two countries. They then
work in pairs to write a dialogue between a Vietnamese person and a Japanese person
where the two people compare and contrast life in their countries.

Formative Assessment: The teacher can use students’ entries in the KWL chart and note-taking
form to monitor comprehension of the print and audio-visual content and accuracy of recall.
Students’ performance on the comparative grammar exercises can help the teacher determine
how much more practice of this skill is necessary. Students’ written dialogue will allow the
teacher to simultaneously evaluate their recall of the content/cultural information, how well
they are able to use comparative forms in context, and their grasp of dialog-writing
conventions.

Days 9-13: India Lesson (S Asia)


Objectives:
Language: Students will use geography-related vocabulary, including names of countries and
ethnic groups, to take notes on factual reading passages. Students will form questions in the
simple past and simple present to set a purpose for reading and listening. Students will use
comparative forms such as more/less+adjective and adjective+er to describe differences
Lindsay Kaye Ohlert
Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
Page 15 of 23

between countries. Students will use a combination of basic interpersonal vocabulary such as
greetings and interjections and content-specific vocabulary to write topical dialog. Students
will use religion-related vocabulary such as “Islam” and “enlightenment” to present factual
information orally to peers.

Content: Students will identify the countries, climate, and basic socio-political facts about
South Asia. Students will compare and contrast. Students will make observations based on
evidence. Students will use internet resources to gather information and publish findings.
Students will interpret and re-tell stories using pictures. Students will skim and scan for
information.

Culture: Students will identify and describe the characteristics of everyday life in India.
Students will describe the religious practices and beliefs of various groups. Students will draw
conclusions about cultural perspectives based upon a people’s folktales. Students will compare
life in India to life in other Asian countries.

Learning strategies: Students will use questioning to monitor understanding of written texts.
Students will use graphic organizers to logically process data and take notes for use in future
lessons. Students will work collaboratively to improve performance on tasks.

Learning Activities:
 Students read the S Asia overview from their textbook, and update the accompanying
note-taking form. During this reading, they practice self-questioning.
 Students fill out the K and W columns of the India KWL chart, and continue to update
the L column after each major activity.
 Students perform a picture-sorting activity with photos from India (taken from the
TrekEarth wesbsite) according to the instructions from the Vietnam: Day Two activity,
including the inference-making sheet.
 Students are divided into four groups. Each group receives a passage from the Usborne
Encyclopedia of World Religions (Meredith, 2006) about one of the following religions:
Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. The students popcorn-read the passages with
their groups, then answer the following questions on overhead transparencies: How
was this religion started? What are the people who follow this religion called? What
does this religion teach about god(s)? What does this religion say you must to do be a
good person? What are some other interesting facts about this religion? They then
present their findings to the class, while the class takes notes.
 In pairs, students scan the Simple English Wikipedia article about India for the answers
to teacher-produced worksheet questions.
 Students read some Panchatantra tales, and answer questions about the morals of the
stories. They individually choose one of the stories to turn into a comic strip. The
teacher shows examples of comics, showing students how to make dialog and thought
bubbles, captions, and pointing out that the pictures should tell the story.
Lindsay Kaye Ohlert
Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
Page 16 of 23

 In pairs, students create a Venn diagram comparing India and Vietnam or comparing
India and Japan (their choice). (Depending on students’ performance on the
comparative grammatical forms lesson under the Japan topic, the teacher may want to
spend time practicing it again here.) They then write a dialog between an Indian person
and a Vietnamese/Japanese person comparing and contrasting life in their countries.
Then, they key this dialog into Xtranormal’s video generator to “publish” their dialog as
a computer-generated animated movie; the teacher shows the completed videos to the
class on the SmartBoard [Rubric in Appendix G].

Formative Assessment: Again, students’ KWL charts and notes allow the teacher to gauge both
understanding of the content and how well students are using graphic organizers. Students’
Xtranormal video creations should provide a solid indicator of how well students are
progressing toward correctly using comparative forms, supporting statements with numerous
accurate culture/content facts, and presenting their ideas in a logically organized, coherent
manner, as this assignment is fairly similar to the summative performance assessment.

Days 14-16: Saudi Arabia (W Asia)


Objectives:
Language: Students will use geography-related vocabulary, including names of countries and
ethnic groups, to take notes on factual reading passages. Students will form questions in the
simple past and simple present to set a purpose for reading and listening.

Content: Students will identify the countries, climate, and basic socio-political facts about West
Asia. Students will make observations based on evidence. Students will interpret and re-tell
stories using pictures. Students will skim and scan for information. Students will logically
categorize topical information. Students will make and support inferences using factual
evidence.

Culture: Students will identify and describe the characteristics of everyday life in Saudi Arabia.
Students will describe the religious practices and beliefs of various groups. Students will draw
conclusions about cultural perspectives based upon a people’s folktales.

Learning strategies: Students will use questioning to monitor understanding of written texts.
Students will use graphic organizers to logically process data and take notes for use in future
lessons. Students will work collaboratively to improve performance on tasks.

Learning Activities:
 Students read the W Asia overview from their textbook, and update the accompanying
note-taking form. During this reading, they practice self-questioning.
 Students fill out the K and W columns of the Saudi Arabia KWL chart, and continue to
update the L column after each major activity.
Lindsay Kaye Ohlert
Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
Page 17 of 23

 Students do a photo sort activity according to the instructions from Vietnam: Day Two,
including the inferences sheet; as this is the third time they’ve done this, they should be
able to complete it in far less than a full class period.
 Students read their workbook chapter about Saudi Arabia in pairs, then use it to answer
the accompanying true-false questions and graph-reading activity. For each section of
the chapter, they find at least one photo from the previous day’s photo sort that could
be used as an illustration of the section’s content.
 Students read the short Bedouin folktale Who Lied? and make inferences about
Bedouin cultural practices based upon the events of the story. They then turn the story
into a comic strip.

Formative Assessment: The teacher can gauge students’ understanding of the texts and
concepts by examining their notes, KWL chart, inferences graphic organizer, workbook
responses and relevance of the connections between the photos and the text. Students’ ability
to retell a story using a combination of their own words and pictures can be judged based on
their Who Lied? comic strips.

Days 17-18: Uzbekistan Lesson (N/C Asia)


Objectives:
Language: Students will use geography-related vocabulary, including names of countries and
ethnic groups, to take notes on factual reading passages. Students will form questions in the
simple past and simple present to set a purpose for reading and listening. Students will use
comparative forms such as more/less+adjective and adjective+er to describe differences
between countries. Students will use cultural product and practice-related vocabulary such as
“architecture” and “religion” to present factual information orally to peers.

Content: Students will identify the countries, climate, and basic socio-political facts about
North/Central Asia. Students will make observations based on evidence. Students will use
internet resources to gather information. Students will skim and scan for information.

Culture: Students will identify and describe the characteristics of everyday life in Uzbekistan.
Students will deduce evidence of cultural transfer.

Learning strategies: Students will use questioning to monitor understanding of written texts.
Students will use graphic organizers to logically process data and take notes for use in future
lessons. Students will work collaboratively to improve performance on tasks.

Learning Activities:
 Students independently read the North/Central Asia overview from their textbook, and
update the accompanying note-taking form. During this reading, they practice self-
questioning.
Lindsay Kaye Ohlert
Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
Page 18 of 23

 Students fill out the K and W columns of the Uzbekistan KWL chart, and continue to
update the L column after each major activity.
 In pairs, students go online to the TrekEarth website and search for photos from
Uzbekistan. Each pair assigned to find photos from a particular two of the following
categories: transportation, family life, economy, food, religion, architecture, art,
recreation, clothing/style, and social class. Students put their photos on pin drives and
transfer them to the SmartBoard rig; the class comes back together as a full group, and
each pair takes turns showing and explaining their photos to the class, including what
inferences they made based upon them.
 Students read the Simple English Wikipedia article about the Silk Road. They then
examine photos of Uzbekistan taken from the TrekEarth website for evidence of
cultural transfer from the Middle East and East Asia from the Silk Road era, and of
Russian cultural transfer from the Soviet era. They apply color-coded sticker dots to the
photos to mark evidence of transfer – red for Russian transfer, green for Middle Eastern
and pink for East Asian (the red and green for obvious reasons, and the pink because
that’s the other color I had available in sufficient quantities!), then write brief
paragraphs about where each regions influence can be seen.
 Students review comparative grammatical forms.

Formative Assessment: This lesson requires students to take many of the skills they have been
practicing in previous lessons to a higher level, using the same grammatical forms, vocabulary,
learning strategies, language tasks and content/cultural information with much less teacher
scaffolding; the teacher can use how independently students are able to accomplish these
tasks to judge whether students have truly internalized the various objectives of this overall
unit.

Days 19-21: Final Projects


Activities:
 In preparation to create their final projects, students have a “Brain Drain” contest. The
teacher provides five large sheets of butcher paper, each of which has the name of one
of the studied countries at the top, and is divided into ten sections: transportation,
family life, economy, food, religion, architecture, art, recreation, clothing/style, and
social class. Students are placed in pairs, and each pair receives a different color of
marker. Students use all their notes and resources to put as many facts as possible on
the charts in the appropriate categories; the teacher can tell which pair contributed
what by the color of the writing. The teacher may choose to give a reward to the group
who records the highest number of accurate, correctly categorized facts.
 Using the posters created during the “Brain Drain” activity, students complete their
final projects as outlined in the Unit Overview. Any work not completed in class must
be done as homework.
Lindsay Kaye Ohlert
Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
Page 19 of 23

Reflections

Implementation of this Unit in My Classroom


I was able to use this unit basically as-written with my 2nd period class during my

secondary student teaching placement. I ended up cutting out or modifying some activities

due to logistical issues, such as students missing class due to a field trip and the computer lab

being occupied, but overall, I was able to put this to practical use.

I am glad I included the picture sorting and analyzing activity multiple times, as it

proved particularly useful both to the students as a learning tool, and to me as a way of

formatively assessing their language skills and content understanding. The questions the

students asked while writing the photo descriptions, and the vocabulary and grammar they

used when writing them, gave me insight into what we needed to practice as a group; for

example, I ended up working on adjectival forms with them, as many students were writing

sentences like “This is a Japan language book.” They were able to directly apply information

from the picture sorts to their comparative writing exercises, and the pictures sparked

interesting conversations and questions that led to deeper insights.

Additionally, the various jigsaw activities worked out much better than I had

anticipated, given my own personal dislike of participating in them in college classes! As

several of the students have personal experience practicing or living in communities where the

religions we examined were practiced, they were able to provide meaningful details to their

classmates beyond the book definitions; this had the pleasant side effect of making students

feel expert and competent. The students listening to the jigsaw presentations also did a great
Lindsay Kaye Ohlert
Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
Page 20 of 23

job unprompted of requesting clarification and further details from the presenters, using the

questioning skills we’d been working on in a meaningful, task-based way.

One thing I ended up modifying heavily with this particular group was the planned

instructional activities on comparative forms; while they definitely needed support in this area,

these particularly students are very good at pattern-recognition, and became bored quite

quickly with grammar practice. We ended up simply making a list of which adjectives and

adverbs went with more/less and which took –er endings, and students used it as a resource

independently when doing their writing.

Meta-reflection
Hands down, the biggest challenge for me in preparing and implementing this unit was

the issue of depth versus breadth, and of avoiding the sin of “coverage” (King, 2009). The task I

was assigned, of “covering Asia,” illustrates the not uncommon disconnect between best

practices like Understanding by Design and schools’ traditional curriculum design. Thankfully, I

was given the leeway to address the topic in whatever way I chose, and so was able to focus on

a selection of specific countries, thus providing students with a, while still somewhat glancing,

less superficial image of the peoples of Asia. While I regret that I didn’t have more time to

spend on the topic, so that we could have delved deeply into, for example, the effects of

historical events, climate, and resources in shaping culture, I still think this experience was

valuable for me in learning to balance administrative expectations with my own knowledge of

my students and effective instructional planning.

WHERETO proved particularly useful when structuring and implementing this unit, and

gave me a valuable set of principles to rely on in the absence of concrete planning guidance
Lindsay Kaye Ohlert
Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
Page 21 of 23

from the school. By providing information up-front about which topics we would be examining

over the course of the unit, and what the final project would be – where we were going and

why (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 198)– I was able to encourage the students to take a more

active role in their education; this driven group of kids often came prepared to class with

insightful questions and additional content information about the day’s topic, rather than

relying entirely on the teacher to drive the discussion and provide information. The students’

love of technology and of collaborative partner and group work provided powerful hooks

(Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 201) to keep them engaged in tasks they might otherwise find

frustrating, such as reading academic English materials and writing informative text. I was able

to organize (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 220) the unit so that students rehearsed learning

strategies, content and language goals repeatedly with each of the focus countries, until they

were able to use them independently; the students’ final projects turned out beautifully, with

little to no assistance from me, the teacher – I was very pleased to have made myself useless!

One aspect of this unit that I am particularly pleased with was how I was able to tailor

(Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 218) the writing activities to the students’ strengths in order to

help them shore up their areas of weakness. These students have strong oral communication

skills, but struggle with writing, and by starting out having them share their ideas aloud, then

copy down my scribing of their insights, they were able to make better connections between

written and oral forms. By the end of the unit, I observed students muttering observations

aloud to themselves when writing independently, then carefully writing down what they’d just

said, demonstrating that they’d internalized the strategy that we’d practiced as a group. And

having the students do their informative writing in dialog form allowed them to employ
Lindsay Kaye Ohlert
Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
Page 22 of 23

academic vocabulary and on-level concepts in a format with which they were comfortable,

which reduced the cognitive load of the task (Eggen, 2008) and encouraged them to move

from writing isolated sentences into writing longer compositions. I believe this format could be

considered a transitional step toward more formal writing; had I had more time with these

students, I certainly would have moved in that direction.

Applying CAPRII principals was somewhat challenging to me in this assignment. The

language and learning strategy goals were straightforward enough, but I initially struggled to

differentiate between “culture” and “content” objectives, as in this subject area and topic, it

seemed to me that the cultural information was the content. However, in the end I had a

lightbulb moment and realized that the content objectives would be the Social Studies skills

that are transferrable to any related activity, such as supporting inferences with factual

evidence, and the cultural objectives would be the skills and knowledge related specifically to

understanding and analyzing culture, such as describing Shinto beliefs and practices (Center

for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, 2009). Once I realized this, articulating my

goals for the students became much easier.

All in all, this unit proved both a valuable learning experience for me as a student

teacher, and for my students. They fortified their reading and writing skills, and gained a more

rounded view of Asia and developed some tools of inquiry for examining and discussing

culture; I learned to balance administrative expectations with known best practices, and to

tailor lessons and spiral skill practice to play to my students’ strengths and shore up their

weaknesses. It was a positive experience all around.


Lindsay Kaye Ohlert
Curriculum Unit Project, Spring 2010
Page 23 of 23

References and Resources


Cappellini, M. (2005). Balancing Reading and Language Learning. Portland, ME: Stenhouse
Publishers.

Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition. (2009). Content-Based Second


Language Instruction. CoBaLTT Website, <http://www.carla.umn.edu/cobaltt/CBI.html>.

Clearwaters, D. (2003). Shinto. San Francisco, CA: Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and
Culture.

Eggen & Kauchak. (2008). Educational Psychology: Windows on Classrooms, Eighth Edition.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Educaton, Inc.

Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund. (2007). Japan 2007. <http://FulbrightMemorialFund.jp>.

King, K. (2009). CI 5631: Second Language Curriculum Development and Assessment.


University of Minnesota. Lecture notes, 9/8/2009.

Kohler, P. (2010). Pocket Tales: Myths & Legends à la Carte. About.com,


<http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/pockettales/Pocket_Tales_Myths_Legends_la_Carte.htm
>.

Lonely Planet. (2009). Hanoi: Lonely Planet Travel Video. YouTube,


<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA6k_sfH5M8>.

Lubawy, S. (2001). World View: A Global Study of Geography, History and Culture Book Two: the
Eastern Hemisphere. Palatine, IL: Linmore Publishing.

Luong, M.C. (2001). Vietnamese Folk Tale. <www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=113520>.

Meredith, S. (2006). Usborne Encyclopedia of World Religions. London: Usborne Books.

TrekEarth. (2009). Vietnam Photos. TrekEarth: Learning About the World Through Photography,
<http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/Vietnam/>.

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Final Asia Assignment
Due March 5th
 First, choose two places (Vietnam, Japan, India,
Saudi Arabia, or Uzbekistan)
 Then, make a dialogue where a character from
one country goes to visit a character in a
different country and gets a tour. The characters
compare their cultures. (Include at least 10 of
these topics: food, economics, religion, clothing,
architecture, transportation, art, nature,
recreation, climate, history, and social class.)
 Spend about 15 minutes looking at pictures of
the countries on www.trekearth.com to get
ideas.
 Make a comic book based on your dialogue.
Make sure the pictures match the dialogue!
You can work 2nd and 3rd period today
and 3rd period tomorrow. Your comic is
due Friday at the beginning of 2nd
period – no excuses!
Asian Cultures Comic Rubric

4 3 2 1
Dialog  The conversation is very  The conversation is  The spelling, grammar  Spelling, grammar
natural. mostly natural. and punctuation are good and/or punctuation
 The spelling, grammar  The spelling, grammar enough for the writing to be mistakes make the writing
and punctuation are almost and punctuation mostly understandable. hard to understand.
perfect. correct.
Cultural  The conversation  The conversation  The conversation  The conversation
Information addresses two of the Asian addresses two of the Asian addresses two of the Asian addresses one of the
cultures we studied. cultures we studied. cultures we studied. Asian cultures we studied.
 The conversation  The conversation  The conversation  The conversation
includes totally accurate includes mostly accurate includes somewhat accurate
includes information
information about 10 or information about 8 or more information about 5 or more
more of these elements: of these elements: food, of these elements: food,
about some of the
food, economics, religion, economics, religion, clothing, economics, religion, clothing, elements of culture, but
clothing, architecture, architecture, transportation, architecture, transportation, there are many
transportation, art, nature, art, nature, recreation, art, nature, recreation, inaccuracies.
recreation, climate, history, climate, history, and social climate, history, and social
and social class. class. class.
 There are many details.  There are some details.  The characters compare
 The characters compare  The characters compare and contrast a few elements.
and contrast all the elements and contrast some elements.
they discuss.

Presentation  The drawings match the  The drawings mostly  The drawings somewhat  There are drawings.
dialog. match the dialog. match the dialog.
 The drawings accurately  The drawings mostly  The drawings somewhat
show the cultures. accurately show the culture. show the culture.
 The drawing and writing  The drawing and writing  The drawing and writing
is very neat. is neat. is readable.
Name:
Date:

VIETNAM KWL CHART

KNOW WANT TO KNOW LEARNED


Name:
Date:

JAPAN KWL CHART

KNOW WANT TO KNOW LEARNED


Name:
Date:

INDIA KWL CHART

KNOW WANT TO KNOW LEARNED


Name:
Date:

SAUDI ARABIA KWL CHART

KNOW WANT TO KNOW LEARNED


Name:
Date:

UZBEKISTAN KWL CHART

KNOW WANT TO KNOW LEARNED


Name:
Date:
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo1180622.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo197187.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo1006862.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo1149114.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo930988.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo652513.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo1025290.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo1106298.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo1097823.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo1068840.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo581527.htm
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mozilla_dood/500328483/
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo727254.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo853898.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo784954.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo741944.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo677400.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo681790.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo480927.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo561820.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo470937.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo506439.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo41286.htm
photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo201812.htm
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: Lindsay Ohlert
photo credit: http://ferenc.biz/hmong-minority-in-bac-ha-northwest-vietnam/
Photo credit: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/victor/hereandthere/Images/Vietnam02%20Sa%20Dec-4.jpg
Photo credit: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo1156589.htm
CONCLUSIONS ABOUT LIFE IN VIETNAM

Use the photos to make inferences about Vietnamese life and culture. Make sure you
support your inferences with facts. You may use the following “formulas” to do so:

Based on the pictures of Catholic churches and Buddhist pagodas, I conclude that Christianity

and Buddhism are the most popular religions in Vietnam.

Because I see that Vietnam has many rice paddies, I believe rice is a staple food in Vietnam.

TRANSPORTATION

FOOD

FAMILY LIFE

ECONOMY
ARCHITECTURE

RECREATION

ART

CLOTHING/STYLE

RELIGION
You are Vietnamese. You are the older sister (“Chi”). You and your

younger brother (“Em”) live together in the country. You really want to

move to the city, but only if your brother agrees with you. Convince

your brother that moving to the city is a good idea.

You are Vietnamese. You are the younger brother (“Em”). You and

your older sister (“Chi”) live together in the country. You do not ever

want to move to the city. Convince your sister that the country is a

great place to live.

You are still Chi. It is three years later, and now you want to emigrate

to the United States. Explain to your brother why you want to move,

and convince him that it is a good idea.

You are still Em. It is three years later, and you love living in Vietnam.

You are very happy. Explain to your sister why you do not ever want to

leave your home in Vietnam.


TWO VIETNAMESE FOLK TALES
By MC Luong and Peter Kohler (adapted under fair use for non-commercial educational
purposes)

A Tiger
Here is a story about a fisherman who cared for his old mother. Every evening he would cast his
nets into the river, and every morning he would collect the fish that had been caught in them, and
that is how they lived.

One morning he discovered that one of his nets had been torn open and was empty of fish. That
day he repaired the net and in the evening cast his several nets into the river as usual. The next
morning he was alarmed to discover that all of his nets had been ripped and twisted, and there was
not a single fish in any of them!

He carefully repaired all the nets, and set them out in the evening. But the next morning he came
upon the same dismal scene of torn and empty nets. This same situation occurred day after day
after day until, seeing that his dear mother was weakening from lack of food, he decided to spend
an entire night hiding in the shadows beside the river and to capture whomever was responsible for
destroying his nets.

The next morning the fisherman’s body was found, lacerated and lifeless, beside the flowing river.
To the villagers, this was clearly the work of a tiger — the most frightening of animals! They walked
the forest paths in fear.

The fisherman's mother grieved for her only son, and visited his grave daily. One evening, lost in
grief, as she was returning home from the graveyard she came upon a tiger. Distraught as she was,
she challenged him fearlessly: "Are you the one who killed my son? What am I to do now? I shall
soon die of sadness and hunger." The tiger just stood there, rather humbly for a tiger. "Will you
provide for me? Will you do for me as my son did?" The tiger nodded his head, but the woman
turned her back on him and slowly walked home.

The next day, and every few days after, she found a deer or a boar laid at the door of her house.
She would quickly cook it and eat her fill, then sell the rest of the meat at the market. For two
months this went on before she decided to find out who was being so generous to her. She stayed
awake the whole night until, toward dawn, she saw the same tiger she had spoken to near the
graveyard come along dragging fresh meat, which he laid at her door. She invited him in to talk, and
it wasn't long before a friendship developed between them.

Now they visited every day when he brought meat. Once when he came to her when he was ill and
she kept him in her home and nursed him until he was well enough to return to the forest.

And so it was for years until the woman lay dying of old age. "Please promise me you will no longer
kill people," she said. The tiger hung his head low and nodded. He remained by her side all through
the night.

Soon afterwards the villagers found enough meat piled before her front door to pay for a big
funeral. During her funeral the forest was filled with the roaring of a tiger.

It was a tradition in all of the villages for people to gather on the thirtieth day of the last month of
the year, bearing offerings for the spirits of their ancestors so that they might spend time together
again. The villagers noticed and admired that on that very day each year, the loyal tiger returned
with an offering of wild game in memory of the old woman.

How does the mother change in this story? How does the tiger change?

Based on this story, what are some important values in Vietnamese culture?

The Little Colt


Once upon a time there was a kind farmer who was very generous and never refused to help his
fellows in need. One day, the kind farmer’s neighbor Lôc came to him and asked to borrow a sack of
bean seeds because after a terrible fire had devastated his crops. Lôc promised to repay him as
soon as he was able to. "Of course, my dear Lôc, I'll give you the seeds you need," said the kind
farmer, "and take your time about repaying me, I do not need it right now."

Lôc thanked his neighbor profusely and carted the heavy bag of seeds away. Before replanting,
though, he went to a nearby village to buy farming tools and was attacked on the road by bandits
who robbed and killed him and hid the body. The farmer, hearing no more of Lôc, thought that Lôc
had just taken his bag of seeds and moved to another farm and had no plans to ever repay him.
"Well, that's life," he shrugged, and went about his business as usual.

On the day of the Feast of the Dead, the farmer went to the pagoda to pay his respects to his
ancestors. After making offerings, he stopped under the shade of a tree for a rest and fell asleep. He
dreamed that Lôc came to him under the tree and said, "I've owed you a sack of bean seeds for a
few years now, and I'm sorry I haven't been able to repay you yet."

"Oh," the farmer answered in his dream, "I had written that off long ago, don't think twice about
it."

But Lôc said "Oh no, that would never do. I was just not able to repay you earlier for I had other
business to see to, but I promise you, you'll get your money back before the year is done.”

When the farmer woke up, he laughed a little his strange dream, set out for home and thought no
more about it. When he got back to his farm, his son came out to tell him that their prize mare had
foaled a perfect little colt. This colt turned out to be the most obedient and hard-working horse he
had ever had. The beast was so extraordinarily intelligent and always so eager to please that he
soon became a legend in the village and offers to buy him poured in, but the farmer would not part
from this animal, who had become his favorite pet.

But one day the colt fell sick, and steadily grew weaker. Several horse doctors came and tried to
save him, but the colt’s health would just not improve. Desperate, the farmer called in one of the
monks at the pagoda to come and see if this was the work of evil spirits. After a few prayers, the
monk looked strangely at the farmer and asked "Does the name Lôc mean anything to you?"

"Why, yes," said the farmer. The colt had raised his head and looked at him sadly. "Lôc was that guy
whom I loaned some seeds to and who disappeared shortly after.”

The monk nodded sagely. "He never intended to go off without repaying you," he said, "Now, for
this colt, here's what to do to cure him. Once he's well, however, I advise that you sell him
immediately." The farmer did as he was told. He gave the colt the medicine the monk had given
him, and the colt got better, so the farmer sold him in the village.

As the farmer was walking home with his money, he suddenly stopped in his tracks. He realized that
the money from the sale of the colt was exactly the price of a sack of bean seeds! He then
understood that Lôc had died before being able to repay him and had been reborn as the colt, to
clear all the debts he had left behind in his previous life. The kind farmer smiled and sent a fond
thought to the soul of the departed debtor Lôc, wishing him wealth, happiness and peace of mind in
his next incarnation.

What kind of person is the farmer? Make a character web!

What kind of person is Lôc? Make a character web!

What does this story tell you about the religious beliefs of some Vietnamese
Buddhists?

Based on this story, what are some important values in Vietnamese culture?
XtraNormal India Video Assignment Rubric

4 3 2 1
Dialogue  The conversation  The conversation  The conversation  The conversation
sounds very natural. includes some greetings, includes a few greetings, provides partly accurate
 The dialogue goodbyes and goodbyes or interjections. information about at least
expresses emotions, such interjections.  The conversation three of the following:
as humor, romantic  The conversation provides mostly accurate Indian food, economics,
feelings, excitement, etc. includes accurate information about at least religion, clothing,
 The conversation information about at least four of the following: transportation,
includes accurate five of the following: Indian food, economics, architecture, and social
information about Indian Indian food, economics, religion, clothing, class.
food, economics, religion, religion, clothing, transportation,  There is an Indian
clothing, architecture, architecture, architecture, and social character and a Japanese
transportation and social transportation and social class. or Vietnamese character.
class. class.  The characters
 There are many  There are some compare and contrast
details. details. Indian culture with
 The characters  The characters Vietnamese and/or
compare and contrast compare and contrast Japanese culture.
Indian culture with Indian culture with
Vietnamese and/or Vietnamese and/or
Japanese culture. Japanese culture.

Video  The spelling and  The spelling and  The spelling and  The spelling and
punctuation are almost punctuation are mostly punctuation are good punctuation is good
perfect, so the program correct, so the program enough that the program enough that the program
can speak correctly. can speak mostly is understandable. can be understood
 The characters make correctly.  The characters make sometimes.
many actions that fit the  The characters make some actions.
conversation. some actions that fit the
conversation.