Grade 2History and Geography

Focus: This Grade 2 unit (Unit 2 for schools using the CKHG series in Sequence grade-level order) introduces students to the civilization of ancient China, first emphasizing China’s development along two major rivers—the Huang He and Yangtze River. They will discover that these two rivers provided rich farmland and transportation routes, and that the ancient Chinese connected them by building the longest human-made waterway, the Grand Canal, used to transport food to the cities of ancient China.

Students will learn that China became much larger under Emperor Qin, the first emperor of China, who defeated rulers of many kingdoms and who ordered that the Great Wall be built to keep out nomads and other invaders. They will also find out that Emperor Qin decided that the Chinese needed to have one style of writing to unite the people. His decision led to what is now the oldest written language, and students will discover how it differs from our alphabet.

In addition, students will explore the teachings of Confucius, as well as the ancient Chinese inventions of paper, woodblock printing, gunpowder and fireworks, porcelain, and silk. And they will examine the significance of family and ancestors to the Chinese people since ancient times and will learn about the most important of all Chinese celebrations, the Chinese New Year.

Number of lessons: 6

Additional Search Terms: social studies • geography • civics • map skills • nonfiction • informational text • Huang He • Yangtze River • civilization • archaeologists • nomads • Great Wall • Grand Canal • Confucius • woodblock printing • paper*porcelain • gunpowder • fireworks • Chinese New Year • ancestors • silk • caterpillars • cocoons • parade • Emperor Shihuangdi Qin

CKHG Grade Levels: CKHG units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence, which allows students in schools following the Sequence to build knowledge grade by grade. In other settings, individual CKHG units may be used as supplemental resources. In general, the content and presentation in the CKHG units for Grades K-2 are appropriate for students in the lower elementary grades. The Ancient China Student Book is intended to be read aloud by the teacher as the students look at images on each page.

We have intentionally left the pacing and timing needed to teach the content presented in the Teacher Guide and Student Book very flexible. Teachers can choose how much they read aloud and discuss in a single instructional period, as well as how often each week they use the CKHG materials.

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