China Mirror Curriculum
Learn about Chinese medicine and childbirth in the eighteenth century or the methods a thirteenth-century artist uses to express herself. China Mirror case studies highlight letters, legal cases, treaties, artifacts, and instruments to bring history alive through primary sources. Let students interpret the past through original documents and objects. China Mirror was launched by the Center for Chinese Studies in 2002 to meet the widespread need for authoritative, balanced, and up-to-date resources on China, its history, culture, people and institutions. Each case study is written by internationally-recognized experts and provides an introduction, insights to the genre and manufacture of the object, its global context and social function, and how the item's historical value relates to the present.
Lesson Plans and Teaching Units
Additional materials for educators are available to complement new world history and geography standards. These resources are an outgrowth of U-M workshops and events and feature activities that teachers can conduct with students during class.
- Clavis Sinica (CV), “Key to the Chinese Language,” is a set of software tools developed by a faculty member at the University of Michigan as a supplementary learning tool for English-speaking students of the Chinese language. It is currently used in second- and third-year Chinese courses at the University of Michigan. It is also available to students and educators of Chinese to learn and promote the wider study of Chinese language and culture. CV features reading and dictionary software (including an instant translation feature); a smartphone app that uses stroke animation for learning to write Chinese characters; customized vocabulary lists and flashcard sets; a web-based audio text reader; and a Chinese toolbox with flashcards, dictionary, tests and quizzes.
- Chinese opera and face painting
An introduction to the history of this traditional music form along with lesson plans about the painted-face roles on stage (in collaboration with University Musical Society).
- China: Speed Trading along the Information Highway An exchange activity using postcard images to show the face of China now taken by UM students and faculty.
- Chinese music
A first-hand look at the music and instruments of shawn bands which are often featured at weddings, funerals, and market fairs (University Musical Society).
- Teaching About Tea
Examine the ecological footprint of tea as an agricultural crop and commercial product (Matthaei Botanical Gardens).
Festivals and Folklore
- Weddings include many of the elements of seasonal festivals--food, dance, fortunetelling and ritual. This excerpt focuses on the weddings ceremonies and symbolic rites traditionally arranged for couples paired by matchmakers, as observed mainly in Taiwan.
- New Year (1st day, 1st moon) is the most prominent and important of all Chinese holidays, rich with festival imagery and long-held traditions.
- Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (15th day, 8th moon) (under construction) focuses on the shining harvest moon and occurs exactly in the middle of the autumn season when the moon is full-typically mid-September. Chinese mythology highlights the moon as the dwelling place of the immortals.
- Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Reads China-related selections from a broader community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book.
- Ann Arbor Book Festival book selections on China aimed at youth and general audiences, part of a cross-center International Institute program to advance cultural understanding through literature.