Building An Empire

Mapping China

Map of China

Students understand China and its geography by creating travel brochures for China's nine distinct regions. Groups then combine their brochures into a bulletin board map of China, discussing commonalities and distinctive features. A simplified version of this may be used in Chinese language classes, wherein students describe the regions in Chinese.

  • Mapping information about people, places, and environments
  • Understanding the characteristics, functions, and applications of maps
  • Investigating why people and places are located where they are and what patterns can be perceived in these locations
  • Describing the relationships between people and environments as well as the connections between people and places
  • Formulating questions and defining geographic issues and problems
  • Using a number of research tools (electronic databases, periodicals, census reports, maps, standard reference works, interviews, surveys) to locate and gather geographic information about issues and problems
  • Presenting geographic information in a variety of formats
  • Interpreting geographic information by synthesizing data and developing conclusions and generalizations about geographic issues and problems
  • Independently selecting and applying strategies for collecting and synthesizing information, such as note cards and bibliographies
  • Using a variety of reference books and other data sources to gather information and generate independent understanding about a topic
  • Taking research notes and composing a report

Student-created regional map of China, travel brochures, oral presentations.

  • What have been key issues for the Chinese, given the vastness and diversity of land?
  • How have variations in landforms and climate affected Chinese throughout history? And today?
  1. Using a projector, make an enlarged version of the map on butcher paper (about the size of a bulletin board). Cut the map into the nine regions of China.
  2. Photocopy and distribute the blank Terrain Map of China handout.
  3. Divide the class into nine small groups and ask students to divide China into regions based on the natural features.
  4. Distribute the Regional Map of China, and the Destination China! handouts marking the nine geographic regions of China.
  5. Assign one region to each group. Have students use travel guides, augmented with atlases, reference books, or resources on the Web to research their assigned region’s major features and create a travel brochure according to the handout.
  6. Have groups reassemble the map of China and present research information, attaching their brochures to their region.

Have students look at a terrain map to divide their home into subregions. Ask them to create collages that address the terrain, climate, industry and economy, housing/shelter, and diet of their home region. Lead the class in a discussion of the similarities and differences among the individual collages.

Consider staging a national conference, whereby each group serves as representatives of their region. They present, as an open letter to the nation, a list of three to five of its significant contributions and outline two resources/commodities/services for which their region is dependent on others.

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