In this activity students collaboratively build a timeline of the major events of the Chinese Revolution, using the information gathered to then compose an essay on the subject of political change in China.
Before the Activity
*You will need access to computers loaded with the TImeSpan Creator software and with internet access.
1. Place students in teams of 3, assigning each team member to one of the 3 timeline topics on the attached TImeSpan file (Warning Signs, Early Revolution, Communist China).
2. Using their text books, the attached web sites, or any other sources you have access to on the Chinese Revolution, instruct students to research the events on the attached TImeSpan file within their assigned timeline topic. Instruct them to provide as detailed an explanation of each event as possible within the "Description" section of the TImeSpan software. (Depending on your computer access situation, you can either have students gather in "expert groups," assigning each expert group a "recorder" who will fill in the Description section of the software and download the modified TImeSpan file to his/her handheld. Use the Navigator system to gather the changed TImeSpan files and project each expert group's changed file as you discuss the events of the Chinese Revolution with the class.
During the Activity
1. Circulate to help students to access any information they may be having difficulty locating. If time permits, have students download what they have completed on the timelines to their handhelds so that you can project what they are filling in the Description section to ensure that they are adequately explaining each event. Because the Chinese Revolution has a complex storyline with many relevant background side stories, there are many opportunities to encourage students to communicate the context of each event articulately.
2. To further fill in the gaps of the timeline, insert a video clip on the Long March, or a primary source account of the effects of the Cultural Revolution on individual families. The attached web sites contain links to many different sources of such accounts. These will bring the timeline to life for students.
3. Send the completed timeline to the class after all expert groups have adequately and accurately explained the events on their part of the Chinese Revolution timeline. The completed timeline can then be used as a resource for students as they compose their essays.
After the Activity
After you have sent students the final timeline, send them the attached LearningCheck file and give them time to read the quote and stances outlined in the file.
1. After students have had time to read and think through the quotes and stances outlined in the LearningCheck file, give them time to compose a thesis statement.
2. Project students' thesis statements and have the class evaluate and refine them.
3. Collect student responses at the end of class or as homework the following class period.