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BLAST Elementary
Look What Came From China


Look What Came From China
by Miles Harvey


Open-Ended Questions

When working with an informational text in the classroom, it's helpful to use a KWL chart to introduce the topic, access students' prior knowledge, and review what they have learned.

Begin by asking the students what they already know about Jackie Robinson. Record this information in the "K" section of the chart.

Discuss with the students what types of things they want to learn about him. Record this in the "W" section of the chart. Knowing what the students want to learn can help you guide them through the book and focus on the information they will find most interesting.

At the very end, come back to the KWL chart. Give each student a post-it note and encourage them to write down at least one fact they learned by reading the book. When they are finished, the students can share their fact and stick the post-it in the "L" section of the chart.


Vocabulary Words

  • Ancestor
  • Civilization


Tangram Geometry

Tangram is an ancient puzzle game that originated in China. The pieces of the game consist of a small square, two small conguent triangles, two large congruent triangles, a medium-size triangle, and a parallelogram. The object of the game is to rearrange the seven tangram pieces to create different pictures. There are only two rules: 1. You must use all of the pieces and 2. None of the pieces can overlap.

Using tangrams can spice up a lesson on geometry and help students develop problem solving skills, a feeling of shapes and geometric relationships, and spatial rotation skills. Plus, it's easy for students to make their own set of "tans" from a piece of construction paper!

Giant Panda Day

Did you know that the giant panda is NOT a bear at all? It is actually in the same family as raccoons! There are many other interesting facts about the giant panda. Spend a day learning about this China native. Challenge students to find as many fun facts about pandas as they can!

Did you know that pandas eat 25 to 45 pounds of bamboo each day? And sometimes they eat even more than that! See if the students can figure out a way to compare the amount of food they eat to the amount of food pandas eat on a daily basis.



Journal Questions

  • What are three new facts about China that you learned today?
  • Pretend you are writing a book called Look What Came From the United States. What would you write about? Remember: They must be things that came from the United States.

Extending Books

The Boy Who Painted Dragons
by Demi

Ping, a painter of dragons -- of which he is secretly afraid -- is challenged to seek the truth, find the truth, and dare to be true.





Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China
Retold by Ai-Ling Louie

Illustrated by Ed Young

This version of the Cinderella story, in which a young girl overcomes the wickedness of her stepsister and stepmother to become the bride of a prince, is based on ancient Chinese manuscripts written 1,000 years before the earliest European version.



Ruby's Wish
Written by Shirin Yim Bridges

Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

In China, at a time when few girls are taught to read or write, Ruby dreams of going to the university with her brothers and male cousins.