Have you heard of these sayings?
- A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.
- Respect yourself and others will respect you.
- Judge others by what you know of yourself.
- Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
- It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
- A person of true wisdom knows what he knows and knows what he does not know.
- Don’t criticize other people’s faults, criticize your own.
These were some of the sayings collected and made popular by Confucius and his followers. We spent about a week learning about Confucius and other great philosophers. I thought I’d share some of the things we did with this portion of our China unit.
These pages also include the answer sheet (not pictured below)
We are continuing to use the The Story of Ancient China (affiliate link) by Suzanne Strauss Art. It’s a wonderful textbook to read aloud in the elementary years. We have the earlier edition because we bought it used. We read the chapter on Taoism and Confucius (Chapter 4). If you are doing a unit/semester just on China, I highly recommend this book!
We also read Confucius, Great Chinese Philosopher (by Anna Carew-Miller). This went into more detail about Confucius’ early life, his followers and so forth. It wasn’t necessarily the best book, but with that background it provided, it made the movie (below) more meaningful.
We watched a Chinese movie (2010) about Confucius’s life on Netflix. This movie is definitely one I recommend that you preview due to the violence/war scenes. We learned a lot about the Warring States period, but we stopped it a lot to talk about what was going on. It is much better suited to older elementary, middle school and beyond (and with a parent there to talk about things). It really helped the kids understand the unrest and violence of that period. We watched it over several days. It goes into a lot of detail about his involvement in political affairs… and does not deal with his teachings much at all.
A couple of days later, we filled out the chart about Confuciusism, Taoism and Legalism (which is available in the Ancient China pack I made):
It was important that the kids understand some of the important points about Legalism since the Qin rulers were influenced by these ideas.
You might also be interested in these similar posts:
- China Unit: Books, Books! A Huge List of Children’s Books – This is a comprehensive list of all the children and youth books we could find relating to China. Since my kids range from 6-10, I wanted books that would appeal to my kindergartner as well as novels to read to my older kids. You can download and print our list out.
You might also be interested in the free India Unit Packet (20 pages)