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Japan, especially under Prince Shotoku, grew more and more like China. What did they bring along?

In time, Japan focused more heavily on it's own unique culture. This presentation focuses on life in the Japanese court.

Ninjas. It sells itself really.

This page is out of date. For updated (and working!) links please visit the Diffusion page.

History Labs and Activities

1. Know Yourself  - What better way to introduce Japan than by talking about ourselves? I mean, Japan was basically a middle schooler anyway right?

2. Japan Walkthru - introductory activity based on the graphics in Holt's Medieval to Early Modern Times.

3. Culture Shock: Japan - A series of mini-activities including pre-fight sumo rituals and creating origami samurai hats. There are multiple parts to this lab that can be complete in any order you choose. I start with the Japanese Beauty worksheet, then do the sumo reenactment and close with origami

4. Haiku! - A lab where students learn the form and function of Haiku before creating their own.

5. Feudalism 2.0 - In this adaptation of the TCI Feudalism lab from my Europe unit students reenact life in Feudal Japan with some unique twists. (Watch out for the ninja!)

6. Japan DBQ - Students analyze a series of documents to determine whether Japan was more like China or more like Europe. You can get the documents here or find similar ones in your textbook.

7. Minamoto: To Tell the Truth - Using the format of the old game show students try to determine which statements about the shogun Minamoto are true and which are false.

You'll need the following four files:1 - Minamoto: TTT, 2 - Contestant 1, 3 - Contestant 2, 4 - Contestant 3

The first file contains the entire script and should be given on only to the teacher. Cut up the 15 questions into strips and pass them out randomly to students. Choose 3 strong readers to be the contestants and give each of them one of the Contestant scripts. Read through the questions and scripts and have the students take notes as you desire. I have them make a 3 column table and for each question they write whether the answer they hear is believable or not and why. At the end have them try to guess who the real Minamoto is. 

8. Unsolved History: Ninjas Questions - a worksheet used along with the DVD "Unsolved History" which is linked below .

9. Weight the Evidence: Ninjas - In this lab students evaluate a series of documents (pictures, text and video) to determine if ninjas were real or not. Requires students to weigh reliability of sources from different times and places to draw a conclusion.  

Media Guide