Students in grades 4 8 on an international field trip with no prior knowledge of Asia or the ancient Buddha should explore Asia without fear! ” explores Asian Culture, History, Geography, and Mythology” by Lucy Burns will inspire students to visit Asia and leave with a treasure chest of knowledge. This 48-pages book features quizzes and exams that use a wide variety of multiple-choice question structures, including constructed answer, matching, true/false, and critical thinking. This is not your typical geography or science textbooks.
In this book, students are allowed to re-enact adventures from the pages of history, travel, literature, and fiction. They will have the opportunity to dress up in costumes and make new friends at a costume party. Students will meet people from all walks of life – men, women, children, teenagers – and learn to socialize with them. Everyone is happy in a costume, and no one is embarrassed. (Of course, they still need to take their daily vitamins, too!)
Burns uses vivid illustrations to convey her message. Illustrations from ancient cultures, like the carving of the Taj Mahal in India, China, or the Forbidden City in China, are used to bring alive the colors and scenes depicted in these pages. Colorful pictures help students connect to the text, even when it’s in another country. Images of Mount Everest or the colossal pyramids of Egypt elicit feelings of awe. It’s easy to feel the exhilaration of seeing such ancient monuments from a different perspective.
A tour of the Parthenon temple in Athens, Greece opens students’ eyes to ancient architecture. The Temple of Athena Nike in Athens is another famous site, visited by thousands of travelers every day. This place is also filled with ancient artifacts, including a colossal statue of Nike that was made in Greece centuries ago. In China, students can visit the Forbidden City, where mummies were buried more than 2020 years ago. They can also tour Buddha gardens and pay homage to the Buddha legend by getting up close and personal.
Exploring Asia offers much more than ancient ruins and ancient cultures. China, for instance, has skyscrapers and modern-day stadiums – but there’s also a big difference between being urban and becoming part of the global community. “One day I’ll be a Chinese citizen,” says Chen, “but today I’m just a visitor.” What’s the best advice she can give to someone thinking about exploring Asia? “Spend your time in the country, see the things that don’t conform to Western culture.”
Japan is another popular destination for foreign tourists. The island is home to breathtaking scenery, and there are also opportunities to get up close and personal with the Japanese people. “We were very lucky in Japan,” says Chen. “We had the chance to converse with Japanese people, who are very polite. You can’t do that in China or in Korea.”
India is another popular destination for foreign travelers. “The great thing about India is that you can go back and forth between the old and the new – the holy temples and the rapacious modern cities. You can still live like a Hindu in the holy sites, but you have to dress accordingly. We were supposed to wear a sari, but we were offered the film, which our teacher said is more comfortable and less formal. Plus, there’s the issue of pollution: while that may not seem so important in the United States or Europe, it’s a huge deal in India.”
Now that you know a little more about researching Asia, you might want to visit some of those places. Perhaps you’d like to visit the mysterious and exciting island of Sumatra. Or maybe you’d like to check out the ancient city of Khajuraho in India. You can also find out about Buddhist monasteries in Bangkok and Tokyo and the ancient Chinese “Shaolin” style buildings in Beijing.