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Great Ancient China Projects You Can Build Yourself (Build It Yourself) Paperback – June 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Children's Literature
"In ancient China, wise scholars were experts in many subjects. This book will give young scholars the opportunity to learn about many of the same subjects. The book explains the dynasties, famous and influential Chinese citizens, and many of the inventions that came from China. . . This book is a great resource for adults teaching children about China or any of the disciplines rooted in China."

Children's Indie Next List Book Pick, Fall 2008

David Ehrlich, Professor of Film and Television Studies, Dartmouth College
"An engrossing read for children and young people. The integrated hands-on projects offer the young reader the chance to experience the excitement of technical and scientific discovery."

Joan Kvitka, Education Director, Portland Classical Chinese Garden
"Children of all ages will gain a new appreciation for the complex ideas and inventions of China’s history across 5,000 years."

Allan Cho, Editor-in-Chief, Perspectives Newspaper
"Great Ancient China Projects is a useful book for educators, covering ancient Chinese culture in an easily understandable, highly engaging manner. It’s an essential and long overdue tool for all classroom teachers."

Ray Bartlett, travel writer
"Great Ancient China Projects promises to interest kids of all ages in the history of ancient China and inspire them to travel beyond their own borders. Fun tidbits add humor and insight to the topics covered."

Willamette Week Portland, OR
"For kids, learning about ancient China has always been a total snooze. . . until now! "

From the Back Cover

Great Ancient China Projects You Can Build Yourself explores the incredible ingenuity and history of ancient China with 25 hands-on projects for readers ages 9 and up. Great Ancient China Projects covers topics from porcelain pottery, paper, gunpowder, and dynasties, to martial arts, medicinal healers, jade carvers, and terracotta warriors. With step-by-step activities, kids will learn how to construct a house with proper feng shui and create a simple Chinese hanging compass. Historical facts and anecdotes, biographies, and fascinating trivia support the fun projects and teach kids about this innovative society and its continued influence on modern culture.

Great Ancient China Projects You Can Build Yourself meets common core state standards in language arts for reading informational text and literary nonfiction. Guided Reading Levels and Lexile measurements indicate grade level and text complexity.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Build It Yourself
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Nomad Press (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934670022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934670026
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a very thorough and unbiased book for teaching ancient China with the added bonus of hands on activities to reinforce the concepts. This book can be integrated into every subject.
Here's what is covered:
Timeline from Shang Dynasty to Mung Dynasty (1600 BCE-1644 CE) with highlights from each time period
Intro
Ch. 1 Cities and Architecture includes the Great Wall
Projects: mini-yurt and feng shui house
Chapter 2 Paper
Project: make your own paper
Chapter 3 Writing and Education includes Confucius
Projects: movable type and making your own ink from berries
Chapter 4 Warriors and Weapons
Projects: terracotta army including how to make an animation of them and kite
Chapter 5 Jade and Silk
Project: jade bi jewelry
Chapter 6 Merchants and Trade includes the Silk Road
Projects: suspension bridge and relief map
Chapter 7 Explorers and Sailing includes Zheng He
Projects: compass and Chinese junk
Chapter 8 Healers and Medicine includes acupuncture
Project: learn T'ai Ch'i
Chapter 9 Farming includes wheelbarrow and trace harness
Project: bronze foundry
Chapter 10 Food includes fortune cookies and tea ceremony
Projects: moon cakes, egg noodles, tea and ice cream
Chapter 11 Time and Space includes Chinese calendar and Su Song's water clock
No projects in this chapter
Chapter 12 Music includes bells, orchestras and theater
Projects:Chinese string instrument and puppet
Chapter 13 Chang Heng's Seismograph
Project: seismograph
Chapter 14 Numbers includes decimals and negative numbers
Projects:abacus, tangrams and paper snowflakes
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book for children, with a wealth of information about ancient Chinese culture and history. It is probably most appropriate for children between 8 and 13. Younger children would need to be strong readers or could enjoy this book by reading and doing the activites together with a parent - a great way to absorb the contents of this book for parent and child alike! Weinberg's illustrations are essential to the playful nature of each chapter. Each chapter focuses on an aspect, invention, tradition, or object from Chinese history, and each includes side bars and boxes of "words to know" and an explanation of relevant Chinese characters. The book has a lot of text but is also very visual - making for a deceptively rich presentation. I believe a strength of this book is that it does not simplify things to the point of talking down to the child reader. The activities provide just enough information to spark a child's imagination and don't squeeze out all the fun by providing step-by-step "must be done this way," cookbook directions (except for the recipes, of course). That said, there are a couple of activities where an additional illustration or two would have helped, but this is a minor criticism. I imagine that most children will finish this book having gained a useful body of knowledge about Chinese culture and a heightened curiosity for more.
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Format: Paperback
I had a lot of fun playing around with these projects and I'm way too old to be a kid. They're clearly described, simple to do, historically interesting, and they're just plain fun. A great way to get kids interested in the history of one of the world's most important countries, while still letting them make a mess and have fun. It's just the kind of book to pull out on a rainy Saturday.
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Format: Paperback
An engrossing read for children and young people. The integrated hands-on projects offer the young reader the chance to experience the excitement of technical and scientific discovery.

David Ehrlich, Professor of Film and Media Studies, Dartmouth College
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