Around the Globe: China

Expand/Collapse Around the Globe: China


The Around the Globe: China collection allows students to take a virtual trip to China to learn more about China’s society and culture, as well as the art of China through the centuries. Explore significant events in Chinese history, the history of U.S.-China relations, and the experiences of Chinese Americans through videos, images, documents, and lesson plans.

First Lady Michelle Obama and PBS LearningMedia also invite you on their March 2014 journey across China through blog posts and videos in the A Trip to China subcollection.

This collection is a part of the Global Learning & Diplomacy Collection.

  • Maya Lin

    In this video segment from New York Voices, renowned architect Maya Lin talks about her work and identity as an American of Chinese descent. Lin has made valuable contributions to American architecture, one of the most popular and perhaps most controversial being the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Some protested her appointment as architect of the memorial because of her Asian heritage. Lin's parents immigrated to America from China to escape communism, but Maya Lin was born in Ohio. In this segment, Lin talks about a museum she is designing and how it will represent a timeline of the Chinese American experience. The museum aims to break down stereotypes of Chinese people and show their legacy of contributions as Americans.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Ma Family History

    In this video segment from Faces of America, musician Yo-Yo Ma learns about his ancestors in China. Historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. also travels to China to meet with Yo-Yo Ma’s distant relatives to talk about the Ma family history and more specifically, how it has been preserved in traditional Chinese texts. Gates articulates the details surrounding these texts and describes information Ma's ancestors felt necessary to preserve, such as essays, linage rules, moral guidelines, poems and short biographies.

    Grades: 2-12
  • Grace Lin

    Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of more than 20 books — from picture books to young adult novels — for kids. Most of Grace's books are about the Asian-American experience, she believes, "Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal." You can watch the interview, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Grace Lin, or see a selected list of her children's books.

    Grades: PreK-7
  • Genealogy Roadshow | Cecelia Chen's Genealogy

    This clip from Genealogy Roadshow focuses on Cecelia Chen, a fourth-generation Chinese-American from San Francisco. Chen hopes to solve a family rumor that traces their lineage to an infamous gangster in San Francisco, Big Jim Chin. Genealogist Joshua Taylor examines old immigration records in the context of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to help Chen and her family find some answers.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Genealogy Roadshow: San Francisco, Part 2

    This clip from Genealogy Roadshow enlists the help of Judy Yung, Professor Emerati at UCSC, to provide a brief history of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and its effects. Then Joshua Taylor works with Cecilia Chen, a fourth generation Chinese-American looking for facts to support her father’s stories of their lineage.  Using passport photos, newspaper articles, and immigration records, Taylor shows that some records lead to a dead end – leaving an open genealogical mystery.  The clip also features Jennifer Weed whose family has held a grudge towards Henry Ford because of a suspected feud between the automaker and Weed’s great-grandfather.

     

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Documenting Brown 2: Plessy v. Ferguson

    In the mid-1920s, a Chinese American man named Gong Lum sued the local school board when his daughter, Martha, was denied admission to her local school because of her race. When the case went before the Supreme Court in 1927, Gong Lum lost. The Court affirmed that segregated schools for Chinese Americans did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Documenting Brown 3: Gong Lum v. Rice

    In the mid-1920s, a Chinese American man named Gong Lum sued the local school board when his daughter, Martha, was denied admission to her local school because of her race. When the case went before the Supreme Court in 1927, Gong Lum lost. The Court affirmed that segregated schools for Chinese Americans did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) and Resource Materials

    The Chinese Exclusion Act was approved on May 6, 1882. It was the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States. This resource group includes a primary source image, a background essay, and a transcript.

    Grades: 6-13+