An American Student in China

Teacher Resources Teacher Resources

Postcard with images of China

Student Resources

 

 

 

open

  • Invitation to inquiry
  • Open minds
  • Stimulate curiosity

BCPS students and teachers at school in Xi'an China.

BCPS students, teachers, and administrators at high school in China (2009). Image Source: BCPS

Chinese characters for Xian

Chinese characters for Xi'an
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

 


 

 


Immerse
  • Build background knowledge
  • Connect to content
  • Discover interesting ideas

 

Map of China
Map Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Background Image: Wikimedia Commons Postcard Images: Gale Student Resources in Context (licensed content)

Research Scenario

This summer, you will have a unique opportunity to visit China for 8 weeks with a group of BCPS students in the BCPS Office of World Languages Chinese Cultural Exchange Program. You will live with host families located in Xi’an, China and with students from the Tie Yi ("First Railway") Middle/High School. You will attend classes, explore the city of Xi'an, and travel to various Chinese historical and cultural sites, such as: The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, The Summer Palace, The Temple of Heaven, Terracotta Warriors, and The Muslim Market. The ancient capital city of Xi’an is 5000 years old. Its cultural heritage is especially rich because it was the terminal of China’s ancient “Silk Road,” which connected Europe and Asia for trade and cultural exchanges.

You are probably feeling excited and anxious, and wondering what to expect! The activities in this section will help you to jump-start your thinking about your upcoming journey to China.

Before you depart for China:

Read about some previous BCPS Chinese Cultural Exchange visits: View some photos of modern China:
  • Browse this image gallery of 2,000 photos in the Gale Student Resources in Context database.
  • Access Safari Montage from the BCPS One Digital Content tile to search using keywords Xian China (no apostrophe). Click on the Images tab in the search results.

As a component of your cultural exchange program, you will have an opportunity to enage in authentic research using the Guided Inquiry Process. This research will enable you to explore a specific area of interest and answer the overarching question:

How will my experience as an American exchange student in China
expand my understanding of Chinese culture
and affect my attitudes about cultural diversity?


toolbox
You may use a variety of Inquiry Tools & Strategies during the research process. These
are linked throughout this online research model.


Brainstorm some potential interests, issues or problems you might encounter while visiting China. Use some of the brainstorming resources provided on the BCPS Independent Research Course Web site.

  • To get started, focus your thinking on broad categories such as social, historical, artistic, economic, political, environmental, scientific, or technological aspects of Chinese culture.
  • Begin to generate questions, such as: What do you think China will be like? What are your preconceptions? What are you wondering about? Consider a variety of questioning techniques as outlined in this Questioning Toolkit.
  • Pose questions, share ideas, and converse about potential research topics with your Inquiry Community (fellow BCPS student ambassadors and Chinese exchange students who visited you in Baltimore County during the Spring semester).
Build background knowledge and discover interesting ideas about current events and various aspects of Chinese culture using the resources linked below:

See the resources under the Targeted Online Resources tab on the Student Resources page for additional background information.

Use the BCPS-licensed databases under the SEARCH for Online Resources tab on the Student Resources page to do some general searches on China. Skim and scan articles and peruse images, video and other media for potential research topics..

As you read, view and listen to these resources, begin your Inquiry Journal by responding to the included prompts. In this journal entry, you are:
  • Connecting your prior knowledge and experience to text and media content to build background knowledge and generate new ideas and questions.
  • Beginning to identify the specific aspects of Chinese culture that you find most interesting, intriguing, or compelling.
Explore
  • Explore interesting ideas
  • Look around
  • Dip in

Girl with camera
Image source: Clipart.com by subscription

 

 

Task & Product

You will travel to China to spend 8 weeks living with a Chinese family and attending a Chinese school. You will be using your firsthand experience there as a lens to focus your inquiry on a specific social, historical, artistic, economic, political, environmental, scientific, or technological interest, issue, or problem.

During your visit to China you will:

  • Look around! Collect and learn from primary sources during your visit to China (interviews, photos, video, artifacts, etc.). "Dip in" to information sources from the Student Resources page to explore interesting ideas inspired by your travels.
  • Converse and collaborate with members of your Inquiry Community (fellow BCPS student ambassadors, Chinese host students and families, and others). Consider forming an Inquiry Circle (small collaborative group) with other student ambassadors who are interested in similar research topics.
  • Document your inquiry story along the way in your Inquiry Journal and on the daiy student Travel Blog (if available). Include your experiences, interactions, thoughts, feelings, questions, and insights.

When you return home from China, you will continue your inquiry to complete the research project requirement for the Chinese Cultural Exchange Program. You will need to:

  • Identify a specific social, historical, artistic, economic, political, environmental, scientific, or technological interest, issue, or problem inspired by your experience in China as the focus for your research.
  • Generate questions about your chosen area of inquiry. Use resources under the Question tab above for help identifying an Essential Question and subsidiary questions to guide your inquiry.
  • Identify potential information resources, including those recommended on the Student Resources page and primary sources you collected while in China (interviews, photos, video, artifacts, etc.).
  • Devise a plan for collecting, organizing, and documenting research findings and progress. Use resources under the Gather & Sort tab above for help.
  • Create an engaging presentation in order to share the results of your inquiry with others. Consider using a digital tool to create your presentation.

Refer to the reflection and assessment tools under the Evaluate tab above, to see how your research process and products will evaluated.

Identify

  • Pause and ponder
  • Decide direction
  • Identify inquiry question

 

Questions

Overarching Question:

How will my experience as an American exchange student in China
expand my understanding of Chinese culture
and affect my attitudes about cultural diversity?

Inquiry Question:

Use these Inquiry Tools to help you identify your Inquiry Question:

Consider a variety of questioning techniques as outlined in this Questioning Toolkit.
Refer to your Inquiry Journal and Travel Blog entries for ideas and inspiration.

gather

  • Gather important information
  • Go broad (search)
  • Go deep (read, view, & listen)

Hispanic male student
Image source: Clipart.com by subscription

Apply effective search strategies to locate and evaluate information sources and digital content relevant to your information need. Use the recommended sources, search tools, and digital content provided on the Student Resources page.

Read, view and listen from reliable, authoritative resources. Read deeply and apply reading strategies to construct meaning.

Use strategies and tools for note-taking, citation, and reflection:

  • Use the Inquiry Log to make choices and track your inquiry journey.
  • Use the Gather Inquiry Journal: Go Deep to write about important ideas you find and document what you have learned from your reading.
  • Use the resources on Developing Note-taking Skills from the BCPS Independent Research Course for help and note-taking tools.
  • Use the student Travel Blog to share ideas and questions with other members of your Inquiry Community.

Demonstrate digital citizenship and avoid plagiarism by paraphrasing, quoting, and citing your sources in a Works Cited list.

Analyze primary source materials you collected in China to determine how they relate to your Essential Inquiry Question and other information you have found.

  • Be sure to cite Interviews, photos and other primary source materials on your Works Cited list. Online citations generators like EasyBib and BibMe include forms for citing these kinds of materials.

Adjust or refine your focus and Inquiry Question as needed based on your research findings so far and your new insights and understanding.

Create

  • Reflect on learning
  • Go beyond facts to make meaning
  • Create to communicate

male students using laptop
Image source: Clipart.com by subscription



Xian montage

"Xi'an Montage"
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Analyze your research notes to reflect on your learning:

  • What new insights have emerged in response to your Essential Inquiry Question?
  • Do you have sufficient information to fully answer your question? Do you need to revisit resources or locate new resources to find additional information?
  • Is there irrelevant information that could be eliminated?

Synthesize your findings by writing an expository essay and creating a research product or presentation to communicate new meaning and understanding. Refer to the resources below for ideas and help.

Resources for creating your research product/presentation:

How might you creatively share your new knowledge?

  • What product/presentation format would most effectively convey this information to your audience?
  • What digital tool might you use to create a product or presentation in this format?
  • Refer to resources on Communicating, Presenting, and Sharing from the BCPS Independent Research Course.

Consider the resources and time needed to create this product:

  • Are the necessary technology tools or other resources readily available?
  • Can you complete this product in the allotted time period?
  • Can you create this product on your own, or could you collaborate with a partner or small group of students who researched similar or related topics?

Be careful to comply with Copyright Laws when using the intellectual property of others (interviews, images, video, etc.) in your own products/presentations.

If you choose to create a multimedia presentation, apply strategies for effective multimedia design and powerful communication, as described in these resources:

PowerPoint Poisoning comic

If you choose to write a research paper:

Evaluate your research product/presentation according to the assessment criteria for the format you used.

  • Does your product have the "So what?" factor? Do you go beyond facts to make meaning, draw conclusions, and express new insights about the aspect of Chinese culture you researched?
  • Will your presentation help you and other members of your Inquiry Community to answer the Overarching Question for this inquiry-based learning experience?
How has my experience as an American exchange student in China
expanded my understanding of Chinese culture
and affected my attitudes about cultural diversity?

share

  • Learn from each other
  • Share your learning
  • Tell your story

Share your research product/presentation with your Inquiry Community and others.

Use the Student to Student Evaluation of Share Presentations to respond to presentations given by other China Exchange student ambassadors.

evaluate

  • Evaluate the achievement of learning goals
  • Reflect on content
  • Reflect on process

two female students working
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by subscription

The following assessment tools may be used or adapted by you and your teachers to evaluate your research process and your final product and presentation.

You should refer to these tools throughout your inquiry process to plan, make decisions, monitor your progress, and self-assess achievement of your inquiry-based learning goals.

Research Process Assessments:

Research Project & Presentation Assessments for a variety of formats:

Writing Assessments:

  • Reflect on your learning of World Languages content to answer the Overarching Question. Support your response with evidence from your own research, and from the presentations shared by other students in your Inquiry Community.
    • Use the Travel Blog to share your response to the overarching question with other members of your Inquiry Community.
How has my experience as an American exchange student in China
expanded my understanding of Chinese culture
and affected my attitudes about cultural diversity?

Extend your learning about the Chinese topic you studied by taking the BCPS Independent Research Seminar, an elective course offered to high school juniors and seniors. See your school library media specialist for details!

Guided Inquiry Design icons from Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited. Used with permission.

Background Image: Wikimedia Commons Postcard Images: Gale Student Resources in Context (licensed content)

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