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Big Era Five: Closeup Unit 3.2.5

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Korea
From Calm to Conflict

Why This Unit?

Korea is located in the northeastern part of the Asian continent, neighboring China, Russia, and Japan. The name Korea means “Land of Morning Calm.” Yet, throughout its existence, Korea has been involved in numerous conflicts, both internal and external. Today, despite attempts at reunification, the Korean peninsula is divided into a communist North and a democratic South.

One of the Koreans’ many achievements is the role they played in the development of early printing. The Dharani Sutra, printed in Korea in 750, was the first one in the world to be produced using woodblocks. The Koreans also created a distinctive type of pottery known as celadon, developed from Song Chinese pottery. Seven of Korea’s buildings or areas, including two Buddhist temples, have been designated by UNESCO as World Cultural Heritage sites, and six Korean artifacts, including the Tripitaka, are now on UNESCO’s Memory of the World register.

This unit can be used in conjunction with world history, Asian studies, or United States history courses. A Korean perspective can be explored when studying the neolithic era, Chinese influence on greater East Asia, Japanese imperialism, Cold War, and recent issues involving North Korea.

Unit Objectives

Upon completing this unit, students will be able to:

1.Describe early farming settlement in Korea in the context of the neolithic era.

2. Explain influences of Confucianism on the cultural life in Korea.

3. Describe Buddhist teaching and practices in Korea and their influence on social and cultural life.

4. Explain the Korean contribution to the early history of printing.

5. Analyze the causes and consequences of Japanese colonialism in Korea.

6. Analyze the significance of the Korean War in twentieth-century history.

7. Explain the division of the Korean peninsula into two states as a source of tension in the world today.

Time and Materials

Each lesson can stand on its own and can be completed in one class-period or less. Computers are needed to connect to Internet sites.

Table of Contents

Why this unit?

2

Unit objectives

2

Time and materials

2

Authors

3

The historical context

3

Dramatic Moment: The March 1 Movement

6

Lesson 1: Early Korea  

8

Lesson 2: Korean Art and Architecture

11

Lesson 3: Early Printing

17

Lesson 4: The Yangban

22

Lesson 5: The Independence Movement

27

Lesson 6: The Korean War

37

Lesson 7: The Two Koreas: Fifty Years and Beyond     

54

This unit and the Three Essential Questions

56

This unit and the Seven Key Themes

56

This unit and the Standards in Historical Thinking

57

Resources
57

Correlations to National and State Standards

59

Complete Teaching Unit in PDF Format

 

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