Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Chinatown

Chinatown Resource Guide

Teaching Tools

red rule

Building a Community: San Francisco's Chinatown

red rule

This lesson relates to the following topic from the California History-Social Science Framework for grade eight:

Linking Past to Present

young Chinese girl sitting at a school desk GOAL

Students will understand the value of community in the support and development of its members' lives.


TIME REQUIRED

1 CLASS PERIOD - discussion and video
1 CLASS PERIOD - project outline
1 CLASS PERIOD - poster presentation

PLUS STUDENT TIME FOR RESEARCH


VOCABULARY

    community - a group of people with common interests living in a particular area.


PROCEDURE

1. Give students a brief amount of time to write a list of words or phrases describing a community. Have each share his/her list with one other student.

2. Before screening the video, instruct students to add to their list of Chinatown community traits as they are discussed. (Stopping the video after a community characteristic has been mentioned is a useful technique to reinforce learning.)

3. After viewing the video, have each student again meet with another classmate to discuss their lists.

  • What were community characteristics of Chinatown?
  • Were there certain life experiences that drew the residents of Chinatown together?
  • Ask each group to share a community characteristic with the class.

4. Have students look at their lists and circle the items they feel are characteristics of their own community.

  • How would they define their community (friends, family, heritage, neighborhood, common goals, interests)?


5. After selecting specific attributes, students design and create a poster visually representing their community.


EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

Have students interview a community hero. Why is this person a hero in their lives, or the community? Have students prepare speeches honoring these heroes.

Using the list that has been developed while viewing CHINATOWN as a foundation, write a series of letters home from a Chinese person expressing his/her frustration with laws and discriminatory treatment. Because the writer did not want to worry his/her family in China, she/he actually did not send these letters but tied them up and put them away in a trunk. An archaeologist discovers this dust-covered bundle 100 years later (1996). What do these letters say

Red Line

Take me back to the Chinatown Resource Guide home page

Take me back to the Chinatown home page

 

PBS Online

KQED