China in the Red is a compelling documentary that explores the country's economic reforms, the decline and problems of state-owned enterprises, and unemployment in the city and countryside. Through the eyes of families in Beijing, Shenyang, and rural areas, viewers will see how a modified socialism blended with capitalism allows some people to become very successful while others fall into poverty.
Teaching activities have been designed for social studies and language arts teachers of students in grades 9 to 12. Social studies activities use the documentary to examine the impact of economic growth, globalization. and changing family structures in China. Literature-based activities help students explore Chinese culture. Since the documentary follows many people over a four-year period, there is also an activity that provides a way for each student to learn about and track each person. Choose the activities that work best for you and your students.
This teacher guide was developed by Simone Bloom Nathan of Media Education Consultants. It was written by Ellen Greenblatt, instructor in literature at University High School in San Francisco, and Pat Grimmer, chair of the social studies department at Carbondale Community High School in Carbondale, Ill. Advisers were Faith Rogow of Insighters Educational Consulting and John Watt of Primary Source.