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Asia's Global InfluenceAsias-Global-Influence

  • Subject: Geography
  • |
  • Grade(s): 6-8
  • |
  • Duration: Three class periods

Lesson Plan Sections


Students will
  • review the geography of Hong Kong;
  • discuss Hong Kong's different forms of transportation and major landmarks; and
  • choose and research images of three sites for a travel brochure.


  • Computer with Internet access
  • Print and online resources about Hong Kong
  • Materials to create travel brochures (plain paper, markers, colored pencils, glue, scissors)
  • Asia's Global Influence video/DVD and VCR/DVD player


  1. After watching Asia's Global Influence , ask students to find Hong Kong on a world map. Explain that Hong Kong is not an independent country, but a territory. In 1898, after a war between Britain and China, the two countries signed an agreement that gave Britain control of Hong Kong for 99 years. In 1997, it was returned to China. However, unlike socialist China, Hong Kong has a market economy, one of the world's most prosperous.

  2. Ask students to describe the physical geography of Hong Kong. (Located between mountains and the sea, it consists of a mountainous mainland and islands. Its climate is tropical. The main surrounding bodies of water are Victoria Harbor and the South China Sea.)

  3. Have students share their impressions of Hong Kong from the program. Ask them what it would be like to live there. (Answers will vary, but try to reinforce the idea that Hong Kong is prosperous and has a rich history; its urban areas are crowded and expensive; its residents have strong traditions; and its cities stand in great contrast to the less densely populated lush rural areas, where most people farm.)

  4. Ask students to name landmarks, sites, and places mentioned in the program.

    • Star Ferry
    • Victoria Peak
    • Stanley Market antique shops
    • Hollywood Road
    • Reflexology treatment
    • Man Mo Temple
    • Lantau Island
    • Great Buddha on Lantau Island
    • Tai Chi school
    • Cheung Chau Island
    • Lamma Island
    • Wet markets
  5. Ask students to list different forms of transportation mentioned in the program.

    • Ferry (Star Harbor)
    • Taxi
    • Train
    • Peak Tram to Victoria Peak
    • Subway (MTR)
    • Double-decker bus
    • Rickshaw
    • Sampans (small traditional boats)
    • Walking
  6. Divide students into groups of three. Explain that teams will choose three sites they'd like to visit in Hong Kong (from the list above or from their research) on a virtual day trip. Each site should reflect a different aspect of Hong Kong, such as its history, geography, religion, economy, or daily life. They must research these sites, then create a travel brochure for them.

  7. As students conduct their research, encourage them to sketch or print out images. They should also collect the following information for each site:

    • Describe the site.
    • Where is it?
    • What aspect of life does it reflect? What does it show us about Hong Kong?
    • Describe what it might be like to visit. Include the most interesting or unusual details.
    • What form of transportation could you take to reach this site?
    • Explain any similarity or difference to any site in the United States.
  8. Have students use print and online resources in their research. The following Web sites may be helpful:

  9. Hand out materials for students to create their brochures. Have them fold their paper into three equal panels. Their brochures should include at least one picture and information about each site based on their research. Site descriptions should provide reasons for visiting, such as interesting or impressive details, why it's unique to Hong Kong, or what it reveals about life. The brochures should include a map and information on different forms of transportation.

  10. Have teams pass their brochures around the room to learn about the different landmarks. Then plan a virtual class trip to Hong Kong, choosing sites that reflect different aspects the territory, including history, geography, religion, economy, and daily life.

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Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • Three points: Students participated actively in class discussions; showed a strong understanding of the geography of Hong Kong; named several sites and modes of transportation from the program; and created a clear, complete travel brochure that included at least two images and several details about each site.
  • Two points: Students participated in class discussions; showed a satisfactory understanding of the geography of Hong Kong; named some sites and modes of transportation from the program; and created an adequate travel brochure that included at least one image and some details about each site.
  • One point: Students participated minimally in class discussions; showed a minimal understanding of the geography of Hong Kong; named few or no sites and modes of transportation from the program; and created an incomplete travel brochure that included a sloppy or no image and few or no details about each site.

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For "The Merchants of China" segment: Ask students which Chinese emperor grouped people into classes in the 13th century. (Kublai Khan) Explain that Kublai Kahn was the first emperor of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, which lasted from 1279-1294. He was the grandson of the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan. Have the class work together to create a portrait of Kublai Khan. First have students list questions about this leader, then group the questions into categories. Divide the class into teams, and have each team research answers to a different group of questions.

For "A Great Green Wall" segment: Divide the class into three groups. Have each group review a different aspect of desertification in China.

  • Where are the deserts expanding and by how much?
  • What are the major causes for desertification?
  • What is the Great Green Wall and how will it help?

For the "Rich and Poor" segment: After watching the program, ask students to describe differences between North Korea and South Korea. Divide the class into two groups; one will create a country profile of North Korea, the other of South Korea. Profiles should include information about the country's economy, geography, government, education, and a timeline beginning in 1948 when the Korea was divided. Have each group lead a class period to teach about the country they studied.

For "The Extended Family" segment: Ask students to review what they learned about the role of family in Vietnam. What do most people do for a living there? What crops do they grow? How does the importance of family reflect the teachings of Confucius? How are families changing as people move into cities? Ask students to write an essay comparing their own family experiences to the families in rural Vietnam villages. For example, how do the roles of men and women differ in both societies? How are extended families different?

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Definition: A world religion or philosophy based on the teaching of the Buddha; asserts that enlightenment can be reached by suppressing worldly desires
Context: Buddhism is the major religion in Hong Kong.

feng shui
Definition: An ancient Chinese tradition based on the balance between people and their environments; the system of arranging one's surroundings to achieve harmony with the environment and bring peace, health, and wealth
Context: All new buildings in Hong Kong must be approved by feng shui masters.

Definition: A popular or familiar sight
Context: The Great Buddha on Landau Island is one of Hong Kong's most famous landmarks.

tai chi
Definition: A Chinese form of physical exercise designed for self defense and meditation; characterized by a series of very slow and deliberate movements
Context: Many people in Hong Kong practice tai chi.

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The National Science Education Standardsprovide guidelines for teaching science as well as a coherent vision of what it means to be scientifically literate for students in grades K-12. To view the standards, visit

This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:

  • Culture
  • People, Places, and Environments

The National Council for Geographic Education(NCGE) provides 18 national geography standards that the geographically informed person knows and understands. To view the standards online, go to

This lesson plan addresses the following NCGE standards:

  • Environment and Society: How human actions modify the physical environment

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Joy Brewster, curriculum writer, editor, and consultant

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