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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet

Connecting to China

Project URL:

How it works:
Created for a third-grade class as part of a "Communities Around the World" theme, Connecting to China uses the Internet to research, explore, and bring life to concepts, places, and ideas in a way that a textbook cannot.  In one activity, student locate information on the giant panda, meet and watch Mei Xian and Tian Tian through the Smithsonian National Zoo's PandaCam, and then summarize all they have learned by drawing a picture and writing a paragraph using a software program such as Kid Pix.

Standards addressed:  

Students know the location of places and geographic features, gather and use information for research purposes, determine what characters are like by what they say or do and by how the author or illustrator portrays them,  and write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences.

Materials used: 
Required materials include four Internet-ready computers, a scanner (used to include student samples), and KidPix software.

The students:
Connecting to China was created for a third-grade class consisting of students varying in ability. Activities can be modified to suit a variety of needs--whole group instruction, independent work, or cooperative learning.

Overall value:
Since many third graders struggle with the concepts they are expected to learn, it is a  challenge to find new ways to bring the curriculum to life. The Internet is a powerful tool for not just telling, but showing students what they have learned. This program helps students to gain a deeper knowledge of the world around them.  It is also important for students to realize that people all over the world share common interests while having their own unique cultures.

Have students visit local travel agents to get brochures on China. Not only will they find important information about the country, but the accompanying photographs will be an added source of inspiration. Another great project is for students to find pen pals from China. A good starting place for this is www.epals.com.


About the teacher:
Marion Peluso is a third-grade teacher at P.S. 101 in Brooklyn, New York. Mrs. Peluso has been involved with Teachers Network for almost three years now, and was a 2001-2002 recipient of an Impact II grant.


Subject Areas: 
Social Studies

Grade Levels: 



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