The people of ancient China were inventive both physically and mentally. As you already know, they invented paper, gunpowder, the compass and movable printing. They began to spin silk around 6000 years ago.
Today, however, you will be learning about their inventive ideas, their ways of thinking and their philosophies of life.
Set out your notes in any way that seems appropriate to you. Here are some options:
- Create a set of Tiny Cards through Duolingo, titled “Chinese Philosophies of Life” or something similar. You may decide to make one set for each of the philosophies: Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
- Here is my starter set for Taoism to gain an overview of both the philosophy and the card-making concept:
- Present your work on a double page of your workbook, including headings, drawings and fact boxes.
- Create a PowerPoint or an Infographic through a site like Piktochart – or use your own software.
Include dot points, sentences, symbols and pictures to make your work visually attractive and engaging and to ensure that you rework and reconstruct what you read.
At the same time, ensure that you include answers to the questions I have typed below each philosophy or philosopher.
Eventually I shall ask you to express your own opinions about each philosophy. That’s why, as you read about each one, I would like you to ask yourselves:
“What do I believe? Is this what I think? How is it similar to or different from my own philosophy of life? Could I adopt this as something to believe in – or not?”
You might even react like this:
“I’ve never thought about that before, but now that I’ve read about it, it makes sense.”
Ultimately you will be thinking about your own philosophy of life, which might well borrow elements from all three of the philosophies below.
- What does the word “Tao” mean?
- Who is thought to be the founder of this philosophy?
- What do Taoists believe?
- Draw a picture of Taoism’s famous symbol. What Taoist ideas does it express and represent?
- Use symbols and pictures to tell the story of Siddhartha Gautama and his path to enlightenment.
- Then present the three universal truths and the four noble truths that he identified during his deep meditation period. Use a symbol or picture to illustrate or represent each one.
- Select 2 quotations from Confucian teachings, write them down and then explain them in your own words.
- Give an example of how each quotation might apply either to you or to the modern world.
- List and explain the main ideas in the moral code of Confucius. Use a symbol or simple picture for each one.
- If you are working online, you can find copyright free symbols and pictures at these three sites:
Type out the most fundmental point of your own personal philosophy of life and put it into a comment for others in the class to read. For example, this is mine:
Kindness towards others is a fundamental principle that my mother taught me. I believe that mercy is more important than justice and forgiveness more healing than retribution. I would prefer to be a victim of injustice than a person who acts unjustly.
Kind regards and happy philosophising,