inquiry-based lesson plans
Important influences on different women's lives:
Yellow River Valley:
The Yellow River Valley was where human civilizations in China began. Women's stories were told in myths and give us a good idea of the roles women played. Learn more.
Confucianism and Buddhism had a profound impact on women's lives in east Asia. Both discussed women very little, which tells us a lot. What little is said is not very kind, telling us that these philosophies held women in subordinate social status. Learn more.
The Han united China under Confucianism and from that empire some women's stories are recorded. Sometimes these stories reveal pretty terrifying women who killed for power. It's hard to know if these women were really that bad or if the stories are exaggerated to teach people about the "danger of female leadership." Learn more.
Age of Queens:
Only two women in Chinese history ruled outright as Emperor: Empress Wu and Empress Cixi, who ruled thousands of years apart.
Japan's islands protected it from invasions and thus a unique culture emerged there. In the middle ages, they had a feudal economic system where peasants worked for samurai warriors, like knights in Europe, and everything was stabilized through war or the threat of war. In this period an elite class of women writers emerged and gave the world it's first novel! Learn more.
In modern history, Asia transformed as empires declined, changed, and emerged. Learn more.