Investigating Influential Dynasties in 8th Grade History

Last week, 8th graders at Allen-Stevenson stepped outside of their comfort zone to learn about other cultures in a guided inquiry learning style environment, focusing on the Han Dynasty. 
In a course led by Upper School History Teacher Kim Sklow, the boys focused on The Han Dynasty; one of the longest of China's major dynasties, spanning over four centuries. For the assignment Ms. Sklow had the boys create posters that would sell the Han Dynasty as the perfect place to live. Boys were instructed to explain what made this dynasty so important or special to Chinese civilization and history—so famous that people still claim lineage to it today.
“If you ask people today, they still claim a connection to the Han Dynasty,” Kim Sklow said. “A dynasty from thousands of years ago. What made this dynasty so influential that people continue to feel an association with it? I wanted the boys to do a second layer of research, not only for historical purposes but to understand what goes through people’s minds. I wanted them to answer the question…Why is this dynasty such a point of pride? ”

Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.