What is Asian History?

Asian History fulfills the Grade 9 Social Studies requirement. This is a general survey course that specifically covers the development of China, Japan and Korea as nations, from early history to the present day. You will gain experience in your writing and research skills, engage in analysis of historical sources and documents and build the skills you need for a successful transition to the tenth grade.

Course Resources/ Websites

We will use an online text, which contains the framework of your course (eg. unit outlines, activities, resources, homework and assessments). You will also use it for discussions and to occasionally upload/ post student work.

There is also a class blog which is used for more immediate communication about class, homework, current events, missed classes, etc.

Essential Questions

This course is based on 5 essential questions
  • How do humans and the environment interact?
  • What characterizes causes of changes in government, expansion, and conflict?
  • How do the creation, expansion and interaction of economic systems impact on society?
  • In what ways have social structures changed over time?
  • What does a specific culture tell us about the needs, values and desires of that society?

Course Themes

There are 6 overarching themes that link all the units together (connections may be seen between these themes and the themes you might see in future social studies courses

  • Change and continuity across time and space
  • Cultural, religious, and intellectual developments.
  • Impact of interaction among and within major societies
  • State building, expansion and conflict
  • Impact of technology and economic systems on people and the environment
  • Development of social structures

Cornerstone Assessments

There are four "cornerstone" assessments that serve as a foundation (or cornerstone) for learning in Social Studies:
1.Primary Source analysis
2.Information (Research) skills
3.Communication Skills (Writing, Speaking)
4.Critical Thinking Skills (e.g. Cause and Effect, Comparison)

Course overview

Semester 1
Introduction: Connecting with China, Japan and Korea
Historical Thinking: How do We Know What We Know
Geography of East Asia
Traditional Societies
Impact of Western Imperialism: China 1750-1911, Japan 1543-1911
Semester Exam

Semester 2
Republicanism, Nationalism & Communism
The People’s Republic (PRC)
Japan: New State, New Nation
Option Unit: Korean Identity
Final Exam/ Project

Requirements and Grading System Breakdown

Your grades will be calculated according to the following breakdown:
Major assessments (Unit Tests, Essays, Projects, Presentations) ...50%
Minor assessments (quizzes, paragraphs, etc.) ...............30%
Semester exam ..............20%


A binder with dividers (reading and in class notes, handouts, research notes,)
Laptop (All homework should be typed)
Notebook or binder paper
Blue or black pen

Classroom Expectations:

Students are expected to understand and follow the expectations outlined in the student handbook. In particular, I would like to highlight the following:

  • Be on time. I expect you to come to class prepared and on time. All students must be in their seats and beginning work on the prior knowledge questions when the bell rings. Come to class with all the necessary materials.
  • Respect. I expect you to treat yourself, others and school property with respect.
  • Respecting yourself means finding opportunities to do your best in my class—come mentally and physically ready to learn
  • Respecting others means listening to others, considering their needs and giving them the opportunity and encouragement to do their best in this class.
  • Respecting the teacher means listening to her directions and following them the first time they are given.
  • Respecting your environment means keeping the classroom clean and in order.