This exploration is for all ages, as the colored smilies show. You can do the Korean Peninsula explorations with your whole family together!
The Korean Peninsula explorations are geography lessons from Layers of Learning Unit 3-9 about the countries of North and South Korea. That unit also includes a history section on the Enlightenment, science experiments about color, and an art journaling component. Layers of Learning has hands-on explorations in every unit of this family-friendly curriculum. Learn more about Layers of Learning.
Start your exploration of the Korean peninsula by finding its location on a world map or globe. Unit 3-9 also includes a printable map for you to complete, along with Korean paper dolls and several other printables. We’ll also be reading some books about the Korean peninsula and making Korean paper fans. As we do, pay particular attention to some of the differences between North and South Korea and how different they have become from one another in recent history.
Fixed hand fans were probably invented in China many thousands of years ago. The folding paper fan was invented in Japan about 1500 years ago. Korea, Japan, and China borrowed culture and technology from one another over the thousands of years of their contact, including the manufacture and art of fans. Watch a Korean fan dance. Koreans don’t just use fans for art and dance, they also use them as weapons. Do a little extra research to find out more about that.
As you are crafting and waiting for the paint to dry, you can do some reading and also have a discussion about North and South Korea. What is the difference between North and South Korea? They are the same people, with the same heritage, history, and culture, but South Korea received the protection and form of government of America and North Korea was set up as a Soviet communist regime. What has been the difference in the outcome and why is there such a difference? (While kids are working on a craft is a great time to discuss history, culture, and deep philosophical topics <wink>).
Step 1: Library Research
Before you begin making a Korean fan, read a book or two about Korea. Here are some suggestions, but if you can’t find these, look for books at your library about North Korea, South Korea, Korea, the Korean War, or the Korean Peninsula. The colored smilies above each book tell you what age level they’re recommended for.
Korean Children’s Favorite Stories
by Kim So-Un & Jeyong Kyoung-Sim
Land of Morning Calm: Korean Culture Then and Now
by John Stickler
Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
by Larry Gonick
Step 2: Korean Paper Fans
You’ll need white paper, tape, and watercolor paints.
All you need to do is tape two pieces of white paper together on the short side, so you end up with one long white paper. Turn it over so you’re painting on the side opposite from the tape. Sketch your design, making it oblong, since when you fold it, it will shrink down. Paint or color it. When it is dry, cut off the corners to make them rounded then fold up the fan accordion style starting from one short side of the paper. Tape one end together to make the handle.
Step 3: Show What You Know
Along with showing off your fans, write a narration about something you learned from your research about Korea.
Additional Layers are extra activities you can do or tangents you can take off on. You will find them in the sidebars of each Layers of Learning unit. They are optional, so just choose what interests you.
Write a three paragraph essay. Paragraph one will describe North Korea. Paragraph two will describe South Korea. In the third paragraph you will compare the two and provide your own analysis and insights about the important differences between the two countries.
We used the South Korean flag as the design on one of our fans. Learn more about the symbolism of the Korean flag.
Learn more about the Korean War, which technically we’re still fighting.
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