Teachers' Resources

Teaching about Beijing opera can be challenging without background information and previous lesson syllabus to serve as examples. To make this process easier I collected a few web resources to aid in class preparation. Most of the web resources here provide similar Beijing opera masks activities for elementary and middle school students. However, a handout for high school students and a graduate class syllabus provides activities and ideas for older students.

  • Asian Arts and Culture. 2007. Tales from the Beijing Opera. April 5. http://www.umass.edu. 5 Oct. 2010. (also in History)

    This study guide, part of a Beijing opera performance called Tales from a Beijing Opera on April 5, 2007 has information about Beijing opera costumes, makeup, performance as well as Beijing opera students and a memoir of actor Zhou Xinlai. Interspersed through this information are discussion questions as well as two class activities that can be done before seeing a Beijing opera performance.

  • Chan, Marjorie. 2005. Chinese 674: Chinese Opera (Winter 2005). Jan. 4. The Ohio State University. http://people.cohums.ohio-state.edu/chan9/c674_w05.htm. 6 Oct. 2010.

    An Ohio State University Chinese Opera graduate class syllabus is on this website. A readings list and class topics and the readings within the class topics should be helpful to post-secondary instructors.

  • Confucius Institute. 2006. Sample Unit: Peking Opera. Michigan State University. http://people.cohums.ohio-state.edu/chan9/c674_w05.htm. 3 Oct. 2010.

    On this website is a unit describing how to incorporate Beijing opera into classroom watching a video and then doing an activity on Beijing opera masks. Discussion questions and goals are provided. Unfortunately three video links are missing and the website links are either broken or lead to websites in Mandarin Chinese.

  • East Asia Program 2010. The International Monkey King Troupe. Cornell University. http://www.einaudi.cornell.edu/eastasia/outreach/opera/index.asp?section=troupe. Oct. 6. (also in International Exchanges)

    The webpage features The International Monkey Troupe from Beijing, led and directed by the Brit Ghaffar Pourazar. The troupe performed at Cornell University in New York state in 2004 and gave workshops about Beijing opera history, music, and dance. A link to Beijing opera materials for elementary students is also present on the website.

  • Fawcett, Loren. n.d. Peking Opera Mask Lesson Plan. Arts of Asia in Reach. http://www.oberlin.edu/amam/asia/pekingopera/Default.html. 6 Oct. 2010.

    This is another teaching and learning source for third and forth graders about creating Beijing opera masks as ways of learning about symbolism and Chinese culture. National and Ohio State Standards, related books, and some websites (only two links work) well as a printable PDF of the lesson are also found on the website.

  • Heller, Veronica. 2003. "Peking Opera." In Dance Asia. Arts Power. http://www.artspower.org/shows/dance-asia/assets/DA-study-buddy.pdf. 6 Oct. 2010.

    A single page in this PDF for elementary students about a Peking Opera ensemble gives a short introduction to Beijing opera and raises the question of similarity between two culture's traditions. The last page has useful print resources about Chinese culture with appropriate grade level indicated next to the resource.

  • Kulik, Julie, Kaijia Gu, and David Patt. n.d. Adventures in Chinese Culture: The Monkey King's Guide. Cornell University. http://www.einaudi.cornell.edu/curriculum/monkey/. 6 Oct. 2010.

    This website includes two web pages, one for third and the other for sixth graders. An introduction of the opera is followed by lesson plans and related links on each page. Each page also has the same information except for the Standard met in Curriculum section for the two lessons. The first lesson, Mirrors of the Soul: Beijing Opera has a broken link while the third grade second lesson is at the sixth grade level.

  • Yang, Hongping. n.d. Beijing Opera. http://www.americancouncils.org/participantResource/090708131634_7757.pdf. 6 Oct. 2010.
  • This resource provides activities for high school students and two videos of Beijing opera in Chinese. Unfortunately some information is missing and the history is incorrect (Beijing opera's origin was marked as 1840 instead of 1790). I would recommend using this site as a source of ideas for instruction rather than an actual lesson plan.

Young, Nod. 2007. "daddy's work." Aug. 25. Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nodx2/1224040959/. 5 Oct. 2010.