History and Art: Confucius & Confucianism

RD just recently learned about Confucius and Confucianism in his History class. Here are some of the things he learned:

– Confucius was China’s most famous Philosopher. He lived in Ancient China during the Zhou Dynasty.

– Confucius was a government official, and during his lifetime (he lived from 551 to 479 B.C. ) he saw growing disorder and chaos in the system. Perhaps due to the turmoil and injustices he saw, he set himself to develop a new moral code based on respect, honesty, education, kindness and strong family bonds. His teachings later became the basis for religious and moral life throughout China.

– Confucius believed that strong family values and relationships were key to a stable society. Mutual respect and family loyalty were central to Confucius teachings. This extended to the living as well as the deceased. Paying respect to the ancestors has become an important Chinese tradition.

– He also stressed the importance of seniority: The old educate the young, and the young respect the old.

– Confucius was a member of the upper class, but he believed education and knowledge belonged to anyone who had the desire to learn. He opened a school in his home, and legend has it, some of his poorer students lived with him.

– He insisted on honesty, hard work, and teaching by example. He taught through conversation, by asking questions and expecting his pupils to find their own answers.

– He wanted to prepare his students for public service, to develop compassion and respect for others.

ARTWORK FOR THIS LESSON:

Materials: Popsicle sticks, yarn, glue, scissors, permanent marker

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