Getting to Know Beijing

posted Jan 9, 2015, 5:28 PM by Jason Brunken
When you begin reading any novel, it is important to get to know the setting. This is especially true with historical fiction novels. Forbidden City takes place in the center of Beijing, China in 1989. To get a good understanding for the issues of this time period and how they affect what happens in the novel, you should view the videos posted earlier.

Much of Forbidden City shows our main character, Alex, travelling about and around the city. It can be difficult to envision his travels without taking a closer look at the place itself. We will do this with two assignments. 

First we will learn to use Hanyu Pinyin, the romanization system for Chinese used in both Taiwan and China (though Taiwan uses about 4 different systems). Romanization of a language means using the Latin (or Roman) alphabet to write languages that do not us the the standard alphabet (like Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, etc.) Review this packet that compares pinyin to standard Taiwanese Zhuyin Fuhao (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ). When you are finished, complete the worksheet and turn it in for points.

The final activity we worked is a 3 part map assignment for Beijing. This will be used using Google's Maps Engine. Follow the instructions on the sheet below to get started. This is a group activity, so check first to see if you already have a group to work with.

Instructions for Beijing Map Assignment