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Feudal Japan

Grade Level Grades 3-5
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards


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In Feudal Japan, students explore how Japan’s geography as an island nation influenced its culture and history, especially its long isolationism. Students learn about the rise of powerful feudal leaders called shoguns, and about the role of the soldier-nobles called samurai, who lived by a code known as Bushido. Students also learn why the Tokugawa Shogunate closed Japan to most outsiders, and how Japan remained secluded until European powers and Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States compelled the Japanese to open their doors for trade. Students are also introduced to two important religions in Japanese history, Buddhism and Shinto.

This unit includes a Student Reader, Timeline Image Cards, and Teacher Guide, providing Guided Reading Supports and the following Additional Activities: a Japanese folktale; map and geography skills exercises; an art activity examining Japanese landscape gardens; a Kabuki theater video; domain vocabulary exercises; and a Unit Assessment.


Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.


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