Teaching Ancient Civilizations with Children’s Literature: D is for Dancing Dragon: A China Alphabet


 “A is for Chinese Acrobats performing with beauty and grace.  We clap and admire their physical strength, as they land in a very small place.”
“B is for Beijing…”

 D is for Dancing Dragon:A China Alphabet, written by Carol Crane and illustrated by Zong-Zhou Wang is a wonderfully illustrated children’s book that celebrates the wonders of ancient Chinese culture.  The author takes the reader through an alphabetic history of China from A to Z.  Suitable for many ages, the author brilliantly writes in rhyming facts about China for the younger readers while providing enriching information that more advanced, older readers will surely enjoy as well all on the same page.  As we read on, “F is for the “Four Treasures of Study” (explaining the Chinese written language), G is for the Great Wall…, I is for Chinese Inventions…, Z is for Chinese Zodiac” and so on, the book demonstrates through playful rhyme and colorful illustrations how ancient China has influenced the present world in terms of architecture, inventions, the calendar and written language.

Curriculum Connections
D is for Dancing Dragon: A China Alphabet could be a great resource to use when introducing ancient civilizations and their contributions to the modern world.  The book even has a map at the front so students can determine China’s physical place in the world and make a connection to it’s physical relationship to the United States.  This book correlates well with the Virginia Standards of Learning (2.1).

Additional Resources

  • Try this teacher friendly site to get  activity ideas to accompany the reading of D is for Dragon: A China Alphabet.
  • For more lesson plan ideas and fun activities for grades 2 & 3.
  • National Geographic Kids has great interactive activities on line to reinforce teachings of ancient China.

Book:  D is for Dancing Dragon:A China Alphabet
Carol Crane
Zong-Zhou Wang
Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date:
Grade Range: 

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