Are you looking for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon teaching ideas? You are in the right place. This novel by Grace Lin is a fantastic blend of fantasy, adventure, and Chinese culture that will captivate and challenge your students. In this blog post, I will give you an overview of the book and some activities you can do with your students to enhance their reading experience.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon follows the journey of Minli, a young girl who lives in a poor village at the foot of a barren mountain. She loves listening to her father’s stories, but her mother thinks they are useless and a waste of time. Minli decides to seek out the Old Man of the Moon, who knows the answer to everything, and asks him how to change her family’s fortune.
Along the way, she meets a friendly dragon, a clever king, a lonely buffalo boy, and many other characters from Chinese folklore. She also learns valuable lessons about courage, friendship, gratitude, and fortune’s true meaning.
This book is great for upper elementary students. It exposes them to a different culture and tradition through engaging stories and beautiful illustrations. It also offers many opportunities for students to practice their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills. Here are some activities you can do with your students while reading this fantastic book.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Teaching Ideas
Teaching Idea #1 – Novel Study Samples
This PDF contains novel study samples, including Chapters 1–3 vocabulary and comprehension questions.
This handout also contains the activities mentioned in the blog post.
Teaching Idea #2 – Comparing Stories
Have students compare and contrast one scene from Journey to the West to one scene from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.
Journey to the West is a famous Chinese novel about a monk named Xuanzang. He and his four animal companions go on a quest to India to get Buddhist scriptures. The four animals are Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, who is very smart and powerful but also naughty and rebellious; Zhu Bajie, the Pig, who is greedy and lazy but also loyal and brave; Sha Wujing, the Sand Monk, who is quiet and humble but also strong and reliable; and Yulong, the White Dragon Horse, who can transform into different shapes and carry the luggage.
The novel is based on a real historical figure, Xuanzang, who lived in the 7th century and traveled to India to study Buddhism. He brought back many scriptures and translated them into Chinese. He also wrote a record of his journey that inspired the novel. The novel draws from many Chinese folktales and legends. The stories feature gods, goddesses, immortals, and mythical creatures.
In the handout, there are Venn diagrams for three compare-and-contrast activities. In the first, students compare two scenes: one from Journey to the West and one from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. The handout also contains compare and contrast activities for Mulan and The Wizard of Oz. An answer key showing their similarities and differences is also included.
Teaching Idea #3 – Symbolism in Art
Discuss the symbolism and cultural references within the book, such as:
- the Old Man in the Moon
- the significance of the color red
- Fruitless Mountain becoming Fruitful Mountain
Encourage students to incorporate these symbols into their artwork.
Teaching Idea #4 – On the Web
Visit the author’s website, where you can determine the age of the dragon using peach math, which is explained in this free activity book.
Check out this lesson plan from Edsitement.
Find more teaching ideas from Little Brown and Company.
If you missed the link to the handout earlier in the post, here it is again.