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1. Death of Loulan

Synopsis: The article starts with Tang Dynasty poet Wang Changling’s famous poem about the battle of Loulan.

Loulan was once a major stop on the old Silk Road, but the city and its oasis are now desert, leaving only ruins and memories. Desertification is one of the most important environmental issues necessary to the survival of human species on earth. The author asks: should we allow a tragedy such as Loulan to repeat itself?

Significance: The ancient city of Loulan was established as a kingdom in 176 BC and flourished for over 800 years. As one of the major stops on the old Silk Road, the city was a centre for trading silks, teas, fruit and jewels with the inland. Merchants also used Loulan as a stopover in their travels. Around 630 AD, Loulan suffered a natural disaster: years of deforestation combined with raging sandstorms to reroute waterways. The city was transformed into a desert wasteland, now a lost kingdom in Taklamakan Desert.

Text: 《楼兰之死》小学语文第九册(北师大版)替换课文
Text: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/text-loulan
Resources: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/loulan

Alternative text: The Lament of Loulan 《楼兰的忧郁》作者:梅洁
Text: http://xkyn.com/web-kjcnzvlj.htm

Link: This resource is also part of the Business and Commerce area of study, unit The Silk Road.

2. The forever young green hill

Synopsis: Facing harsh natural conditions and hard living conditions, an elderly farmer devoted 15 years of his life to the forestation efforts, miraculously creating an oasis in northwest Shanxi for the benefit of future generations.

Text: 《青山不老》 人教版课标本第十一册第16课  鲁教版第八册第28课
Text: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/text-green-hill
Resource: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/green-hill

3. Zuogong willow

Synopsis: The giant Zuogong willow trees are legacies of the Hunan army led by general Zuo Zongtang ( 左宗棠 ) during the long Northwest campaign in the late 1870s. Between battles, General Zuo ordered his soldiers to plant trees in the Gobi desert.

《左公柳 》 语文S版第十册第五单元第22课

Text: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/text-zuogong
Resources: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/zuogong
http://history.cultural-china.com/en/47History5528.html

Link: This resource is also part of the Business and Commerce area of study, unit The Silk Road.

4. Lop Nur, the disappearing fairytale lake

Text: 《罗布泊,消逝的仙湖》  人教课标本第八册第三单元第12课
Text: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/text-lop-nar
Resources: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/lop-nar

Link: This resource is also part of the Business and Commerce area of study, unit The Silk Road.

5. How Yellow River changes

Text: 《黄河是怎样变化的》  人教版课标本第八册第10课 人教版第九册选4
Text: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/text-yellow-river
Resources: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/yellow-river

6. Here was a village (A poem on the Shenzhen miracle)

Significance: What is behind the rapid modernisation and urbanisation miracle? For much of the 20th century, China defined its quest for modernity in terms of the industrialisation and the urbanisation of its economy and landscape. State policies and private initiatives in pursuit of specific goals within this general framework have brought along significant transformations. China today is a land of gleaming towers and polluted air, of high-speed railroad connections and massive population dislocations, of abundant manufacturing wealth and scarce natural resources. The Shenzhen Special Economic Zone is now a major trade route for goods in and out of China, reducing the importance of overland trade via the Silk Road.

Text: 《这儿,原来是一座村庄》  北师大版第九册第3组  教科版第十册第8课
Text: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/text-village
Resources: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/village

Alternative text: 《昨天,这儿是一座村庄》沪教版第八册第18课
Text: www.lbx777.com/yw08/sh_ztzes/kewen.htm

Link: This resource is also part of the Business and Commerce area of study, unit The Silk Road.

7. The disappearing forest kingdom

Text: 《失踪的森林王国》  北师大版第六册第12组  西师大版第六册第30课
Text: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/text-forest-kingdom
Resources: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/forest-kingdom

8. Bird surveillance report

Text: 《鸟儿的侦察报告》 北师大版第九册第10组  语文S版第六册第16课
Text: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/text-bird-surveillance
Resources: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/bird-surveillance

9. A willow on the Qinghai Plateau

Text: 《青海高原一株柳》作者:陈忠实 苏教版六年级语文上册第十一册第15课
Text: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/text-qinghai-plateau
Resources: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/qinghai-plateau

10. Euphrates Poplar in the westerly wind

Significance: Euphrates Poplar grows in China’s north-western deserts, where it is renowned for its ability to survive the harsh conditions, including saline and sandy soils, extreme temperatures and lack of water.

Premier Wen Jiabao described them in his Cambridge Speech: “Earlier in my career, I worked in northwest China for many years. There, in the boundless desert, grows a rare variety of tree called Euphrates Poplar. Rooted over 50 meters down into the ground, they thrive in hostile environments, defying droughts, sandstorms and salinisation. They are known as the hero tree, because a Euphrates Poplar can live for a thousand years. After it dies, it stands upright for a thousand years, and even after it falls, it stays intact for another thousand years. I like Euphrates Poplar because they symbolise the resilience of the Chinese nation.”

Text: 《西风胡杨》语文S版第九册第二单元第9课
Text: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/text-euphrates
Resources: www.uq.edu.au/confucius/euphrates

Euphrates poplars — The hero tree
Text: www.cctv.com/program/newfrontiers/20090710/107832.shtml

Audio text (mp3 format): 《西风胡杨》课文朗读
Text: http://www.ywcbs.com/webs/list.asp?title=7&press=16&press3=6

Link: This resource is also part of the Business and Commerce area of study, unit The Silk Road.


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