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    Resource Guides

    The Ballad of Mulan

    On March 2, 2023, ARNCTA is hosting a workshop titled, "What Makes a Heroine? Teaching Chinese History and Culture with Mulan." If you're interested in teaching or simply learning more about this iconic legend, check out these additional resources related to workshop content from Dr. Zach Smith's presentation. Each material is listed with a brief description and are organized by format. We hope you're able to implement these resources into your curriculum!

    ARNCTA hosts one workshop each spring, multiple workshops each summer, and one workshop each autumn. To keep up with our pedagogical workshops, check out our News & Events page!



    "The Ballad of Mulan" (excerpts and questions)

    Introduction: "This poem was composed in the fifth or sixth century CE. At the time, China was divided between north and south. The rulers of the northern dynasties were from non-Han ethnic groups, most of them from Turkic peoples such as the Toba (Tuoba, also known as Xianbei), whose Northern Wei dynasty ruled most of northern China from 386–534. This background explains why the images conveyed in the 1998 film of a stereotypically Confucian Chinese civilization fighting against the barbaric 'Huns' to the north are inaccurate." Check out this primary source document with DBQs to introduce the poem to your class.

    "The Ballad of Mulan" Chinese and English Reading

     This document includes "The Ballad of Mulan" written in Chinese characters, pinyin (romanized Chinese), and the English translation, providing a great opportunity to introduce to your classroom, not only the legend, but also the Chinese language.

    Youtube Videos

    Chinese Dance at Stanford University: "Ode of Mulan"

    The "Ode of Mulan" in dance form, choreographed by the Shanghai Dance Academy and performed at Stanford University.

    The Ballad of Mulan: an Animated Poem

    An animated version of the "Ballad of Mulan."


    The Flowering Plum and the Palace Lady by Hans H. Frankel

    The Flowering Plum and the Palace Lady by Hans H. Frankel is a collection of Chinese poems with interpretations and includes the "Ode of Mulan."


    In addition to the resources featured here, our Resource Center includes more generalized resources on East Asia as well as resource pages designated to specific East Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea). You can also find many other online materials listed on The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia website. Be sure to also visit NCTA's Partner Sites, who provide excellent content on East Asia for K-12 educators.

    Who We Are

    Housed within the Asian Studies Program at the University of Central Arkansas, the Arkansas NCTA aims to empower elementary and secondary school teachers to center East Asian art, literature, history, and culture in their classrooms.

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