Historian tip # 6: Historians make predictions and revise them based
on new information.
Today’s investigation: The Chinese Zodiac
Outcomes of the investigation: Our historians will be able to
1. compare and contrast today’s daily Zodiac Horoscopes with
Zodiac of the ancient (and modern) Chinese.
2. make predictions and draw conclusions about ancient
Zodiac beliefs based on data gathered in their own
3. survey people who read Horoscopes to discover their reasons
4. revise predictions based on date collected during the survey.
The Great Race, by David Bouchard
A copy of Horoscopes from today’s newspapers
(Note: If you want to do a lesson on the Chinese
Zodiac without the Read-aloud, go to
www.bcl.net/ masat/animals.html#snake for
Mini lesson: Here is a copy of today’s Horoscopes. Who was born
between March 20 and April 19? Here is your fortune for the day
(read Aries). Everybody find your own Zodiac animal based on your
birthday and read your fortune for the day. Take a minute to share
with a partner any information you gathered last night about HOW
horoscopes work (pause for sharing). For these Horoscopes, a person
is assigned an animal according to the pattern of the stars around the
month he or she is born. Rather than looking at star patterns, the
ancient Chinese believed in the importance of the year a person was
born, and each year was assigned one of twelve animals. After
twelve years, the cycle of animals repeats again. Instead of a new
fortune coming out every day, the animal a person is assigned
determines the fortune for a whole lifetime. The story we are about
to read explains how the order of animals was decided.
Read aloud: The Great Race, by David Bouchard (a story about how
the order of animals in the Chinese Zodiac came to be).
Activities: Each child reads a copy of his or her Chinese Zodiac. In
partners, students will discuss how the Chinese Zodiac compares