This activity comes with a lesson plan, handout which describes the philosophies of Confucius, Hanfeizi, and Laozi, a chart for recording information about the philosophers, a postcard template, and a sample postcard letter.
By the end of this lesson, students will choose a Chinese philosopher and write a letter on the back of a postcard as if they are the philosopher visiting a place the United States (city, state, or tourist attraction). Students will need to write about positive and negative viewpoints the philosopher may encounter while visiting the U.S.A (according to their belief system and teachings), and discuss how they may want to fix problems they see in our society.
The chart will help the students prepare for this activity; it has an area for writing the philosophers' possible viewpoints on our modern society. I usually encourage my students to brainstorm ideas as a class or in groups. Also, I have included sentence starters for students who may struggle with writing.
This activity uses higher level thinking skills, but my sixth graders were all able to accomplish the task with the step-by-step process, and they had a lot of fun with it. I have them share their postcards aloud with the class when finished. They don't reveal which philosopher they are until the class has had the chance to guess according to the viewpoints written in the postcard.