John Zola, a teacher and workshop leader I highly respect, agreed to let me share his ideas for activities related to At Home in Her Tomb. Thank you, John!
- Select seven different “finds” from the tombs (silk, the “books,” maps, etc.). Ask students to rank order them from the most to least significant of the discoveries─perhaps in terms of archeological significance or in understanding the world of Lady Dai and that period in Chinese history. Once students have individually ranked their choices, form small groups to share and discuss, and see if they can come to an agreed upon ranking. Then share out as a large group and discuss reasons.
- Have students, upon completing the book and initially discussing it, form into small groups with the task of creating a story board to “pitch” a movie based on At Home in Her Tomb. What would be the six or eight most important scenes? Each would be illustrated with a caption below it. This is a way of distilling what different students think are the most significant aspects of the story. Conclude with reporting out/sharing and discussion.
- Use the text to have students create “recipes” for a successful dynasty or for Lady Dai’s life. To illustrate this activity, he includes documents from an assignment to create a recipe for the rise of Nazism: “Final Assessment,” “Recipe Rubric,” and “Examples and a Non-Example.”