Red Scarf Girl is a memoir of a period of history, but it also centers around family, courage and hope.
Perspective of History
1. Prior to reading Red Scarf Girl, discuss and explain to students:
- What is China? Its geographical location, population, political system, etc.
- Who was Chairman Mao?
- What was the Cultural Revolution.
- Who were Red Guards?
2. After they read the book, discuss with them again:
- What were "fourolds"?
- What was big poster, Da-zi-bao?
- What was "class status"? Why was it so important then?
- Why had Ji-li gone from being an outstanding student to being an outcast?
- Why did Ji-li and everyone else believe Chairman Mao so blindly?
Perspective of Family Value
1. Was Ji-li's family close? Have students give some examples. (eg. The relationship between her parents and the kids, between her grandma and the kids, between she and her brother and sister.)
2. Why did Ji-li decide not to testify against her father even she had to sacrifice her own future? What does she mean by saying that "My family was too precious to forget, and too rare to replace" (p. 263)?
3. Having students discuss the importance of family value: to love and care about each other; to support each other especially when the time is bad.
4. Having students give some examples about their family relations. (emphasize the positive relations)
Facing History and Ourselves Study Guide: Teaching Red Scarf Girl
Stanford study guide: China's Cultural Revolution
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