Lesson Plans

Free Lesson Plans for Teachers

WHDE offers a set of free resources for teachers to help students better understand Korea. The lesson plans cover a variety of topics including geography, religion, economic development, culture, history, and the Korean War. Search our archive of lessons plans by topic, skill or grade level.

 
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A Critical Analysis of the Trajectory of Two Economies Divided by War and Unified by History

street scene

Students will be given the compelling question which will guide the entire inquiry. This lesson is a student driven lesson in which they will build their own understanding through the analysis of rich texts which depict the transformation in the South Korean economy, the causes for the economic growth, and a contrast with current status of the North Korean economy.
Advanced Placement Lessons: Lesson 5.5 and 5.6 address curricular requirements in the Advanced Placement Macroeconomics curriculum. As opposed to teaching economic growth and the use of fiscal policies in a vacuum, real examples from South Korea’s economic growth are utilized to enhance student understanding of the curricula.

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PDFWord

Author: Michelle Penyy

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 2-3 sessions

Participation Year: Fellowship 2019

Skills: Contextualization, Inquiry

Topics: Economics, Globalization

Dark and Light: Incentives and Korea’s Divergent Economies

street scene

Post-war North and South Korea present a direct comparison case study through which students can understand how economic incentives help create wealth and good governance or deprivation and bad governance. By examining photos, charts, and videos, students will be able to understand the role of incentives in creating economic growth and democratic institutions.

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PDFWord

Author: Katie Booth

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 2 50 minute class periods or one 90 minute block

Participation Year: Fellowship 2019

Skills: Analysis, Evaluation

Topics: Economics, North Korea

Do Borders Matter?

landscape

Students will research and compare the current economic development of Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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PDFWord

Author: Linda Burrows

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: Two 55-minute classes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2018

Skills: Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation

Topics: Economics, Politics

Economic Development: Is Korea the Key?

city seen from above with river

During the Development Unit of AP Human Geography, students will look at data from other countries who were similar to South Korea in the 1960s, then the same data for today. Based on GDP, IHDI, and GNI they will use the obvious differences in development to draw conclusions as to how South Korea was able to develop so quickly, and what those countries can do to in an attempt to reach the same development level as South Korea.

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PDFWord

Author: Karen Coss

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: Two 50-minute classes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2018

Skills: Analysis, Comparison

Topics: Economics, Geography

Korean Currency

person holding Korean bills

These lessons will involve student research about famous Koreans featured on Korean won. They will research the important people featured on South Korean currency in small groups. Students will then compare their new knowledge to what they know about US currency. This may require additional research by the students.

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PDFWord

Author: Karen Krzystof-Bansley

Grades: Middle (6-8)

Time: 3 50-minute classes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2019

Skills: Analysis, Comparison

Topics: Economics

Korean Reunification

street with houses

By investigating the issue of Korean reunification, students will make decisions about what the obstacles of the reunification are and how to give weight to each.

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PDFWord

Author: Leah Hoyle

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: Three 90-minute classes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2018

Skills: Evaluation

Topics: Economics, Politics

Let’s Build A Home

wall decorated with banners

Students simulate the differences between Capitalism and Communism. They are tasked with working as a group to develop homes out of notecards. Only the Capitalist will have an incentive. This will build upon the previous day’s lesson revolving around students learning about the basics of the Korean War and the outcomes.

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PDFWord

Author: Matthew Cottone

Grades: Middle (6-8)

Time: One 55-minute class

Participation Year: Fellowship 2018

Skills: Comparison

Topics: Economics, Korean War, Politics

Low Birthrates, Gender Inequality Cloud South Korea’s Economic Forecast

stall with handbags for sale - sign saying Made in Korea

The Republic of Korea has been lauded as an example of a booming capitalist economy since the end of the Korean War. One of the “Asian Tigers” economically, the nation has excelled in automotive and electronics production, increasing GDP and the standard of living since the devastation of the war. Currently, however, low birth rates threaten the long-term economic prospects of the nation and bring up policy solutions that may clash with traditional Korean culture. This lesson explores how the current low birth rate and gender inequality in the workforce threaten the Republic of Korea’s long-term economic prospects. The lesson also requires students to evaluate possible solutions to these problems.

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Author: Abby Dupke

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: Two 50-minute classes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2018

Skills: Evaluation, Interpretation

Topics: Economics, Labor, Politics

One Peninsula, Two Systems: Explaining the Economic Rise of South Korea

night-sky scene of city

Why do some countries develop rapidly, growing their economies and influence on the world stage while other countries struggle to achieve economic takeoff? This is a central question in Human Geography and an important question in World History. The Korean Peninsula provides a case study for the exploration of this question. This peninsula of a common people with a shared history was divided not only by a civil war but by competing ideologies and foreign alliances. In this lesson students will explore the causes of South Korea’s rise and the sharp divisions that remain between the two Koreas.

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PDFWord

Author: Matthew Sudnik

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 2 80-minute classes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2019

Skills: Comparison

Topics: Economics, North Korea, Politics

Pushing Possibilities

earth seen from space

Students will explore the economic differences between North Korea and South Korea and apply concepts of production possibilities in order to make informed determinations about the economic prosperity (or lack thereof) in both North Korea and South Korea. In small groups of 4-5, students will be presented with a variety of sources. These sources will help students draw conclusions, make inferences and make comparisons of production possibilities in both North Korea and South Korea. Students will then engage in a gallery walk to view the conclusions of the various groups in the classroom. Finally, students will individually reflect on the activity.

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PDFWord

Author: Eliel Hinojosa

Grades: Middle (6-8), Secondary (9-12)

Time: One 45- minute class

Participation Year: Fellowship 2018

Skills: Analysis

Topics: Economics, Globalization

South Korea: Then and Now

teachers in front of class of small children

In this lesson, students will be introduced to the country of South Korea and how it has changed over time. Students will be exposed to a variety of primary source photographs around 6 different themes (City of Seoul, Children & Schools, Businesses, Transportation, The Han River and Homes) that depict South Korea before the Korean War, during the war and modern day. Students will work in groups to compare and contrast what is happening in each of the sources.

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PDFWord

Author: Rachel Turner

Grades: 4-5

Time: One 50-minute class

Participation Year: Fellowship 2018

Skills: Comparison

Topics: Economics, Korean War

The Remarkable Space Between the Wars

tower behind trees

“The role that Korea has played in international politics and economics is often overshadowed by negative preconceptions and outright misconceptions by students.As the United States is currently embroiled in a climate of political, social and economic turmoil, students must understand the complexity of international relations. The ability to explore Korea’s role in the 21st Century will initiate critical discussion on the issues surrounding the current political, economic, and military crisis’s many nations are facing. Geopolitical decisions are global in scope and require systematic study of an interdependent world perspective. Students further need to develop a clearer understanding that technology plays a significant role in this decision-making. This lesson emphasizes a challenge to all learners to apply their prior knowledge to societal conditions as they analyze issues of past and present as well as working to clarify their own values, and refine their decision making capabilities.

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PDFWord

Author: Ellen Resnek

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 3-4 45-minute classes

Participation Year: Fellowship 2019

Skills: Analysis

Topics: Economics, Politics

The Republic of Korea and the Miracle of the Han River

city skyline at night

The Republic of Korea is a major player in Global Economics today. Students should be aware of the history of occupation and war that plagued Korea in the first half of the 19th century. Korea is a good example of how Government policy shifted the country from one of an aid recipient to a leading power. In the next lesson students will build on their learning by reading excerpts about Korea and the events that led to it becoming an aid nation, while answering questions. the teacher will guide students through readings that explain how government policy changed the outcome in South Korea allowing them to build upon the strong culture of education and hard work. Students will complete activities in the packet that clarify this process.

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PDFWord

Author: Julie Cross

Grades: Secondary (9-12)

Time: 2 50-minute class periods

Participation Year: Fellowship 2019

Skills: Comparison

Topics: Economics