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Annick LIVEBARY: Season #2, Spring 2008

SUBJECT: World History AGE RANGE: 9-13 GRADE LEVEL: 4-8


TOPIC: Henry Puyi — Last Emperor of China ERA: 20th-Century Chinese History
KIDS WHO RULE:The Remarkable Lives Of Five Child Monarchs
by Charis Cotter
Published by Annick Press. Reprinted here with permission. Copyright 2007 Charis Cotter.
paperback ISBN 10: 1-55451-061-9 ISBN 13: 978-1-55451-061-0
library binding ISBN 10: 1-55451-062-7 ISBN 13: 978-1-55451-062-7
www.annickpress.com
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ASSIGNMENT
KING OR QUEEN FOR A DAY

Imagine that you are made King or Queen of your school and have absolute authority over how
things are to be done at your school. How would you change things? Please describe changes
you might make in each of these areas:

• School Hours. What hours of the day or days of the week would your school operate?

• Subjects Taught. What subjects of study will be offered in your school. Would you offer math,
science, history, language? Or maybe something a little more unusual?

• The Food. The food in the cafeteria or in the vending machines. What food options would you
offer?

• The Dress Code. If you had a dress code, what would it be? What colors or patterns would your
uniforms have?

• Extracurricular Activities. What sports activities would your school offer? What about clubs or
other organizations? What groups could expect support from Your Highness?

If you knew that students or teachers or parents could revolt against your rule and imprison you for
15 years, would it change the way you rule the school? How so? Do you think students or teachers
or parents would revolt against your rule? Why or why not?
l QUIZ
NOTE: Quiz answers are available on the next page.

1) Multiple Choice

What is a “consort”?

A. A musical show held in an auditorium.


B. A close friend you seek advice from.
C. The process of separating prisoners by gender.
D. Title of an emperor’s lower-ranking wives.

2) Multiple Choice

In the reading selection, what activity was performed in the Palace of the Cultivation of
Happiness?

A. Eating.
B. Going to school.
C. Playing games.
D. Dancing.

3. Multiple Choice

Which letter corresponds best to the definition of “Manchukuo”?

A. Region of China once ruled by Puyi.


B. One of the martial arts.
C. Name of a Chinese dynasty.
D. A hearty stew made with beef.
4. Multiple Choice

Why didn't the communist government execute Emperor Puyi when the communists came to
power in 1949?

A. They considered Puyi to be their true and rightful leader.


B. The Emperor is seen as a god and above politics.
C. They were unable to capture Puyi, who went into hiding when the communists took over.
D. They wanted to reform Puyi rather than kill him.

5. Multiple Choice

Why was Puyi picked to be Emperor of China?

A. He was the son of the previous Emperor, who died.


B. He was too young to be a threat to the Dowager Empress.
C. Even at a young age, he Puyi showed the calm temper and regal bearing of
an emperor.
D. His name, “Puyi,” means “born to rule.”
l QUIZ
1) Multiple Choice

What is a “consort”?

A. A musical show held in an auditorium.


B. A close friend you seek advice from.
C. The process of separating prisoners by gender.
D. Title of an emperor’s lower-ranking wives.
Answer: D. Title of a emperor’s lower-ranking wives. Emperors in China could have many wives. The highest
ranking wife of an emperor is called the “empress” and the lower-ranking wives are called “consorts.”

2) Multiple Choice

In the reading selection, what activity was performed in the Palace of the Cultivation of
Happiness?

A. Eating.
B. Going to school.
C. Playing games.
D. Dancing.
Answer: B. Going to school. Strangely enough, Emperor Puyi’s school lessons were held in the
Palace of the Cultivation of Happiness and his meals were eaten in the Palace of Mental Cultivation.

3. Multiple Choice

Which letter corresponds best to the definition of “Manchukuo”?

A. Region of China once ruled by Puyi.


B. One of the martial arts.
C. Name of a Chinese dynasty.
D. A hearty stew made with beef.
Answer: A. Region of China once ruled by Puyi. Henry Puyi was frequently used as a pawn by others
who sought to rule China. For many years, the Japanese installed Puyi as ruler of the “Manchukuo”
region of China. Puyi was considered a traitor by Chinese for cooperating with their enemy, the
Japanese.
4. Multiple Choice

Why didn't the communist government execute Emperor Puyi when the communists came to
power in 1949?

A. They considered Puyi to be their true and rightful leader.


B. The Emperor is seen as a god and above politics.
C. They were unable to capture Puyi, who went into hiding when the communists took over.
D. They wanted to reform Puyi rather than kill him.
Answer: D. They wanted to reform Puyi rather than kill him. Luckily for Henry Puyi, the communists
used him as a case study to prove that corrupt rulers could be converted into humble comrades.
They “reformed” Puyi for nine years before releasing him from prison.

5. Multiple Choice

Why was Puyi picked to be Emperor of China?

A. He was the son of the previous Emperor, who died.


B. He was too young to be a threat to the Dowager Empress.
C. Even at a young age, he Puyi showed the calm temper and regal bearing of
an emperor.
D. His name, “Puyi,” means “born to rule.”
Answer: B. He was too young to be a threat to the Dowager Empress. The Dowager Empress was
entitled to pick any emperor she wanted. She picked young boys because she could control them.
When they grew old enough to start making trouble for her, she would “get rid of them.” Henry Puyi
would have lived a very short life if the Dowager Empress had not died just days after naming him
Emperor.
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
• Henry Puyi had a love for writing and illustrating stories, but his teachers considered such
activities frivolous and didn't encourage them. Do you have a natural born talent that no one
seems to notice? What is it?

• Emperor Puyi came under the influence of a man named Johnston and decided to take an
English name for himself: “Henry,” after King Henry VIII of England. If you were to pick a
Chinese name for yourself, what name would you pick and why?

• If you were an Emperor, what shade would you pick as your official color? Why?

• When the young Emperor Puyi misbehaved, other children were spanked in his place, since you
could not spank the Emperor. Have you ever been punished falsely? What did you do about it?

• Emperor Puyi’s official seal was the five-toed dragon. If you were Emperor, what would be your
official seal? Why?

Copyright 2008 by Annick Press. All rights reserved. Printed here with permission of the publisher.
Please request permission from LIVEbrary@annickpress.com before posting this lesson plan in any public place.

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