This is a great lesson for anyone interested in introducing "The Age of Exploration" from an East Asian lens. The objective is for students to answer the question, "Why did the Ming Dynasty end the voyages of Zheng He?" Students are provided the context of the topic via a short overview, later accompanied by a Youtube clip of Zheng He. The bulk of the lesson requires students to analyze 15 primary sources to further their understanding of the significance behind these voyages and how China views themselves as culturally superior to other civilizations of the period.
This is a great lesson to use in my AP World History class. I like the use of documents along with having students draw conclusions as to why the Ming Dynasty halted the voyages abroad. When using this lesson, I plan to make some slight modifications. I will update the video and adjust the number of documents. In order to mirror a DBQ essay, I plan to reduce the number of documents to 8. I will also ask students to source the documents using the skills (historical context, intended audience, purpose, point of view) as required by The College Board.