Last week in Mr. Xenakis’ World History classes, students wrote and performed raps about three of ancient China’s great philosophies: Confucianism, Daoism and Legalism. Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States eras, during a period known as the “Hundred Schools of Thought”, which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Although much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period, elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years; some can be found in the Yi Jing (the Book of Changes), an ancient compendium of divination, which dates back to at least 672 BCE. It was during the Warring States era that what Sima Tan termed the major philosophical schools of China, Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism, arose, along with philosophies that later fell into obscurity, like Agriculturalism, Mohism, Chinese Naturalism, and the Logicians.
Students had to teach information about their group’s chosen philosophy through their rap. They also had to rhyme pairs of lines in their rap and perform them with instrumental background music from online or from Mr. Xenakis’ beat creation machine. At the end of the project, each group was required to perform their rap live using a microphone and vocal effects or record their rap on audio or video to play for the class. Many groups did a great job writing and performing their raps. Evan “the Baron” Schlifstein and Stephen “Cool Hand Luke” Mikell, pictured in the accompanying photo, wrote and performed one of the best raps of the week. Great job everyone!