Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Chinese

Everyone in the class knows how to say numbers in Chinese, but don't know how to write them. We practiced writing numbers in Chinese from 1 to 5 today. The hard part is when they say one pumpkin in Chinese, they need to put a measuring word between one and pumpkin. They each get a goodie bag, but need to tell me in Chinese how many pumpkins there are on the bag. 

I know they will have a great time next week treat-or-tricking. In China, there is Ghost Day, but not so much fun as Halloween. 

Birthplace - Gainesville, FL

I had planned to talk about Gainesville or have kids share what they know, such as football, alligator, etc. When I typed in the lesson plan the other day, my husband said, "This has nothing to do with Chinese culture." "I know, but I can't think of anything about Gainesville that's China related." Then he said, "There are plenty of them. What's the time difference between China and Gainesville? Why China has no time zone, but Florida has? How many Chinese live in Gainesville? How to go to China from Gainesville? Where are the Chinese grocery stores and restaurants in Gainesville? etc." He is right! I have been focusing on Chinese traditions, value, art, history and geography, etc, but forget some basic and practical knowledge about China. So I took his advice and it turned out to be an exciting class!

I showed them this picture of time zones in the world and they are very surprised to find out there is no time zone in many other countries, like China. The most exciting part is when they guessed the number of Chinese people living in Gainesville. Every one raised her hand couple of times, even the girl who never raised her hand before! When I told them we can get live fish in the tank in the local Chinese grocery, they all looked at me shocked. One girl asked, "So you eat raw fish?" :)

I need to thank my husband for his wonderful idea. I hope this class can encourage kids to explore more about Chinese culture just in Gainesville. Many of them said they have never been to the local Chinese grocery or restaurant and they really want to go some day. They never heard of a Chinese church or school in town and they enjoyed the pictures from the local Chinese school.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Birthplace - Guiyang City 贵阳

This month, we do Allie's birthplace - Guiyang City, the capital of Guizhou Province. Allie prepared this poster and she talked about some of photos from her family album. Kids love her family album, especially the photo when Allie was a baby and mom was holding her when they met in Guiyang. They found the silver headdress on Miao girls very interesting. Allie talked about some places to visit in Guiyang: the Yellow Fruit Tree Waterfall, the highest one in Asia, Jiaxiu Tower, Guiyang's symbolic construction, and Miao people, one of ethnic groups living in Guiyang City.

China is a multi-ethnic nation of 56 ethnic groups, among them, more than 30 groups live in Guizhou Province. Today I introduced Miao people to them. I played this video and they all love it! Parents can watch this video with kids and have them tell you what they see in this cartoon special about Miao people.

There are a lot of information in this video about Miao people:
Miao girl and boy's unique clothes and headdress
Miao girls are good at paper cut.
Miao people live in the houses made from wood or bamboo.
Miao people plant their rice in terraced farm.
The instrument that the boy played is Lusheng - Miao's musical instrument made of bamboo. 
Miao people holds Bullfight Festival every year. 

Allie did her memory book of birthplace and everyone tried paper cut. They cut out a Jiaxiu Tower and glued it on paper. Jackson even drew alligator by the tower.

Kids asked great questions, like "What's the biggest waterfall in the world?" or "What does Miao girl's headdress mean?". I learn from their questions!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sing Happy Birthday in Chinese 生日快乐!

Today I just realized it's the first time we sing a song in Chinese since the class started. I need to do more! Watch the video and try it out! It's the same tune with Happy Birthday in English.

Lyrics in Pinyin:

Zhù nǐ shēng rì kuài lè

Zhù nǐ shēng rì kuài lè

Zhù nǐ shēng rì kuài lè

Zhù nǐ shēng rì kuài lè


Lyrics in Chinese: (simplified characters)






Listen to the Happy Birthday song in Mandarin Chinese as sung by artist Jay Chou.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

E is for é méi 峨嵋

Emei Mountain, one of the most sacred of China's Buddhist mountains. It has drawn pilgrims and visitors for over 2,000 years. The first Buddhist temple in China was built in the 1st century A.D. in the beautiful surroundings of the summit of Emei Mountain. But will these 5-8 years olds understand what Buddism is and what Buddists believe?

Luckily some of them actually visited temple before when they travelled to China and shared what they saw in temples. Jackson said he saw exactly the same Buddha in Taiwan with the one at the Golden Summit of Emei. I compare temple with church, different Gods in Buddhism with God we worship in church, meditation with prayers to God. They got the idea that some people in China say prayers to Buddha and worship more than one God.

I played part of this video for them. They were very curious about why monks need to be bald and whether the Golden Buddha is real gold. There is so much information about Emei, so I introduced mainly 3 parts: temples, Golden Summit and monkeys. We looked at some photoes here. They drew temple, monkeys and Buddha in their sheet. Jenna even drew a panda inside the temple. Allie drew a golden temple with a Buddha sitting on top of it. Abby drew a monkey asking for food and Ally drew the golden Buddha statue.

I love this video of Golden Summit.
But their favorite part is monkeys on Emei. These wild monkeys are not afraid of people at all! Watch this video. It's hilarious! I need to post it here. This monk got famous in China now. He was in an interview at Emei when he was distracted by wild monkeys. If you can understand Chinese, it's even funnier!

This week we have two birthday kids! They get a goodie bag from Pangpang! We learned how to sing Happy Birthday song in Chinese. We decorated Pangpang cupcakes.

Spencer did a cute one!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

D is for dēng 灯

We learned D is for Deng (lantern) today. Lantern is actually Deng Long in Chinese. Deng means light. I just put Deng to make it easier for kids to remember.

We take a look at different lanterns and guess some riddles (Chinese put riddles on lanterns on Lantern's Festival). They love Chinese sky lanterns. I played this video for them. It's lantern festvial in Taiwan, which attract tourists from all over the world.
Sky lantern is also called good wish lantern. So I asked them what they can put on their good wish lantern and let it fly. These are their answers:

 "God bless you".
"I wish there will be more pandas in the world and one of them will visit me and eat some bamboo in my house."
"I loves my parents. When I let the lantern fly, they will know I love them so much."
"I want a brother."
"I want the strict teacher nicer."
My kids are sweet! 

We used paint to make a Chinese new year skyline. I got the idea from here. They cut out Chinese newspaper and glue them as buildings. Then they used sponges, corks or thumb to print out red and yellow lanterns.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

C is for cháng jiāng 长江

We learned about Yangtze River this week, which plays an important role in China's history, economy and culture. Yangtze River feeds 1/3 of China's population.
I played part of the video from this documentary, (Rediscovering Yangtze) which is very popular in China.

The official website of World Wildlife Fund has interesting information about Yangtze. Each class drew Yangtze on a long paper. They put so much information there. They drew the endangered animals living by Yangtze: Chinese alligator, river dolphin, panda, etc. Allie cut out fish by felt, foil paper and glued them. Abby drew the river blue under the smiling sun. Boys drew cruise, alien visiting Yangtze, sharks, etc.

a blue Yangtze River under the sun with a boat floating on the water

 Books you can read with your child:
The story about Ping  It's a story of a duck living by Yangtze River. 
The Noble Yangtze