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.