In the Second Grade Immersion Class at Geneva West Street School, CIAU teacher Liping Ding taught her students to sing the Chinese song, “Looking for a Friend”. Considering elementary students’ love of movement, Ms. Ding made up some corresponding motions to go with the lyrics, which the students really enjoyed. At last, they could not only sing the Chinese song, but could understand just what the song means.
Ms. Ding and her students learning a Chinese song
During center time, Ms. Ding offered some interesting games that students love to play. So after learning about animals, students played the game “Snakes & Ladders”. The player rolls a die and moves forward that number of spaces. On each space, the player needs to say the word written on the space in order to keep moving. If they don’t know a word or can’t say the word, Ms. Ding will do a quick correction to help them learn the word. This game gives children many opportunities for repetition, while the board game format keeps it fun and engaging. The students soon learned both to read the characters properly and to write them correctly in Chinese.
Game: Snakes & Ladders
In April, the students had science classes in Chinese. Ms. Ding taught them the parts of plants. After listening, each student made a plant of their own. Through making plants, students knew the parts of plants exactly and could say all of them in Chinese.
Students making plants
Ms. Yuan helped her students at Geneva West Street School to learn something about spring, including trees, flowers, and the sun. While cutting the Chinese character for“Spring” out of paper, they were hoping spring would come earlier to Geneva. They were thrilled to learn how to name animals and fruits, and especially how to express their favorites in a sentence. They were curious about words borrowed from English in Mandarin Chinese, which made it more fun to learn Mandarin.
Students presenting their favorite fruits in Chinese
Students showing their paper-cuttings of the Chinese character, “春”
With more students taking Mandarin Chinese class, all the teachers from CIAU attended the annual Book Festival in order to give parents in the community more chances to find out about China. Anne Dinan, the coordinator from “Geneva Reads,” said, “Thanks so much for all your efforts to provide a more convenient platform to all our citizens in our community to know more about Chinese culture.”
CIAU teachers at the Book Festival