From March 7th to 20th, the sixth graders of North Syracuse Central School District learned Early Chinese History (Ⅲ): Qin Dynasty in their social studies classes. There were two parts to this lesson. The first part covered the ancient three systems of Chinese Philosophy: Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. Legalism became the political philosophy of the Qin State. Eventually Qin became strong enough to defeat other states and unify the whole country. The second part included the five major achievements of the first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, and the Qin Dynasty. CIAU teachers Suping (Emma) Wang, Yuanhuan (Beverly) He and Ping (Kevin) Wang also prepared two videos for the Social Studies teachers for reference. One is about the Terra-Cotta Warriors; the other is about the history of the Great Wall of China. Students showed their great interest in this period of Chinese history.
Beverly introducing the Qin Dynasty
Emma introducing a timeline of Chinese history
In March and April, the fifth and sixth grade students at Roxboro and Gillette Road Middle Schools took enrichment classes in basic Mandarin Chinese language. The three Chinese teachers covered the topics numbers, fruit, chopsticks, currency, and time. The students learned how to use chopsticks. It was a big challenge to try to pick up jellybeans for the first time. The children were actively involved in the class activities and received two Chinese candies, Dabaitu and Yezitang, at the end of classes.
Kevin and his students
Speaking and guessing game in Mandarin class
On March 13th, the three Chinese teachers set up a display about the Chinese program at the Roxboro PTO/PIE Open House. At the Open House, parents went around the school to about twenty different tables and got information about various school and community activities. The Chinese instruction table showed parents the students’ work, along with two Chinese culture boards featuring Chinese zodiac, Peking Opera masks, paper cutting, calligraphy, Chinese knots, and photos of the Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival celebrations at the two schools. Parents and students also were given permission slips for enrichment Chinese class.
Display of Chinese programs at RRMS PTO/PIE Fair
Introducing the Chinese program to parents
On March 21st, at the invitation of Mr. Wright, a social studies teacher at Roxboro Road Middle School, Beverly and Emma observed Mr. Wright’s composition lesson with his American students. After class, the two Chinese teachers discussed the course content with Mr. Wright. The two teachers understood the correspondence between their courses and received a considerable benefit in teaching Chinese in American schools. Mr. Wright also said that he was very happy that the CIAU teachers could come to his class and expressed great support for the development of the Chinese program.
Beverly and Emma with Mr. Wright
On April 3rd and 4th, Mrs. Foley, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Roxboro Road Middle School, invited the Chinese teachers to participate in a lesson about ancient Chinese inventions. Mrs. Foley has been very supportive of the Chinese program and has worked with the Chinese teachers to coordinate lessons since September 2017. This particular class took the form of “Shark Tank,” a popular American TV show. Students role-played forming businesses offering ancient Chinese inventions. Sharks scored them for potential investment in their products. Emma and Beverly assisted. Beverly also served as the task of Shark's judging panel. The students were very prepared for their tasks and were very excited to see the arrival of the Chinese teachers. They asked the Chinese teachers many interesting questions, such as: What is the initial vision of papermaking? Where are the similarities and differences between Chinese coins and American coins? The teachers answered these questions patiently. Participating in American social studies classes helps the Chinese teachers to better explain Chinese history and culture and deepens the relationship between them and American teachers and students.
Mrs. Foley at her homeroom
Students introducing Chinese paper-making