In March, the enthusiastic celebration of the Chinese New Year ended, and Chinese learning at Webutuck Central School opened a new chapter.
The Afterschool Club focused on cultural experiences. After learning about various entertainments popular in old Beijing, the students chose to pursue a Chinese Rattle Drum project. Making a Chinese Rattle Drum seemed simple, but it was very troublesome to do. Ms. Zhang and her students used paper plates to make the drum heads, Popsicle sticks for handles, glue guns as adhesives, and small bells tied to the drums. Finally, they decorated their drums with favorite Chinese characters, painted Chinese patterns, or Chinese paper cuttings, along with a Chinese knot.
Chinese Rattle Drums
This month, the 5th and 6th graders break from digital learning. After learning the most basic characters, students learned the seven days of the week. The children happily produced their own weekly books, using Chinese characters and paintings, recording their own activities for the week or their different moods for each day.
Students’ weekly books
In order to celebrate the opening day of the Confucius Institute, Webutuck School organized a painting activity and exhibition of ink paintings. The stinky smell of ink was full of temptation for the children. They used straws to create blow-ink paintings, and they were amazed at the Plum Blossom, which they had only heard about in their teacher’s story. The emergence of the Chinese national flower, plum, helps to make children full of imagination. Looking at the fine branches that he had blown, every child was very excited and asked classmates to vote for their favorites. Finally, the children's best works were displayed on the Chinese wall and the teachers were also asked to vote for their favorites. In the corridors for the next few days, enthusiastic students are always strongly recommending their works to teachers. Many kind teachers stood up to cheer for the children in their classes, and expressed their appreciation for Mandarin.
During this time, the new unit for the 7th graders was “My Family”. Due to the different textbook used, the 5th and 6th graders were already very familiar with this topic, so you could often hear the younger children guide their older brothers and sisters on how to pronounce the words correctly in the hallway. The older brothers and sisters also humbly asked the younger siblings for help.
A student’s family painting
The 7th graders are about to welcome their big Chinese test for the academic year. The seventh grade course focuses on language, and the requirements are higher for their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. In particular, the writing of Chinese characters has stumped many children. For this reason, Ms. Zhang consulted with classroom teachers and decided to devote time to counseling during the lunch break. She let the students come to practice reading and writing to help them achieve good results in the exam at the end of the year.