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I'm looking for inspiration. My children wanted to learn about China for our Around the World theme, first it was animals especially Pandas which inspired some fantastic writing from them. They also want to learn about (their words) 'what people in China look like and sound like'. One little girl has brought in her Chinese dresses and her daddy has been teaching her some mandarin words - I think he's either worked or lived in China and as she's really quite a shy little one I'd like to make the most of this but I'm wary of becoming too stereotyped in what we look at. The class has no mix of ethnicities at all. Any ideas/suggestions?

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do you have any chinese supermarkets in your area? they are usually full of fantastic bits and pieces (abc does had a post about tapioca pearls a while ago). Im not going to suggest chinese new year...because you'll have already thought of that! I absolutely agree about the non stereotypical ideas...that's how we end up with generations of children thinking all people who live in Africa live in mud huts surrounded by lions!!

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Lions? I was embaressingly old before I knew they weren't surrounded by tigers;)

 

How about looking at Chinese writing and Chinese art. I started an A level in calligraphy, its beautiful, supply them with good brushes though so get the effect.

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Thanks for all the feedback and ideas - love the idea of Chinese writing especially. I've been so touched by how much they've loved the work we've done so far. We've...

found about about different Chinese animals and related to this done panda dot to dots, some great online panda jigsaws (courtesy of national geographic kids), decorated masks and made up their own Chinese lion dance and made dancing dragons. I also made black and white playdough and they made some incredible playdough pandas.

 

I am going to read a Chinese New Year story to them next week as one boy brought one in from home and a few might have been to some local celebrations but wasn't going to do much more on it - I know that many of them have 'done' it at pre-schools and nurseries. Other ideas I had included reading a version of the story of the Willow pattern plate and they could make their own.

 

The bit I'm particularly stuck with is 'what Chinese people look like' I don't want them to go away thinking that all Chinese women wear embroidered silk dresses with high collars (which is what the little girl has) so was thinking about just googling some pictures and then having them as a general discussion point - and talk about similarities and differences as they come up. Maybe drawing pictures of themselves in special occasion clothes and then they can draw the special occasion chinese clothes too? What do you think?

 

I'm pretty sure I'll include some chopstick challenges too!

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..that's how we end up with generations of children thinking all people who live in Africa live in mud huts surrounded by lions!!

 

:o You mean they don't?! :blink: xD :lol:

 

Helen - could you find anything interesting on You Tube?

 

I only suggest that as the school that my granddaughters attend seem to use this a lot..........

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It's probably too late to buy this DVD for this topic, http://www.childseye...products_id=195 I would highly recommend it to show how different cultures/religions celebrate festivals through a child's eye view....the children in my class love watching them and the Chinese boy in the Chinese New Year video is particularly funny...... In fact I won the 2 Festival DVDs in a FSF competition!

 

As you have commented, it is important not to stereotype. I am guessing the only Chinese people in your local community work in a restaurant or take away and most Chinese people on TV are either martial arts fighters, scientists or chefs! I live in London so there is a real ethnic mix (I am also half-Chinese/English), we talk about the special/traditional clothes that different cultures wear, but explain that most of the time they wear clothes the same as ours.

 

There are a few videos on here: http://www.bbc.co.uk...ng/china.shtml. Stereotypically, the Chinese people are dressed in traditional clothes, but a girl on it counts to 10 in Mandarin. There are also a few videos of China on the internet. I like this one: http://www.youtube.c...KM&feature=pyv. It makes me want to visit! (I have never been).

As seen on the video, there are some excellent historical buildings/landmarks in China, both traditional and more modern. Construction activities come to mind.....the Great Wall etc.

 

For guided reading, I'm making noodle soup with my class next week. I they will be reading the instuctions, chopping the vegetables up and we'll add it to some quick cook Chinese noodles (18p from Tescos), then they'll be eating them with chopsticks! (I will provide them with a fork if they struggle to eat with the chopsticks).

 

We also do ribbon dancing with some streamers (very good for strengthening their arms). How about some Tai Chi movements?

Edited by millhill
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Thank you again everyone. I'm wishing they'd wanted to 'do' China earlier as there are so many cool things we could do and it's half-term after next week and I think they'll forget it (Sunnyday - am planning to do Robin Hood though!)

 

Sunnyday - would love to use youtube but it's barred at school, I'm always forgetting - finding something cool at home and then not being able to access it.

 

Finleysmaid - I'm always finding things out on this forum that I didn't know weren't true!

 

Millhill - thank you! You are so right about perceptions - all chinese people are martial arts fighters or chefs! I'm also going to have to do a fair bit of work to convince one little boy that a chinese diet doesn't consist exclusively of pancakes with duck, cucumber and spring onion in ;) . I'm going to pinch the noodle soup idea if that's ok? I wanted to do some recipe reading this week and had been thinking about pancakes but we don't have a stove top and although it is possible (apparently) to do microwave pancakes they don't look very appetising! I've been wanting to start introducing challenges to my class and I think this topic could be a good one for it.

 

I am actually really proud of why we're doing this - my head was in my class yesterday and one little boy was showing his dancing dragon off - the head asked why they were making dragons and got 'because we're doing about China' as a reply. He then asked why we were learning about China. The little boy didn't know but I know the head assumed it was because of Chinese New Year which it isn't, it really is just because they wanted to!

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The book Cleversticks is brilliant to explore that everybody is good at something, especially useful for children that lack confidence to maybe give things ago. Listen to Chinese music, ribbon dancing. Cook vegetable noodle soup, lots of cutting skills, weight, size, capacity etc. If you have a cohort of children with names that are quite traditional, there is a lovely website that will translate the English name into Chinese and you can print them off. Food tasting, our local library had lots of lovely books to share on China. I also had the privilege of going to China a couple of years ago, so printed off pictures of the Great Wall, Terracotta warriors.

You can also pick up lots of great objects from the Chinese shops selling china dishes, money wallets, Chinese cards, traditional clothes worn, posters etc. have fun.

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Would they be interested in finding out about all the inventions and ideas that originated from China? Seem to recollect that umbrellas originated there lots of every day items we take for granted are rooted in Chinese culture I seem to remember

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Re the YouTube in schools thing - I use a site called KeepVid on my Mac. I've added it to the bookmarks toolbar and when I find something I want to use from YouTube or another video clip I then click on the KeepVid tab and it converts it to am MP4 for me to save to my pen drive and then use in school. All that makes me sound very techy but I stumbled on it by accident. I know that one works on Macs but I did read there were others too for non-Macs. Works nearly every time for me.

 

Also I've used the CBeebies Let's Celebrate clips for talking about different festivals with my reception. It's been especially useful for looking at similarities across cultures and differences in the festivals. My lot are particularly taken with the idea of cleaning the house and decorating it before a festival. I'd like to say it results in a nice and tidy classroom but unfortunately their "decorating" usually takes us into the realm of a junk yard!

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Shame about youtube..for my children this week and chinese new year,in my nursery I accessed on you tube

1) great wall of china (boys found a picture on chinese calendar

2) chinese market and what children buy (We had chinese snack....'do they have tescos in China ?'

3) chinese kindergarden children learning english (they loved that !)

4) New year parade with dragons.

5) Best of all a tutorial on how to write chinese words......

Controlled, you tube is fine. Made our week extra special......moving,current life from China....

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Guest sn0wdr0p

I've just got home after going in to cook the chinese new year feast for my nursery and OOS club. Spring rolls, prawn crackers, sweet and sour chicken and a chinese curry, noodles and rice. Money in a red envelope for each child, a fortune cookie, chopsticks, a mandarin and 'chinese money' .

 

I have left them doing a chopstick relay race, looking at bamboo and reading cleversticks. I also got some cheap paper lightshades from ASDA which they have painted red and later when dry they are doing some chinese symbols with black markers then adding some gold glitter. Plus massive circles which they decorate then make into chinese coolie hats.

 

We also whispered what animal they are(they all want to have been born in the year of the dragon) then they have to act and sound like the aminal to find the others in their group.

 

All good fun but took me forever to do the pots afterwards. Ready for my cup of tea now.

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I've just got home after going in to cook the chinese new year feast for my nursery and OOS club. Spring rolls, prawn crackers, sweet and sour chicken and a chinese curry, noodles and rice. Money in a red envelope for each child, a fortune cookie, chopsticks, a mandarin and 'chinese money' .

 

I have left them doing a chopstick relay race, looking at bamboo and reading cleversticks. I also got some cheap paper lightshades from ASDA which they have painted red and later when dry they are doing some chinese symbols with black markers then adding some gold glitter. Plus massive circles which they decorate then make into chinese coolie hats.

 

We also whispered what animal they are(they all want to have been born in the year of the dragon) then they have to act and sound like the aminal to find the others in their group.

 

All good fun but took me forever to do the pots afterwards. Ready for my cup of tea now.

 

Wow Sn0wdr0p - I am seriously impressed :1b

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Thanks Sunnyday,

 

Luckily I have opted out of cooking pancakes for 30 tomorrow and have bought some ready made instead. Three course Valentine's lunch on Thursday though. Melon for starter (nice and easy) bacon wrapped chicken breasts as main then heart shaped strawberry cake for dessert. Having the children making heart shaped shortbread biscuits for their afternoon snack with pink icing - naughty but nice and only once a year. I have even managed to find some heart shaped napkins. The children are making the decorations for the table and around the room and Valentine's cards for loved ones and bunches of flowers made out out heart shaped petals. I have bought some cheap tealight holders from ASDA for them to use glasspaint to decorate then have some battery operated tealights for ambiance!!

 

Gosh I love my job this week. So easy to plan for.

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Hi,

 

I use this website a lot: http://www.newburypark.redbridge.sch.uk/langofmonth/ - loads of languages, children say words and phrases on screen. My class love it. We usually do hello/goodbye, yes/no, please/thank you for each language we look at, and this year's class love counting to 10 as well. Lots of fun - and it's amazing (and a little scary!) how much they remember throughout the year!

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