The Intra Curricular Activities Teachers (ICATs) have a culture-in-focus event in the month of February. This year, we are learning about China and the Chinese culture. It is so exciting for me to share my background, culture, and upbringing to my cohort, students, and The Parish School! Students are exploring and learning about the Chinese culture in drama, art, library, p.e., computers, music, and martial arts classes. We are culminating the learning with a celebration on Wednesday, March 7th in the library. We are having two cultural parties, one for Laurel Oak and one for Post Oak. At both parties, the students will perform the dragon dances and lion dances they have learned, demonstrate martial arts, eat/try Chinese food, play Chinese games, and read Chinese stories.
Chinese New Year celebrations last fifteen days (started on January 23, 2012), and with our culture in focus month, I am feeling that my usual celebration is lasting six weeks! I take it as more good luck to come in the year of the dragon!
In all the ICATs, students and teachers are taking their shoes off before entering class. In China, people take off their shoes to keep the house neat, clean, and to show respect to the owners of the house. I tell students that our shoes travel in the mud, water, and playground, carrying lots of dirt onto the room and the carpet. By taking off our shoes, we keep the room clean. After taking off their shoes, students bow as a sign of respect and say hello in Chinese.
Students have learned some Chinese words:
-Hello: “ni hao” (pronounced: knee how)
-Thank you: “xie xie” (pronounced: shea shea)
-Good bye: “jia jian” (pronounced: ji jen)
-Happy new year: “xin nian fie lok” (pronounced: sun neen fi lok)
-May you prosper: “gong hay fat choy” (pronounced: gong hay fat choy)
Throughout the next couple of weeks, students are learning more about dragons (music & drama), dragon dances (music), lion (music), lion dances (music), maps of China (computers), China flag (drama), chopstick games (drama), folk stories (library & drama), calligraphy (music & art), Chinese scrolls (music), zodiac (music), kites (p.e.), Chinese jump rope (p.e.), Chinese checkers (p.e.), Chinese names (music), Chinese words (art), and making dragon and lion heads (art).
Ask your student what they have learned about China and Chinese culture. Be sure to check out all the different posts about China to learn more about what your student is learning and see pictures of them in action!