Finding similarities and differences when reading fairy tales from around the world hones kids’ critical thinking skills, and helps them to focus on the details. Even the Common Core Standards includes this in one of their “Reading Literature” standards:
Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures (RL.2.9.).
Are you looking for language resources of Chinese for kids? I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Manabu Nagaoka, the VP Executive Producer at Sesame Languages and Sesame Workshop. His team is working on a show called Fun Fun Elmo (乐乐Elmo), a new show with Mandarin-speaking Sesame characters that will introduce a Chinese tone, word, and stroke order of characters with animation and live action film shot in China.
While searching on-line for resources for Tet, the Lunar New Year celebration in Vietnam, I found a wonderful poster a fellow adoptive mom made for her son’s class. I asked Priscilla Holberton to share her activity here. Priscilla tries to keep up with all things Asian and adoption in Washington, DC on her web site MyAsianKidDC.com and blog MyAsianKidDC.wordpress.com, where she recently wrote her own Kindergarten lesson plan using the toys that she has collected over the years. She is the adoptive mom of a five year old boy who was born in Vietnam.
Last year, when I decided I wanted to include information about the Chinese Zodiac in my presentation of Lunar New Year in my son’s pre-K, I searched on the Internet but never found a poster-size illustration. I have been looking again this year to no avail, so I decided to make my own. Continue reading →
This weekend we got to watch a local Dragon Boat race! Have you ever seen this?
Dragon Boat racing is a very fast-growing watersport around the globe, and combined Asian fellowship and traditions. But you don’t have to be Asian to appreciate this competitive team sport and it’s fascinating history! Continue reading →
What do you know about Cinderella? Perhaps the blonde-haired, blue eyed, Disney princess? Maybe you’ve read the Brothers Grimm version from 1800′s Germany, or even farther back to the late 1600′s with Charles Perrault‘s version. Did you know that Cinderella stories are not limited to a Western European perspective, and in fact appear in more than 500 versions around the world? No one knows the true origin of the famous folktale and its universal theme of good versus evil- but we can enjoy all of the unique twists and learn about cultural values, as we read the diverse stories.
Kid World Citizen is proud to collaborate with some of the best multicultural and educational blogs on the web to present “Cinderella Story Around the World.” While this international project is only a small sampling of the versions of the folktale that are available, we worked together to provide a cross-cultural selection suitable for elementary classrooms. Continue reading →
As part of the “Cinderella Around the World” series, I have chosen to look at Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China. Yeh-Shen, (also known as Ye Xian 叶限) is one of the world’s first Cinderella stories, and was published in the 9th century (!!!!) in an anthology of stories called Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang. Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story From China is the adaptation of this ancient fairy tale, retold by Ai-Ling Louie and wonderfully illustrated by Ed Young. If you do not have access to the book, you can read the full text here. Continue reading →
Amanda “Miss Panda” Hsiung-Blodgett is the creator of the “Let’s Learn Mandarin Chinese with Miss Panda!” audio albums for young children. She is raising her two children to be bilingual in Mandarin Chinese and English. Follow her bilingual adventure with her children at Facebook and www.MissPandaChinese.com where parents and teachers can find Mandarin Chinese learning resources. Today, Miss Panda tells us all about the Mid-Autumn Festival!
The origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival or “Zhōng Qiū Jié” (中秋節) occurs on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month each year (falling in September or October on our familiar solar calendar). Continue reading →
Today’s guest post comes from Amy Broadmore, the mother of three young children ages seven, five, and two. She spends her time teaching and learning from her children, running, and searching for great picture books. She recommends children’s literature with captivating stories and gorgeous illustrations on her blog Delightful Children’s Books.
I love the ability of good stories to both entertain and teach kids at the same time. Here are ten of my favorite stories set in countries around the world. These are, for the most part, fictional stories. Yet, they introduce kids to real places and real experiences. These stories help kids imagine what it would be like to celebrate Eid in Kuwait, go on a family road trip in Australia, wait for the Biblioburro to arrive in Colombia and more. Continue reading →
Batik is a traditional textile made by hand where artisans use wax to create a design, and then dye the cloth, which resists the vegetable dyes. Originally from Indonesia, batik has symbolic meanings in its colors and designs, and people use the craft to express their creativity and even spirituality. In this easy project, kids substitute hot wax for Elmer’s blue glue and convey their own creativity by choosing images that represent themselves, and colorful paint that reflect their personalities. Continue reading →
Here is a lesson plan for elementary school students that discusses personal names, moving from one country to another, and adopting aspects of the new culture while maintaining cultural identity. I have chosen several books representing characters from different countries, for different ages levels, that tell about children that have struggled and succeeded with this assimilation. Many stories show why children have decided to keep or change their name for different reasons. These stories provoke discussion on the significance of our names and identities, the process of adapting to a new culture and language, and the challenges of making new friends.
I have been involved with the immigrant community in teaching, training, and translating for almost 20 years, and I believe that when we allow our children to understand the perspective of others, they will be compassionate and welcoming towards newcomers who might first appear “different.” After a brief summary of the books, I have included a list of discussion questions and writing prompts that ignite critical thinking skills, and allow students to put themselves in the shoes of others. Continue reading →
Boba tea, or “bubble tea,” is a Taiwanese sensational beverage that originated in hot and steamy Taichung, Taiwan tea shops during the 1980s. My friend Grace recently took me on a trip to our local Chinatown to get the ingredients and explain to me how to make this fun drink. I had no idea it was SO EASY!:)
In 2008 my husband, 3 year old daughter Vivi, and I spent 3 amazing weeks in China. This was no ordinary vacation- though we would be sightseeing and playing tourists for some of the time- this trip was to bring home our new 3.5 year old son from faraway Urumqi. I am re-writing our journal here, adding in travel tips for parents traveling with kids. My goal is to inspire families to travel together- even with kids! Continue reading →
After reading so many books that featured Asian Elephants last week, we decided we needed to do an elephant art project. First I browsed on-line for elephant images, and found some beautiful hand-embroidered pillow shams and purses. A lot of times the elephants were silver thread or silver sequins, so we decided to use foil. I had seen a technique on pinterest that I wanted to adapt (see original post here), so we gathered our supplies: foil, glue, cardboard, paints. Here is our finished project. Didn’t my son do such a great job?Continue reading →
Our school recently held an International Night, to culminate a week of fun activities: classes did lots of art projects, such as making Multicultural Dolls and Diversity Quilts, every student made a flag of their heritage, they sang tons of songs from different genres around the world in music class, we shared bread from around the world on our International Bread Day, and held a colorful parade of traditional clothes through the hallways.
During International Night, I called for parents to coordinate “Country Tables” that were to be set up in the cafeteria during our spring Open House. I began months before, looking for volunteers to be the leaders of a particular country: we have large populations of families from China, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, and Indonesia, and I needed at least one person to be “in charge” of each team of volunteers. Continue reading →