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 →
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 →
Our guest writer, internationally known folksinger Daria has traveled the globe for the last two decades, learning, sharing and making music while building communities and encouraging a new view of hope and peace for all the world’s children. She writes an excellent blog called “Making Multicultural Music: Sharing Diversity Through the Arts,” and also shares her songs, videos, and instrument on her web site “World Music for Children.” Today she is sharing with us how to make a Chinese gong for Chinese New Year.
What is a gong? It’s a large hanging percussion instrument that you strike with a stick or a beater for a wonderful, loud resonant sound that will definitely make anyone around you sit up and take notice. In ancient China, it’s said that gongs called farmers in from the fields and some were so loud that they could be heard almost 50 miles away!
Supplies: a metal, disposable roasting pan; pipecleaners or yarn; a cardboard tube from wrapping paper; paint, stickers, glitter, glue, or textured paint for decorating the gong; 12-18″ wooden dowel; electrical tape. Continue reading →
“Chinese New Year,” as it is known in English, is also known as the more encompassing name “Lunar New Year,” or the “Spring Festival” (春節 in Chinese). Besides China, it is celebrated in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Tibet, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Many countries with large Chinese populations (such as Australia, the US, and Canada) also have large Chinese New Year celebrations. Despite the diversity of the people who celebrate this widespread holiday, and their varied traditions, it is universal at this time of year to gather with family to start the new year. Teaching kids about celebrations around the world broadens their minds and increases their cultural awareness.
I have used this lesson plan for the past several years in my kids’ classes with success- the kids love the props, remember the different elements, and are engaged and having fun while learning about a very important holiday. I’ve included books, crafts, and adaptations for different grade levels, so all ages can learn about Chinese New Year! Continue reading →
(As always, the pictures in this article were taken by me unless otherwise stated. Most of these were taken in Chicago’s Chinatown, or in Beijing in the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. For permission to use them, please email me.) Chinese dragons (龙 lóng): kids, teens, and adults love them and they appear everywhere from books to tattoos to Chinese New Year Parades. Unlike European dragons, who breathe fire and must be defeated, Chinese dragons are well-meaning mystical beasts who breathe clouds, often appear in human form, and are frequent characters in ancient stories.
I love the anatomy of a Chinese dragon: the head of a camel, the horns of a stag (male deer), the eyes of a demon, the ears of a cow, the neck of a snake, the belly of a clam, the scales of a carp, the claws of an eagle, the paws of a tiger. Continue reading →