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
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
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!:)
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
Posted in Animals, Arts and Crafts, Asia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
Tagged education, elephants, multicultural
Elephants are the largest land animal and can live up to 60 years. There are 2 basic species of elephants: the African elephant (whose ears are larger, look like the continent of Africa!) and Asian elephants (whose ears are smaller, and look like the shape of India!). Asian elephants are an endangered species, with only 25,000 wild elephants living in: Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Nepal, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, and southern China.
We saw this lovely elephant at the St. Louis Zoo (Missouri, US).
Elephants have been highly regarded to Asian culture for thousands of years; here, elephants have been domesticated and are used for religious festivals, transportation and to move heavy objects. Other fun facts:
- they are vegetarians, and eat 400 pounds of green leaves, bark, branches, fruit and grass daily- they weigh over 10,000 pounds!
- they have 6 sets of teeth that wear down and are replaced
- the tusks are actually incisor teeth that elephants use to dig in the ground for roots and break apart tree bark. In Asian elephants, only the male has tusks
- the elephant’s nose has 40,000 muscles and can pick up tiny objects
Here are some wonderful books whose main characters are Asian Elephants! Continue reading
Posted in Animals, Asia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Literature, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
If you’re looking for a simple pho recipe, you’ve come to the right place… and if you’ve never heard of Vietnamese Pho, be prepared to be impressed. The unique, rich, aromatic broth is what makes this dish so amazing, but this noodle dish is much more than just a soup: it is a hearty bowl of chicken, noodles and vegetables that adults and kids enjoy. 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
Posted in Asia, Celebrations, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, The Philippines, Tibet, Vietnam
Tagged Chinese New Year, education, multicultural
There are so many great ideas for Chinese New Year crafts! Hands-on crafts help make the celebration come alive to your children. Once your class has discussed the Chinese New Year celebration and the many symbols of the festival, it is time to make a craft. There are several simple crafts that I have used with children, from preschool through elementary.
Spring blossoms: simple painting project with brown and pink paint, paint brushes (for the twigs) and cotton balls (for the blossoms).
The same project for slightly older kids: Continue reading