Recently at Chinese with Meggie Language School, we have begun to incorporate crafts into our Chinese class curriculum and find that craft projects work well in our immersion classroom. First, the process of making crafts is very attractive to children. Second, since we use crafts as supplements to our existing curriculum, the process of craft making is served as a content-rich learning opportunity. Since it involves a lot of interactions between students and teachers, students are benefited linguistically from crafts making projects. The following is an example of our Halloween craft project created by one of our teachers: the Different Faces of a Pumpkin. It has been conducted in our immersion classes with children over three years old.
The learning goals of the pumpkin craft include: 1). Children will be able to say the following words related to facial expressions in Chinese: 哭(cry), 伤心(sad), 笑(laugh), 开心(happy), 生气(angry), 累了(tired), 睡觉(sleep). 2). Children will be able to name two colors: 橙色(orange), 黑色(black). 3). Children will be able to understand some actions phrases such as: 贴一贴(stick together), 上颜色(color it) etc.
To warm up, we first read a picture book on facial expressions in class. Then we show six pumpkin samples with different facial expressions and explain to them one by one.
Afterwards, they are provided with several blank paper pumpkins and told that they will color them and draw facial expressions on these pumkins. Each child chooses three to four expressions they want to make.
Finally, they chain the pumpkins together as a necklace.
-Chinese with Meggie Language School, Austin, Texas