Saturday, March 3, 2012

Writing Chinese

We are deep into our Chinese curriculum and had a busy week learning about Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. Students had fun experiencing classroom settings where the proper behavior of Confucianism was conducted. Then they felt the peaceful harmony of Daoism’s harmony with nature, and finally felt the harsh strict rule of Legalism. We also began learning about the first emperor of China, Qin Shihuangdi. By learning about Legalism, students were able to see which style of rule the first emperor chose to use.

As well as learning about the different philosophies that developed in China during the Zhou dynasty, students got a taste of Chinese writing. They created or found their own proverb and translated it from English to Chinese. Then they copied the Chinese translation onto parchment paper, and created a decorative display of their Chinese writing. It is one of my favorite projects for students to do because when they are finished they have a beautiful piece of art. Students also enjoy working with the Chinese characters. The Chinese language is somewhat of a mystery to them since it is based on ideograms or characters instead of alphabet letters.
Next week we’ll begin looking at inventions of the Chinese. They were a very inventive people who we can thank for such innovations as the segmental arch, the crossbow, fireworks, gunpowder, the kite, silk, porcelain, and many, many other things.

Below are pictures of students experiencing Confucianism and Daoism in their groups and working on their Chinese writing project.

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