Daily Schedule

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chinese Ideographs

Last week, we read a beautiful book called Beyond the Great Mountains. This book is quite unusual - the pages are made from rice paper and it is read from top to bottom. But the reason I chose it to introduce the class to Chinese characters (or ideographs) is that it also shows these characters in both ancient and modern forms.  Mountain peaks, tree, water, sun, fire, and many others, were introduced in a visually stimulating and beautiful way.

We also watched a couple videos about this same idea - how a very ancient language has changed over time. One of these videos offered an interactive aspect as I would pause it frequently and have children sketch their answers on white boards to the questions posed.

After practicing how to write some real ancient ideographs, I wondered if the students could also make their own? Of course they came up with some great ideas. Finally, students were challenged to write a sentence or a short story from the perspective of someone living in China thousands of years ago. They were to focus on using some actual ideographs and at least one that they made up. Here are some good examples for you to enjoy from Ella, Ava, and Niccolo (and try to figure out!)

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