Homeschool Chinese: Do You Know Your Chinese Cities?
[caption id="attachment_1774" align="aligncenter" width="533"] "Your character looks great, Jiejie!"[/caption]
We are excited to share that we will be traveling to China in the next calendar year. In preparation, Laoshi has been putting together a few activities to not only teach the kids but to help me as well. The lesson I posted earlier on Chinese money was one ... and most recently, this fun trivia game.
[caption id="attachment_1776" align="aligncenter" width="533"] Sorry for the blurry image .. but it shows the game setup.[/caption]
On the wall is a map of China with the provinces and major cities labeled. On the table is a numbered grid and six stacks of note cards each representing one of the major cities we will visit while we are in China - Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and XiangGang (Hong Kong). The grid has 12 rows, two rows for each of the cities. I don't recall exactly how many columns there are but you could have as many or as few as you desire. Beginning in the upper left corner of the game board (in the picture this corner is in the lower right side near Laoshi and Jiejie's eyes are directed there), the squares are numbered 1-6, then you step down and move back along the squares numbered 7-12. These squares correspond to the first city - Beijing. When you step down again to the third row, you arrive in Xi'an and the numbered squares (13-18) move along the row. You then step down again, moving back once more along the numbered squares 19-24. The game continues in this way, in a zig zag fashion until you have reached the bottom at which point the numbers move up, again in a zig zag fashion. Upon reaching the top, you then move down again.
[caption id="attachment_1773" align="aligncenter" width="533"] "I'm confused," upon drawing a fact card and seeing only two characters, neither of which she knew.[/caption]
I know that isn't very clear but essentially, every 12 squares, you move into a different city. We take turns rolling a die and move the number of spaces along the grid as indicated on the die. Upon arriving in a new city, all the players ask, "Where are you? ／Nǐ zài nǎlǐ? 你在哪里？" The player responds, "I am in ______. ／Wǒ zài ______。我在 ______。" He then draws a card from that city's stack of fact cards and reads it aloud. The facts are similar for each city and as you proceed the same information is revealed for all six cities. We are encouraged to take notes, specifically highlighting the location of the city on our own map and writing down the Chinese character for the city.
[caption id="attachment_1775" align="aligncenter" width="378"] Some of my notes during the game[/caption]
The facts revealed were as follows: identifying location on the map, Chinese character for the name of the city, foods specific to that province or city, and various must-see attractions. It was an awesome game ... we learned so much and the best part was that it was cooperative. Points were not awarded and thereby everyone was a winner! :)
Here's a template for the China Trivia Game Cards that we used. Feel free to create your own or share how you learn the cities in China.