Song and Story Time Wed 30th Nov 2016

Little kids…We will have some fun with Henre Tullet’s ‘Book with a Hole’ this week!

手指可以作为牙齿 (shǒuzhǐ kěyǐ zuòwéi yáchǐ) Fingers used as teeth!

手指可以作为牙齿 (shǒuzhǐ kěyǐ zuòwéi yáchǐ) Fingers used as teeth!

We may have to revisit our Face Song for this!

We will also sing a cool silly song that parents can sing at home with your little ones, called  ‘Do you put your sock/hat on your …..’.  You can sing in English, and just replace the hat/sock and the face/ body part in Chinese.  Hat is 帽子 (mào zi) and sock is  袜子 (wà zi).   We will show you in class!

Another song we will sing, to talk more about those face parts is 什么动物? (shén me dòng wù?) ‘What animal?’  Click on the link for the lyrics and a silly video of the song Aurora did a couple of years ago!  But we will sing this song in class to an instrumental version of ‘Skip to my Lou’.

Big kids, you can do all of the above too, as it will help with our fruit face activity! We will play a game with numbers 1-20, and do some groundwork to make our own pik similar to this one:

我叫苹果尤达 (wǒ jiào píng guǒ yóu dá) 'I am called Apple Yoda'

我叫苹果尤达 (wǒ jiào píng guǒ yóu dá) ‘I am called Apple Yoda’

We will do this activity on the 7th Dec, so Don’t bring fruit or devices this week, we will learn some fruit names this week though, so listen to this a few times to song along this week:

See you all Wednesday!



Sophie Koh and Contagious Creativity

This blog post was written from both my ‘Mandarin teacher’s head’ and my ‘heart’, to share the power of ‘contagious creativity’ for our children’s deeper learning and sense of being, and how helping others achieve their creative goals itself creates ‘contagious creativity’!

I would love to be able to share with you full details of alternative artist Sophie Koh’s new album ‘Book of Songs’, a blend of Chinese poetry and Western classical music, and how it will help our children’s understanding of Mandarin and Chinese culture, but it is not out till March 2017!  But you can help Sophie, who is a fully independent self-funded artist, to get this 4th album released, by pledging a pre-order (only $15). You can find out the whole story behind Sophie’s new album, and pledge your support on her Pozible Page. (The page has some other cool rewards for pledging your support!). Or watch this video:

For those who may not have heard Sophie’s music, here is a little more about her, and how this album can not only help our kids with their Mandarin…but maybe their personal life goals too!

My hubby and I first saw Sophie Koh at the Darwin Festival must be 11 yrs or so ago now! We fell in love with her music and have loved following her musical journey since.  With my passionate interest in Chinese culture, and my daughter’s lifelong journey in resolving her Chinese and Australian Identity, we are drawn to journeys such as Sophie Koh’s. We have felt Sophie’s identity journey in her music, and were so excited to hear that Sophie was making an album in which she is openly sharing this resolve, (resolve as in taking seemingly inseparable parts and turning them into different forms when seen more clearly) of her Chinese Ethnicity, Pop and Classical Music! (Taken from her own Venn diagram 🙂


What Sophie is doing with this new album makes me feel invigorated in my own quest for resolve, and genuinely warms my heart that my kids have such an awesome role model.  Not just because she is creating her own musical tapestry (from existing layers of historical and cultural tapestries) for us to enjoy and appreciate. But also the commitment, the independence, the perseverance, the risk taking, the vulnerability…the creativity in the way she is making her goal happen!  My kids read through every option of pledges on her crowdfunding site (there are some awesome ideas, including house concerts and her parents making you dinner!).  They analysed the availability of spots.  They added up the possible pledge amounts.  They estimated the cost to Sophie of each pledge idea.  They discussed with wide eyed chatter.  I could see the light in their eyes illuminating their brain, I could hear the cogs in their brain in motion.  They were connecting with somebody whose music they like, and with somebody who was creatively finding a way to make their music happen.  They were already thinking about their own goals, and thinking of ways to make them happen.  This kind of deep engagement and excitement doesn’t often happen in a classroom.  It happens through contagious creativity just like this.

I shared Sophie’s video (above) to ‘Oh My Garden’ with my Middle, High and Senior School students when I was teaching at Kormilda College, Darwin.  It has footage of Sophie’s tour in China.  We talked about how difficult it is for a Western artist to gain permission to tour in China, and why they thought that Sophie’s request to the Chinese Government was accepted.  We don’t know Sophie’s full story, but we listened to her interviews, and students quickly realised that a knowledge of the Chinese language and culture played a huge part in Sophie being successful in her application.  To watch a ‘cool’ alternative artist achieving amazing goals touring China, really inspired the students, and gave them an intrinsic motivation to learning Mandarin…learning another language can really open up your world.

Well we don’t have Sophie’s new album yet, but 橄榄树 (gǎn lǎn shù) ‘Olive tree’ is one of the tracks.  Looking forward to hearing the version on the album, but in the meantime, above is Sophie singing this live.  Originally written by Sanmao, this song has a complex historical identity itself! It is a popular song in Taiwan and China, is simple, but emotional. For me it sends my mind pondering about belonging, I think of all migrant workers in China, I think of migrants in Australia, I think of my little girl, I wonder whether my ‘roaming’ off the path less travelled in life makes me lost or found…whatever meaning you find in it…it’s also a great song to learn a few Chinese words 🙂  Lyrics are at the bottom of this post.

I also just wanted to share one more video of Sophie’s, to the song ‘I understand’, which moves me whenever I watch it, and my kids love watching the making of the video too, thinking Sophie was amazingly brave to spin upside down and put her head under water to show ‘pain’ in ‘understanding’!  Again this song, about a broken relationship, makes me think of the relationships with our identities that we have within ourselves, it makes me think of how some of the Chinese community in Australia feel about their relationship with their homeland, and then leads me to think of how my little girl will think of her relationship with her Chinese identity as she journeys through her life in Australia.  Below is the video, and the making of the video which I think kids will enjoy!

I hope these examples of Sophie Koh’s work show how such creativity can not only give us the joy of being entertained, not only give us a deep and emotional understanding of culture, identity and language that no text book can give, but inspire us to engage creatively within our own world, and in turn spread this contagious creativity which makes our life so rich.

I am excited to say that we have pledged to be ‘with the band’ at Sophie’s album release concert in Melbourne.  I have sacrificed a 3 day language teachers’ PD conference, to pay for this pledge instead.  I figured giving my kids the experience of seeing Sophie’s ‘Book of Songs’ live, seeing her set up for her gig, seeing her to congratulate her personally on achieving her goal through determination and creativity, for my kids to ‘catch’ her creativity, is far better ‘PD’ for all of us than a teachers’ conference!

Again, if you want to pledge to receive her album when it is released, go to her pozible page.

Lyrics to Olive Tree:




流浪远方 流浪




流浪远方 流浪

还有 还有

为了梦中的橄榄树 橄榄树









流浪远方 流浪

bù yào wèn wǒ cóng nǎ lǐ lái

wǒ de gù xiāng zài yuǎn fāng

wèi shén me liú làng

liú làng yuǎn fāng liú làng

wèi le tiān kōng fēi xiáng de xiǎo niǎo

wèi le shān jiān qīng liú de xiǎo xī

wèi le kuān kuò de cǎo yuán

liú làng yuǎn fāng liú làng

hái yǒu hái yǒu

wèi le mèng zhōng de gǎn lǎn shù gǎn lǎn shù

bù yào wèn wǒ cóng nǎ lǐ lái

wǒ de gù xiāng zài yuǎn fāng

wèi shén me liú làng

wèi shén me liú làng yuǎn fāng

wèi liao wǒ mèng zhōng de gǎn lǎn shù

bù yào wèn wǒ cóng nǎ lǐ lái

wǒ de gù xiāng zài yuǎn fāng

wèi shén me liú làng

liú làng yuǎn fāng liú làng

Do not ask me where did i come from

For my hometown is faraway from here.

Why am I wandering here? Wandering far, wandering still.

For those little birds that are flying in the air

For those clear streams between the mountains.

For those wide and spacious grassland Wandering far, wandering still.

But there is more, For that olive tree from my dream, the olive tree

Do not ask me where did i come from

For my hometown is faraway from here.

Why am I wandering?

Why am I wandering a far off.

Wandering for that olive tree in my dream


生气只是冰山一角! Anger is only the tip of the iceberg!

Anger is only the tip of the iceberg!  生气只是冰山一角!(shēngqì zhǐ shì bīngshān yī jiǎo) (literally: anger only is iceberg one angle/tip)


My kids have hit their tweens, no explaining needed then why this was a good little project for us to do!  But whether a toddler, tween, teen, adult…we all get angry! It’s nice that we are starting to take our mental health very seriously with programs like ‘Movember’, ‘Man Up’ etc. encouraging people to TALK about their feelings.  This ‘iceberg’ project is a fantastic analogy to understanding that when we are ‘angry’, it is displayed for all of us to see.  More often than not though, anger is a secondary emotion to many primary emotions that are not so easy to see!

In Chinese we can say 看不到的感觉 (kān bù dào de gǎn jué) ‘feelings we don’t see’.

Having this big iceberg on our classroom wall now, can help us to identify what emotion may have triggered our little anger outburst…and TALK about it. It was also a really good way to learn some new words for emotions in Mandarin, in a really important meaningful mind and matter context!

The ‘talking about’ these hidden feelings is the important bit, so in Chinese we can say 你可以谈论看不到的情感。(nǐ kě yǐ hé jiā tán lùn kān bù dào de qíng gǎn)  ‘You can talk about the feelings that can’t be seen with your family’

This project could be done with any age group, just using age appropriate words. And we need to do stuff like this with our little boys and girls so that they can build on these skills into adulthood.  My kids now love to identify the triggers for Mum and Dad’s little outbursts too! Helping us with our emotional talk, as ‘we’ adults are certainly a generation that never learned how to talk about our emotions!

Here are some more piks of our iceberg, followed by a table of the primary emotions my kids and I picked that we sometimes are feeling that can lead to feeling anger, to put on our iceberg.  It was good to look at other Anger Icebergs on google and identify emotions that the kids had felt, but never been able to label before!

羞愧 xiū kuì Ashamed 无助 wú zhù Helplessness
伤心 shāng xīn Hurt 感到压力 gǎn dào yā lì Pressured
嫉妒 jí dù Jealous 担心 dān xīn Worried
尴尬 gān gà Embarrassed 害怕 hài pà Scared
累了 lèi le Tired shī wàng Disappointed
jǐn zhāng Nervous 没信 méi xìn xīn Insecure
限制 xiàn zhì Trapped wú shì Ignored

三条水母 3 Jelly Fish! Song and Story Time Wed 23rd Nov 2016

三条水母! (sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ!) Three Jelly Fish sitting on a rock set up in our garden for tomorrow!


Again, this is another song children have no problem understanding in Chinese, as it is exactly the same as the English version tune and translation.

We can use any animal that likes jumping from a rock into the water for this song, 青蛙 (qīngwā) ‘frogs’, 鳄鱼 (èyú) ‘crocodiles’ etc. (not that I have ever seen a Jelly Fish jump from a rock 🙂

It is a great song for exploring counting forwards and backwards, the concept of ‘none’ 没有 (méi yǒu),measure words, position, 上 and 下 (as in jumping on and off ) and onomatopoeia 扑通 (pūtōng) ‘splash’. Lyrics are at the bottom of post.

We have been singing lots of songs that have 上 (shàng) ‘up/above/over etc.’ and 下 (xià) ‘down/below/under etc.’ in them. In the Jelly Fish song these are also used for ‘on’ and ‘off’ (jumping up ON, and jumping OFF down).  Children soon start to make the connections! Because these are simple characters too, children can try and make them with their bodies like this:

A good song and video to keep watching for ‘Up/Down’  is the Groovi Pauli ‘Going Up Going Down’ song, which you can watch by clicking on the song name! And don’t forget our ‘Where is the teacher?’ song that has ‘Up there’ and ‘Down there’ in it.  We move our shoulders ‘Up and down’ in our Clap hands song.  Our ‘London Bridge’ activity too has ‘falling DOWN’ in there.  Here is a video I forgot I had of my kids a couple of friends singing this a few years back! You can watch it here but click on the London Bridge link for more details and lyrics of the song.


If you want to have fun at home, make some Jelly Fish, a rock and a bowl of water, or an indoor set up like this one below, and you can act out the song with your little one.  Talk about making the jellyfish out of waterproof materials so that they don’t go soggy and rip!  We used plastic bowls and cut up plastic shopping bags for tentacles.  You could also talk about the correct disposal of plastic bags so that we don’t hurt our Jelly Fish in the sea too!

Our 3 Jelly Fish rock and sea for our song!

3 Jelly Fish rock and sea you can use indoors

Here are the lyrics to the ‘Three Jelly Fish’ song  – Just sing to the English tune (We will make a video soon!)

三条水母,三条水母,三条水母,坐在岩石上,    一条跳下

两条水母,两条水母,两条水母,坐在岩石上,   一条跳下

一条水母,一条水母,一条水母,坐在岩石上,   一条跳下

没有水母,没有水母,没有水母,坐在岩石上,   一条跳上

一条水母,一条水母,一条水母,坐在岩石上,    一条跳上

两条水母,两条水母,两条水母,坐在岩石上,   一条跳上


sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ, sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ , sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào xià

liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ, liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ , zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào xià

yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào xià

méiyǒu shuǐ mǔ, méiyǒu shuǐ mǔ, méiyǒu shuǐ mǔ, zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào shàng

yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào shàng

liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ, liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ , zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào shàng

sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ, sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ , sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ, zuò zài yán shí shàng

对不起,我的中文不好!Sorry, My Chinese is not very good!

This song  is for parents, but kids normally enjoy too!  The lyrics are a typical conversation you would have when you are spotted as a foreigner in China! So the language is very useful indeed!  If you listen to the song many times, the words will stick in your head, and you are on your way to a basic conversation in China!

The skit at the beginning has no subtitles, but highlights the problems of not using the correct tone in Chinese!  The English man asks for shuìjiào (睡觉)which means ‘sleep’.  The vendor is confused and asks if he is tired! He really means to ask for  shuǐjiǎo (水饺) ‘boiled dumplings’.  A simple tone of voice can change meaning, and was obviously a challenging and funny part of this band’s ‘Transition’ language learning in Taiwan!  Enjoy the song!

Not only can a teacher use this song for great introductory conversation skills, the song can be used as a springboard for all sorts of grammar.  I like to use it to highlight a use of 了 (le). When they sing 我的中文进步了 (wǒ de zhōngwén jìnbù le) ‘my Chinese has improved’, the 了 is used to indicate a change.  The sentence is saying that there was a time his Chinese was not very good, so there has been a change.  As you will notice, the band really delay and emphasize the 了 in the song, so students copy the same emphasis when they sing! I feel the band, who are singing about their own experiences of learning Chinese in Taiwan, have probably emphasized the 了 to make a little joke!  Students of Chinese find this 了really confusing, as it has lots of other meanings too, and beginner students are always unsure for quite a while in their Mandarin learning journey whether a sentence needs 了 on the end or not!  You will often hear students say 了 as a delayed afterthought as grammar thought processes go through their head, just like the delay in the song!

This amusing take in 了 can make beginner students feel ok in this confusion, and we can use the opportunity to compare where we have heard 了 in any of the oodles of other songs that we know, and the meaning it is trying to convey…the penny then starts to drop!

But till you get to that stage, just enjoy these 3 English gentlemen singing this catchy song!

Here are the lyrics, pinyin only for space reasons, as Chinese characters and English are on the video subtitles. (Note Chinese characters on video are traditional)


duìbuqǐ wǒde zhōngwén bù hǎo

duìbuqǐ, duìbuqǐ, wǒ bù zhīdào nǐ shuō shénme

duìbuqǐ wǒde zhōngwén bù hǎo

duìbuqǐ duìbuqǐ wǒ zhǐ xiǎng gēn nǐ dāng péngyou

Hello nǐhǎo ma ? nǐde yīngwén hǎohǎotīng

nǐ shì Měiguǒrén ma? bìng búshì Měiguǒrén

wǒ shì yī wèi Yīngguó shēnshì

rúguǒ nǐ zhuānxīn tīng nǐ huì liǎojiě wǒ

duìbuqǐ wǒde zhōngwén bù hǎo


huānyíngguānglín lǐmiàn zuò

xiānshēng nǐ yào chī shénme

wǒ yào shuìjiào. nǐ hěn léi shìbúshì?

wǒ bù lěi wǒ dùzi hěn è

wǒ xiǎngyào chī shuǐ jiǎo qǐng nǐ kuài diǎn zuò


(huānyíngguānglín duì yā huānyíng lái Běijí xióng de jiā)

Oh! I am so sorry. Oh!

méiguànxì wǒde zhōngwén jìnbù le

méiguànxì, méiguànxì, wǒ hái yào gēn nǐ dāng péngyou

repeat new chorus 2 times

圣诞老人进城来了! Santa Claus is coming to town! Song and Story Time Wed 16th Nov 2016

Let’s count our fingers this week!  We can count our fingers to the same tune as the Ten Little Friends song.  Just replace 朋友 (péng you) ‘friend’ with  手指 (shǒu zhǐ ) ‘finger’.  We will use Henre Tullet’s ’10 times 10′ book to count with.  Older kids can practice this to gain more fluency with counting and measure words.  Technically for the word ‘finger’ you can use either the measure word 个 (ge) or 只 (zhī). We will stick with ‘ge’.


We will learn Groovi Pauli’s Christmas song in class over the next few weeks so that you can sing it as a family over Xmas Dinner!   Don’t forget you can buy Groovi Pauli’s albums on iTunes, he has a whole album of celebration festival songs and are great to listen to in the car!

Below the video are the pinyin lyrics and literal translation, but you can find the Chinese characters on the attached santa claus coming to town images for song that I created.  We will learn some actions with the cards so that it is easier for you to remember!

Xiǎopéngyǒu, nǐ bùyào kū
wǒmen lái yīqǐ, hāhā dà xiào
shèngdàn lǎorén jìn chéng lái liao

tā zhīdào nǐ shuìjiàole, tā zhīdào nǐ méi shuì
tā zhīdào nǐ guāi bù guāi, suǒyǐ nǐ yào guāi

literal translation:

little children, no need to cry

lets get together and be happy

santa Claus is coming to town

he knows if you are asleep, he knows if you’re not asleep

he knows if you are good or not good, so you need to be good

十个小朋友 Ten Little Friends!

My kids made these next 2 videos for our older students to understand the concept of measure words! But little kids will enjoy watching them too!

This song is a favourite because the kids know the tune and hence the meaning very easily.  (Lyrics are at the bottom of post). When the kids know it well, it can be used in their Mandarin learning journey over and over, replacing the noun friend with whatever noun you want!  The beauty is that the measure word 个 (ge) will change, depending on what is being counted.  After the kids have heard the song with several different nouns throughout their journey, they will notice the change of the measure word too.  This is just one little piece of their learning which will make measure words not such a bizarre concept for them when they get older!  It also helps students remember that 二 (èr) ‘2’ changes to 两 (liǎng) when counting things.

For the older kids, it may seem pretty basic…but learning this basic song will help them with the concept of measure words as they come across them and make connections with the song.

This next video adds a game element to the song:

The words in the video are:

现在大家玩游戏   (xiàn zài dà jiā wán yóu xì) Now everybody lets play a game.

Start to sing the song again.  This time the last line changes to:

第七个小朋友跳跳跳   (dì qī gè xiǎo péng yǒu tiào tiào tiào) The seventh friend jumps

Students then have to find the seventh friend and make him jump.  Students can play this game with whatever they are counting and change the number, noun, measure word and action.  Students can also play this game in class using themselves, changing the action, and the correct student (the third, fifth or whomever has been called) needs to stand and do the action.

The lyrics to the song in the first video are:

一个两个三个小朋友 (yí gè liǎng gè sān gè  xiǎo péngyǒu) 1,2,3 little friends

四个五个六个小朋友 (sì gè wǔ gè liù gè  xiǎo péngyǒu)4,5,6 little friends

七个八个九个小朋友 (qī gè bā gè jiǔ gè  xiǎo péngyǒu) 7,8,9 little friends

十个可爱小朋友 (shí gè kěài xiǎo péngyǒu) 10 cute little friends

Remember another song that we have done in class that helps us build the concept of measure words and 二 (èr) ‘2’ changing to 两 (liǎng)? Remember 两只老虎 (liǎng
zhī lǎo hǔ) – those two tigers??  Here is the video again, and the words underneath.  In this case the measure word is 只 (zhī), which is a common measure word for many animals. After you have listened to the tiger song again, could you replace the ‘little friends’ song with ‘tigers’ in Mandarin?  Don’t forget to change the measure word!

一只没有 尾巴

liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ, liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ
pǎo dé kuài, pǎo dé kuài
yī zhī méi yǒu ěr duǒ
yī zhī méi yǒu wěi bā
zhēn qí guài, zhēn qí guài

Two Tigers, Two Tigers
Running very fast, Running very fast
One has no ears, One has no tail,
How strange! How strange!

你喂熊猫吗?Did you feed the panda? Song and Story Time 9th Nov 2016

你喂熊猫吗? 喂了 (Nǐ wèi xióng māo ma? wèi le). 'Did you feed the Panda? Yes I fed it'.

你喂熊猫吗? 喂了 (Nǐ wèi xióng māo ma? wèi le). ‘Did you feed the Panda? Yes I fed it’.

The older kids will be learning how to set their tablet devices up this week to be able to type in Chinese!  So don’t forget to bring your devices! When they get the hang of it, they will be able to make their own piks like the one above, or even videos like the one below that Aurora and Lucas made.

Aurora and Lucas had seen Groovi Pauli’s video of some of his students singing 你喂熊猫吗?(nǐ wèi xióng māo ma?) ‘Did you feed the Panda?’ so they decided to do their own version and ‘movie maker’ video to go with it.  They will treat both the little and older kids to a little puppet show version of the song this story time! It is a good song to learn, lots of useful language in there!

Here are the words, followed by Groovi Pauli’s version:

你为熊猫吗?喂了。    熊猫吃饱了吗?吃饱了。

你喂它什么?比萨饼。  他吃了比萨饼吗?吃了。

他吃了多少? 很多。   它还好吗?肚子疼。

他睡了吗?睡了。      他睡多久?很久。

他睡在哪里?树上。    他生病了吗?生病。

他吐了吗?吐了。      你叫谁?兽医。

兽医来了吗?来了。    他看了熊猫吗?看了。

他说什么?            熊猫不要吃比萨饼!

nǐ wèi xióng māo ma wèi le  xióng māo chī bǎo le ma chī bǎo le

 nǐ wèi tā shén me bǐ sà bǐng tā chī le bǐ sà bǐng ma chī le

tā chī le duō shǎo hěn duō      tā hái hǎo ma dù zi téng

tā shuì le ma shuì le               tā shuì duō jiǔ hěn jiǔ

tā shuì zài nǎ lǐ shù shàng       tā shēng bìng le ma shēng bìng

tā tù le ma tù le                      nǐ jiào shéi shòu yī

shòu yī lái le ma lái le           tā kān le xióng māo ma kān le

 tā shuō shén me xióng māo bù yào chī bǐ sà bǐng

Did you feed the panda?  Yes (fed)    Is the panda full?  Yes (full)

What did you feed it?  Pizza.               He ate pizza?   Yes (ate).

How much did he eat? Lots               Is he OK?  Belly hurts

Did he sleep? Yes (slept)                      How long did he sleep for? A long time

Where did he sleep? In a tree             Is he sick?  Yes (sick)

Did he vomit?    Yes (vomited)           Who did you call? The vet

Did the vet come?  Yes (came)            Did he see the panda? Yes (saw)

What did he say?       Panda must not eat pizza!




发出亮光!Sending light!


After researching all about Energy Poverty, making solar buddy lights, and spending a day without electricity,  and linking our learnings to the Global Goals, it was time to promote an ‘Awareness and Fundraising Event’.  Here is the video the kids made to upload to a few local community Facebook groups to let them know where and when they would be there to share their learnings about Energy Poverty and the Solar Buddy Project with the community:

The kids do Sandgate Parkrun every week, so decided to set up their awareness stand at the Parkrun meetup point.  The organisers of Parkrun were happy to let everybody know about what the kids were doing.  Aurora even stood up in front of over 300 Park Runners to share their learnings of Energy Poverty and their goal to raise $40 to send two solar buddy lights to kids in Uganda. She finished her speech by kicking an inflatable world globe into the crowd shouting ‘Let’s kick a Global Goal!’

The kids raised the $40 they needed to send their lights to kids in Uganda, but the money kept coming…they ended up raising an additional $100 to send 5 more lights to kids in Uganda!  Most importantly, they got to speak to so many people, including children and a couple of teachers, about the Solar Buddy Project, the Global Goals and what they can do to help kick some more goals!

The kids have learned a lot of skills running this project from start to finish…researching, creating their display, promoting, organising an awareness and fundraising event…many skills they can now transfer to their next project.  Of course as always, we learned many new Chinese words, ones that we don’t use around the house very often in Chinese…but ones that the kids will see many times again as we embark on more projects to be part of achieving the Global Goals!

组织一个筹款活动 zǔ zhī yī gè chóu kuǎn huó dòng Organise a fundraising event 乌干达 wū gān dá Uganda
增强人们对能源贫穷的意识 zēng qiáng rén men duì néng yuán pín qióng de yì shí Raise awareness about energy poverty 实惠的清洁能源 shí huì de qīng jié néng yuán Affordable and Clean Energy
太阳能 tài yáng néng Solar energy 良好的健康与福利 liáng hǎo de jiàn kāng yú fú lì Good Health and Well-being
全球目标 quán qiú mù biāo Global goals 没有贫穷 méi yǒu pín qióng No Poverty!


别跳在我沙发上!Don’t jump on my sofa! Song and Story Time Wed 2nd Nov 2016

We might even let the older students enjoy this story this week 🙂 About 3 cheeky cows jumping on chicken’s sofa!


This is a great book by Jan Thomas, as children just have this innate desire to jump on the sofa, and so relate to the cows’ inability to control themselves, their regret as they are reminded they shouldn’t do it, and how they get around promising not to do it again!   It’s also really a great book to use repetitive and meaningful Chinese to the children.  It reinforces lots of phrases we use in the classroom regularly, and reinforces ‘Up Down’.  It will help the students talk about the location of things by using the location marker 在 (zài). Eg.

哪里? niú zài nǎ lǐ? literally ‘Cow is located where?’

you can then answer with exactly where they are:

沙发上。 niú zài shāfā shàng. literally ‘Cow is located sofa on’

To get this location marker stuck in your head, don’t forget our teacher song!

You can download a lovely finger puppet activity to act this story out at home, on the author’s website Jan Thomas Books.

Here are some of the words the children hear when sharing this book in Chinese:

小鸡           xiǎo jī                            Little chicken
小牛           xiǎo niú                         Little cow
沙发           shāfā                             sofa

准备好了吗?              zhǔnbèi hǎo le ma?                      Are you ready?
准备好了!                  zhǔnbèi hǎo le!                            Ready!
跳上跳下                      tiào shàng  tiào xià                        Jump up and down
跳舞                              tiàowǔ                                              Dance
扭来扭去                      niǔ lái niǔ qù                                  Wiggle around
在沙发上                      zài shāfā shàng                               on the sofa

别!                              biè!                                                   Don’t!
别跳!                          biè tiào!                                           Don’t jump!
别跳舞!                      biè tiào wǔ!                                     Don’t dance!

Here is the song the older students were introduced to last week to understand the really common usage of 上下 (shàng xià) or ‘Up / Down’ in Chinese.  Another cool song by Groovi Pauli!  Little kids will like singing the main part of this song! Lyrics are below.

shàng shàng shàng going up up up,
xià xià xià going down down below

上上上going up up up, 下下下going down down below.


In the up down song we sing in class, a few examples of shàng and xià are explored.  Use these around the house /community.  Let Groovi Pauli help you pronounce these by watching the video lots of times!

shàng chuáng – Getting in bed
shàng chē – Getting in the car
shàng lóu – Going up the stairs
shàng kè – starting class

xià chuáng – getting out of bed
xià chē – getting out of the car
xià lóu – going down the stairs
xià kè – finishing class