Some of my older students are learning the months of the year this week! They are really easy, because once you can count in Chinese, and know the word for month 月 (yuè), then you know the months! One of my students pointed out that the character for month in Chinese also means ‘moon’. That’s because months in China were originally counted by the moon cycle!
Learn this song so that you know the months off by heart:
Lyrics to the song are:
yī nián yǒu jǐ ge yuè ？ qǐng nǐ gào su wǒ 。
yī yuè ， èr yuè ， sān yuè ， sì yuè ， wǔ yuè ， liù yuè ， qī yuè ， bā yuè ， jiǔ yuè ， shí yuè ， shí yī yuè ， shí èr yuè
méi yǒu shí sān yuè ！
How many months in a year? Please let me know.
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.
There is no month 13!
Key words we will repeat are 我的 (wǒde) ‘my’ 在哪里 (zài nǎ lǐ) ‘where’ and of course clothes: 袜子 (wà zi) ‘socks’ 背心 (bèi xīn) ‘vest’ 短裤 (duǎn kù) ‘shorts or undies’ 牛仔裤 (niú zǎi kù) ‘jeans’ 毛衣 (máo yī) ‘jumper’ 鞋子( xié zi) ‘shoes’.
Children will also starting from this week each take turns taking Dawei or Lili the Teddy Bear home each week！ They are visiting Brisbane from China, and need a family to look after them every week, to help them get dressed each morning, and undressed each night！ Children will also take Dawei’s or Lili’s ‘diary’ home with them, to enter a drawing or photograph of them helping Dawei or Lili get dressed, and sticking a sentence to accompany the drawing! For parents wanting more vocab, or if any other Chinese teachers are wanting to do a similar activity with their students, you can click on the following PDF : Dawei’s diary cover page This cover page will be already inserted into the diary when your child takes it home.
Here is a song I wrote (to the tune of the Addams Family), to help you remember clothes vocab! My wonderful kids made a video to it so that you can watch to sing along to. Lyrics are below. They recorded and edited themselves and are becoming my best little teaching assistants 🙂
wǒ chuānshàng wǒ de Chènshān, wǒ chuānshàng wǒ de duǎnkù,
wǒ chuānshàng wǒ de wàzi, wǒ kànshàngqù hěn kù.
wǒ chuānshàng wǒ de jiākè, wǒ chuānshàng wǒ de xiězì,
wǒ daishàng wǒ de màozi, ,wǒ kànshàngqù hěn kù.
我带上我的帽子, , 我看上去很酷 (repeat chorus)
Translation: Chorus: Getting Dressed (clap clap), Getting Dressed (clap clap), Getting Dressed, Getting Dressed, Getting Dressed (clap clap), I put on my shirt, I put on my shorts, I put on my socks, I look very cool, I put on my jacket, I put on my shoes, I put on my hat, I look very cool. Adults can click fingers, children can clap, or they might like to just imitate you clicking fingers. Replace shorts with skirt using ‘qúnzi’ 裙子 if you want to! More vocab is on the PDF above.
Our older students are going to save our planet this week, by learning a song to help us save electricity! In doing so we will also get to learn lots of useful vocab of things we use everyday in the house. Remembering to turn things off to save electricity can be hard…but if we actually have to think harder to say ‘Turn it off’ in Chinese, and by making signs in Chinese next to some of our switches…it might help us to not only learn some Chinese…but help us to remember to TURN IT OFF!
Here is the Groovi Pauli song that we will learn.
I made a ‘Turn it off Powerpoint’ with the lyrics of the song on, with images to help students with the meaning of each line. Singing this song with kinaesthetic gesture in class will also help reinforce the meaning. Click here to download the lyric and image Powerpoint Slide Show turn it off pp
This video, Groovi Pauli helps you to understand the song:
Here are some piks of signs that my kids made to stick next to some powerpoints in our home to help us remember to ‘Turn it off’.
We will make a some signs in class that you can take home and stick next to something at home that you sometimes forget to ‘Turn off!’.
Here are the links to the videos we watched with the older kids this week, to show the extent of how Chinese is a language built on homonyms!
There are lots of examples of Homonyms in English, ’There, their’, ‘two, too, to’, ‘buy, by’ etc. Words that sound the same but have different meanings. But this happens much more in Chinese! 星星 猩猩 are both pronounced ‘xīng xing’, even have the same tone, but the first means ‘Star’ and the second means ‘Gorilla’.
Homonym in Chinese is 同音异义词 (tóng yīn yì yì cí) meaning ‘same sound different meaning word’.
To highlight this, we can use the poem in the The Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den施氏食狮史; Shī Shì shí shī shǐ; literally: “The Story of Mr. Shi Eating Lions”) by Yuen Ren Chao. Every syllable in this poem is pronounced shi!
Here is the poem with the Chinese characters (note characters are traditional, I will add the simplified version below)
Here is the poem read out with the English translation for you as it is read:
We will read this book this week …拉㞎㞎 (lā bǎ ba), or ‘Doing a Poo’ for both our Wednesday and Thursday sessions. We have some lovely little Panda Cubs that came to our first session on Thursday last week, and we will be joined by a couple more this week…looking forward to having fun with these little ones on their Mandarin learning journey!
We will heave some fun with the tones of Mandarin through some funny parts of our story, for more info on the tones in this story you can see an old blog post on tones and poo!
We will get to chat lots about colours…as our main character in the story has to try many toilets with different coloured doors! 这是什么颜色？ zhè shì shén me yán sè？ What colour is this? A strategy to remember the colour names to answer the questions will be going through our colour songs.
We will sing lots of songs, but keeping with the theme we will have to dance and sing to the cool ‘Wiping Bottom’ song! For the full transcript and lyrics of this video, you can visit an old blog post on ‘Wiping Bottoms’.
Following from last week with our Thursday group, we will also play our Big Green Monster Puppet game
To remind us of our face parts to play this game you can click on this link and watch our face song, this is a little video of Aurora singing this for you! Plus the lyrics to sing along to!
The song we use to play the game is here Where is my Friend? – We don’t actually play this song in class, we will use the basic lyrics though to ‘substitute’ the word ‘Friend’ for whatever we are looking for in class when we play a game…but here is the link to the very original and well known song in Chinese if you want to become familiar with the tune and basic lyrics!
And also sing this new lovely song ‘Time to Swim’ while we do an under the sea dance! We don’t have a link to this song anywhere, but Aurora played it on the keyboard and sang along so that we could upload for you to sing along to at home! Sorry, we didn’t have the tools to make a great sound recording! But better than nothing! We might record our dance of it this week to upload! Lyrics below:
海狮海豚海马水母 海狮海豚海马水母 游啊游，游啊游，多么逍遥， 游啊游， 游啊游，乐悠悠
hǎi shī hǎi tún hǎi mǎ shuǐ mǔ， hǎi shī hǎi tún hǎi mǎ shuǐ mǔ，yóu a yóu ， yóu a yóu ， duō me xiāo yáo ， yóu a yóu ， yóu a yóu ， lè yōu yōu
Kids have been busy making our new Dancing Lion 舞狮 (wǔ shī) for all the kids to participate in a Lion Dance at our Song and Story Time this week!
It does not have eyes yet…its eyes are closed at the moment! On Wednesday at our special Chinese New Year story time, we will have a special ceremony called 开光 (kāi guāng) which means ‘opening light’. We will use a calligraphy brush to dot eyes on our lion, sometimes called ‘Dotting the eye’, which means our lion will then be able to ‘see’ and be ready for us to make a noise and have a dance together, to scare away any bad things for the New Year!
Here is a pik of a 开光 (kāi guāng) ceremony.
Kids can easily make their own dancing lion head, just grab a cardboard box, paint it (red and gold are good Chinese colours, but there are dancing lions of all colours!!). Make a cut similar to the one in our piks, so that the mouth drops down, making an authentic looking Dancing Lion mouth, and also makes a hole for children holding the head to see out of! Then search for some piks of Dancing Lions, and decorate with anything shiny, sparkly, feathery or furry! Don’t forget to dot his eyes before he dances!!!! Use a piece of material for other children to get under behind the lion head….usually only 2 people for head and tail…but of course we will have a long parade of children under our really long Lion!!!!
Here is a song I wrote that children can sing to while dancing with their Lion, don’t forget to bang drums and bash cymbals to make a noise too! Wooden spoons and pans work really well!!! Sing the song to the tune of ‘London Bridge’. (For details of some of the other things we will do this story time visit our Chinese New Year Story Time page
看看舞狮跳舞跳 跳舞跳 跳舞跳
kàn kan wǔ shī tiào wǔ tiào tiào wǔ tiào tiào wǔ tiào
kàn kan wǔ shī tiào wǔ tiào
xīn nián kuài lè
Look at the Dancing Lion dancing and jumping, dancing and jumping, dancing and jumping
Look at the Dancing Lion dancing and jumping,
Happy New Year!
Then replace the bold with 尾巴摇 (wěi ba yáo) ‘shaking tail’, and 转个圈 (zhuǎn gè quān) ‘turn around’.
Happy Dancing! Get ready to dance and make some noise on Wednesday 🙂
Little kids and mums also learned why the Chinese character 福 (fú) is hung everywhere in China, and why you often see it hung upside down. Below Lucas is holding it the right way, Aurora is holding it upside down. Can the older students find out why before they come to class??? See if you can and let me know on Wednesday!!!!