Saturday, September 17, 2016

Learning About China!

I know that typically I focus on Compassion countries, but this year I wanted to include a few other counties that went along with Five in a Row [FIAR] books we are doing with our co-op group. And many of the books we are using were recommended by Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin (if you want to learn more about this book, check out Jill's post). My goal in sharing about our activities is to give ideas to other moms of preschoolers who desire to give their kids a global perspective! And I am also wanting to record my ideas to use again when José is ready for preschool. (To view my complete plan for the year, click here.)

Since our first FIAR book was The Story About Ping by Marjorie Wise, we also started learning about China! We also read:
  • Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim
  • Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin
  • Ling and Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin
  • Ling and Ting: Together in All Weather by Grace Lin
  • Ling and Ting: Twice As Silly by Grace Lin
  • The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
  • Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong
  • New Year's Reunion by Yu Li-Quiong
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel
  • The Empty Pot by Demi

    (You may notice that the list is slightly different than the books on my plan because I wasn't able to find all my intended titles at the local library, so I subbed in some books that our library did have!) If you have time just for one book about China, we absolutely loved The Empty Pot!

    We marked where our stories are taking place, where some Chinese animals live, and found the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers on our map.

    Eric (my husband) had the great idea of showing the kids a little of Wild China and we were able to watch cormorants diving for fish, just like we read about in The Story About Ping! And we found a Chinese houseboat in this DK book:

    In watching Wild China, Juanito noticed that some of the people in the movie were praying to idols. This lead to a great opportunity to pray for the people of China, and especially our missionary friends there and whose photo is on our fridge! We ate some Chinese food--just simple stir-fry, sweet and sour chicken and rice.

    We also took some time to play with ducks in the bath...

    And to build some of what we had seen with Legos! Rosie made a houseboat like we saw in the The Story About Ping. Juanito made a houseboat too (bottom left), and we all pitched in and made rice fields (like we saw in Wild China), and the Great Wall of China. Juanito made sure to put some "bad guys" on the other side of the wall and the "good guys" climbed over to chase them away.

    Then the kids had some ideas! In reading Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same! and Ling and Ting Share a Birthday, Rosie noticed the rolling pin and asked to make dumplings with her play-doh! And Juanito decided instead of making dumplings, he'd make a birthday cake like Ling's cake!

    Juanito really wanted to make the turnip cakes from Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas. There is a recipe in the back of the book, but it's a little complicated for my taste when cooking with two enthusiastic preschoolers. So instead we made scallion pancakes...My hope was to use the How to Make Scallion Pancakes recipes, but we were out of flour so instead I used this recipe with bisquick (without the carrots and subbing chives for scallions since we have an abundance of chives in the garden).

    They were good and so easy to make!

    Finally, we did some narrations. I thought Juanito would be able to do this, although I wasn't sure if he would enjoy it. But he had a blast and even asked for instructions for drawing a duck and fish to glue into his picture of the story! Our first narration was The Story About Ping:

    He disobeyed and went to a different one and that means sin. He disobeyed God. He disobeyed his capítan. He saw a boat, he went in the boat. A niño brought him in the boat, he was in the water with a string and got Ping. The niño picked him up without being noisy and put him in the water.

    Rosie also wanted to narrate the story (I think she is calling the niño Capítan):

    He go in the barco and then he fall. Capítan fall in the agua. Ping a duck. Cuac!

    The kids loved narrating so much that we did some more narrations about our books on China! I'm having them write all their narrations in a booklet, so they're each proud that they're "writing" their own books! So we also narrated Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas. Here is Juanito's (complete with a Ninja Pig saving the day in Goldy Luck's bedroom):

    Goldy Luck trae los pasteles de turnip y los caen en el piso. Y los tres osos lloran. Ella cae de la rocking chair and she goes in the bed. Y los tres osos ven aquí a la casa y encuentran Goldy Luck en la cama de las pandas. Ella dashed home. She went to the bears y da la tazón al niño oso. Ellos cocinaron pasteles de turnip.

    Rosie had me draw the three pandas for her to color and she said:

    Goldy Luck y los tres pandas. Goldy Luck fall en piso y los pasteles cayeron en piso. Goldy Luck sleep en su cama. Goldy Luck sienta en silla and Goldy Luck fall.

    And our last narration was The Empty Pot. Juanito's retelling:

    There was an Emperor and all the children put on their best clothes to greet the Emperor. They got special flowers. There was a boy named Ping. He obeyed by telling the truth. He brought an empty lot. It was the best he could do. The pot was empty because he couldn't grow a flower because the seed was cooked. Ping became the Emperor.

    And Rosie said:

    Ping, he's a niño. He takes some flores. Puts semilla en olla. It's azul.

    We've had a great time learning about China! Next up, Spain!

    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
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