27 December 2008

Christmas comes to Fu Xing

I could either write one really long update about the holiday season in Taiwan, or I can break it up into hopefully digestible bites. So, here's the holiday update on how Christmas came and went at Fu Xing Primary School. We spent about two weeks of class doing holiday-related activities... I could write about it, or I could show pictures. I think I know what all my blog-readers prefer.

First, I taught them about the holiday season in the US (I even tried to talk about Chanukah before Susan told me it was too hard to understand...). Then they drew/colored pictures to decorate the classroom and listened to Christmas music. No pictures of that.

Second, they wrote letters to Santa. Some choice entries:

(As you can see, some didn't quite grasp the concept of a form letter.)

Third, my fifth graders put on a Christmas recital in their music class. It involved "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Santa Claus is coming to Town," in English!

Here they are, performing "Jingle Bells," or 叮叮當, on the recorder. Did you know that recorders come in soprano, alto, tenor, and bass varieties?

A performance of "We Wish you a Merry Christmas:"

Also, we watched the old cartoon version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" in all my classes... 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders alike found it hilarious, captivating, and comprehensible-- even without subtitles. I'm sad that I no longer have the ability to laugh at cartoons just for being funny-looking. Anyway, the movie got across the message that I thought many of them needed to hear: Christmas is not defined by presents or decorations or fancy food.

A picture of the kids enjoying the Grinch (I'd never seen them pay this much attention all semester):

My grinch lesson board:

For those classes who had time, I wanted to tell my favorite Christmas story, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." The language is a little steep, though, even for native English speakers of the same age, so, with the help of my fantastic co-teacher Susan, I translated it into a Chinese poem with (approximately...) the same meter and rhyme scheme. Then the students drew/wrote their reactions:

Some sample "reflections" on the poem:
Stanley, from class 4-5:
I like this poem, but is very long. X'mas's night is quiet so is good. reindeer it's fling very high. He is very fat. He has elf and toys, he want give many children. He can go any ( ), Many children has a stocking. children want a gift any years. They are happy in this day. The world is love X'mas. so I like x'mas, too.
Heidi, from class 5-3:
I like this poem, this poem is old, it is 200 years old, I like their's Santa. hope Santa can give me a computer, but Santa is not here, this poem is long, the picture is beautiful, the Santa is fat, and teh Santa is nice, hope can listen again. Merry Christmas.
If anyone is interested in my (illustrated!) Powerpoint of "Twas the Night before Christmas" with Chinese and English, let me know.

And finally, since I did have to work all day on Christmas, I figured the only way to get through it was to bring it. So, of course, I brought it. And "it" was a reindeer sweater and antlers.

So, a belated Merry Christmas to all of you, from Fu Xing Primary School!


glennie said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years from Alabama!

Aubrey said...

I have to say...

...my favorite part of this entry is your reindeer sweater.


Joanna Leigh said...

i know it's a little late but merry xmas! (im catching up!)

you have a student names heidi?? i will have to tell my mom!

miss you!