Teaching Art (Aug 2012)

Objective: Design art class curriculums and teach in Mandarin Chinese to dual language learners.

Art Class #1: Exploring the Chinese Zodiac

When asked to lead a spring 2012 enrichment class for Chinese American International School’s (CAIS’s) auxiliary program. I was very excited about my idea to explore the animals of the Chinese zodiac with lower school students. I was expecting at most 12 students, but only four students enrolled in the class. Despite the low turnout, I diligently designed a 13-week arts and crafts curriculum with a different lesson plans. Each week, the students worked on a worksheet practicing their writing before exploring a creative activity that highlighted one of the 12 animals. We reviewed all the Chinese zodiac animals and creative accomplishments on the last week. Classes were conducted in Mandarin Chinese.

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Art Class #2: Painting the Seasons

During the first four-week session for CAIS’s 2012 Mandarin immersion summer camp, I led and designed a seasons painting project for different groups up to 12 students, twice a day everyday. Students started with a drafted drawing of a scenery that would be consistent through their paintings. Each week, the students used acrylic paints to paint their scene on a small canvas in a different season. They were only given a few season inspired colors to paint (with exception of black and white) and were encouraged to mix and make new colors to incorporate into their painting. The painting project started with spring (春) and then progressed through summer (夏) fall (秋) and winter (冬). Classes were conducted in Mandarin Chinese.

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Art Class #3: Painting the CAIS Mission

During the second four-week session for CAIS’s 2012 Mandarin immersion summer camp, I led and designed a CAIS mission painting project for different groups up to 12 students, twice a day everyday. Classes began with a discussion of what the CAIS mission was and why it was important. Younger students learned about 立足世界 / Create Your Place in the World. Older students learned about 精益求精 / Become Your Best Self. With the same small canvases from the seasons painting project, students used masking tape to create one of the four assigned Chinese words of the CAIS mission. Students creatively painted over the tape with a pattern that was introduced. After the paint for each of the four canvases were dried, student peeled off the tape to reveal a white Chinese character that’s part of the CAIS mission. To add texture to the final project, students filled in the white space with glue and white rice. Classes were conducted in Mandarin Chinese.

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