Festivals and SciFi...

Trip Start Apr 17, 2010
Trip End Jul 02, 2010

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Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Monday, May 17, 2010

Our second full week of teaching found us back at the high school Monday morning. Ms. Long went to the weekly flag raising ceremony while Mr. O rearranged his desks back into groups of 4 for this day.

Mr. O's lesson for today with Senior 1 (sophomore) was the beginning of a two-part lesson on festivals and celebrations. The class discussed the purpose of festivals and celebrations first. Then, they brainstormed a list of Chinese festivals and celebrations. Mr. O learned some new Chinese holidays as a result. We shared how and why they were celebrated.

Mr. O shared two American celebrations, the Super Bowl and Oktoberfest. They were introduced to Roman Numerals with the Super Bowl number (XLV for next year in Dallas) and the term "pig out", which they found very amusing, especially when Mr. O demonstrated his best eating like a pig. The highlight of the class was when he taught them the Chicken Dance from Oktoberfest. They looked at him strangely at first, but everyone gave it a try and had a great time. Next week, we'll talk about more American holidays and practice Chicken Dancing again!

Ms. Long's lesson was about science fiction as a genre. She began the class by discussing what science fiction is and then showed a short discovery classroom video clip on Jules Verne, one of the pioneers of science fiction novels. This video clip showed part of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which the students had read a little bit about with their English teachers. After the video, students discussed the elements of science fiction they noticed within Jules Verne's novel. Their eyes were glued to the screen as the video played! They really enjoyed seeing the story in action. Many told her that they understood the story much better now that they have read about it and seen parts of the story on video!  After the discussion, Ms. Long read a story about two people on a vacation at Lake Tianchi in China. Over the past 100 years, there have been several reports of a creature similar to the Loch Ness monster, "Nessie", in Great Britain. Students had to pretend they were eyewitnesses to this extraordinary experience, and take note of the descriptions they saw. Class ended too quickly once again, so stayed tuned for part 2 next Monday.

We took well deserved naps in the afternoon after a full morning of classes. As we walked the campus after supper, we noticed 6 girls shooting baskets, some perhaps for the first time! Ms. Long was excited to see the girls trying her favorite sport. The evening was spent in rehearsal for the singing competition. Every day, more improvement is seen on both challenging songs. We decided to enjoy the nice weather and walked home through the busy streets of Nanxi.
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