Monday, July 20, 2009

China studies - Updated

We began our study of China by locating the country on the globe. We also named the continent it is located on and other countries surrounding China. (geography)

If you would like to add a map page to your book, here is a printable map of China.

As always for a whole slew of China activities, visit

We read several library books about China to learn about the culture, including:

  • Letters From Around the World: China

  • A Taste of Culture: Foods of China

  • China ABC’s: A Book About the People and Places of China

  • A Child’s Day In A Chinese City

Language Hunt – Mandarin Chinese

  • Hello – ni hao – (nee how)

  • Ping-pong – ping pang qiu - (ping pang chew)

  • Panda bears – xiongmao – (shung-mau)

  • Bad – boo-how

  • Cat – mao – (rhymes with wow)

  • Dog – go

  • Good luck – (jew-nee-how-yun)

  • Good morning – (zow-chen-how)

  • Good night – (wahn-abn)

  • Great – (tie-how)

  • Tea – cha

  • Thank you – (shee-shee)

Chinese enjoy playing ping-pong ball. Ping-pong is a national sport in China.

Many Chinese also participate in tai chi a martial arts.

Jian (Shuttlecock). Looks like a badmitton game.

For more sports and activities in the Chinese culture, go to

For Chinese kids games:

You could also play Chinese Checkers or Chinese Jump Rope.

We played our own variation of ping-pong and Chinese checkers, using supplies we already had on hand.

We listened to some traditional Chinese songs here:

Stories: Folk or Fairytales

The Five Chinese Brothers.

Brownie Scouts in China
According to Wilipekia, Girl Scouting is no longer in China, with the exception of Hong Kong and Taiwan (which are separate from mainland China). When the Communist Party took over China in 1949, Scouts were officially banned.

Instead, children are a part of the Young Pioneers (Shaoxiandiui) of China and the Communist Youth League organizations.

China is only one of 6 countries without the Scouting program.

These are the from the Taiwan scout programs:

Guide Promise
On my honor,

I promise that I will do my best:

To do my duty to God and My country;

To help other people at all times;

To obey the Girl Scout Law.

Guide Law
A Girl Scout's honor is to be trusted.
A Girl Scout is loyal.
A Girl Scout's duty is to be useful and to help others.
A Girl Scout is a friend to all and a sister to every other Girl Scout.
A Girl Scout is courteous.
A Girl Scout is a friend to animals.
A Girl Scout obeys orders.
A Girl Scout smiles and sings under all difficulties.
A Girl Scout is thrifty.
A Girl Scout is pure in thought, in word and in deed
Guide Motto
Be Prepared
Do a good turn daily
The greatest aim in life is to serve.

Children and Family Life

The surname (family name comes before the given name (first name) in China.
Because of the large population of China, it is typical for couples to only have one child. One book even said there was a government law of one-child-per-family rule.

Because China is so populated, most families live in small apartments. There are some cars, but many still travel by bicycle, buses, or taxis.

School starts at 8 am. Children wear a uniform, including a red neck kerchief for the Young Pioneers. The children must stand up at their desks before giving an answer, when called upon by their teacher. Morgan's pen pal from China said they attend classes seven days a week - almost every day of the year!

A typical Chinese school day schedule is as follows:

Chinese lessons, English, handwriting, recess, arithmetic, outside eyesight exercises, Noon-3pm lunch break, art, music 5:30pm school is over


Communist government.

Most are Buddhists or Taoists, but there is a small population of Christian and Muslims. Ancestor worship is by far the most popular religious practice.


There were several suggestions for traditional Chinese foods in The Kids' Multicultural Cookbook that we used.

Here's some of their suggestions:

  • Birthday Noodles with Peanut Sauce

  • Shark's Fin Soup

  • Salted Duck Eggs

  • Bird's Nest Soup

  • Seaweed Jellyfish Salad

Do I hear a big EEEWWWW! Um, no thanks! It won't get eaten in our house. I'm pretty daring when it comes to trying new foods, the only one I would even consider is salted duck eggs, but where to get those around here!?!

Using what we have, we decided on Chinese fried rice with chicken. I'm not sure how traditional that dish really is, but we tried eating it with chopsticks!


This is the beginning of a model of a Chinese New Year Dragon. Take a paper towel tube and tape a paper cup to the front for the mouth. Cut three parts of an egg carton and tape to the paper towel tube. This is it's back. Cut another two egg cartons for feet (tape to tube). Then take some scrap aluminum foil and make a tail. Cut an arrow shape from cardboard and glue to the aluminum foil.

Next, cover the whole thing with paper mache. We used the recipe of 3 parts flour to 1 part water. Tear newspaper into strips or pieces and cover. So far we have put 3 layers on it. You have to allow it to dry thoroughly between layers.
Here's our lovely Chinese New Year's Dragon with a nice coat of paint and other details.

Spring Festival at the start of Chinese New Year
Guoqingjie (National Day). The birthday of China on October 1. It has been celebrated since China became People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

China was a fun culture to learn about! Have you ever studied the culture? Do you have any ideas to share?

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