Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post it! Part 1

If your kids attend a heritage school, chances are they attend during the normal school year and then have three long months to forget everything they've learned.  Don't let this happen!  Fight back by posting those characters around the house.  Depending on your child, you may choose to post only a few characters at a time, but don't forget to rotate these characters so that all of them get a chance for review in your home.  Then challenge your child with one of the games below:

I Spy-  Pretend you are in a jungle with your child.  Tell them there are wild characters hiding all throughout the jungle.  Tell him/her that you've been challenged to pictures of as many different wild characters as possible (or just point out the characters with a finger).  Walk with your child around the house; can you child tell you what each wild character says (read the character)?   What does the character mean?

Landmarks-  Throughout the week, create situations that make the posted characters useful.  For example, when your child asks where his/her favorite teddy bear is you could say, "I think I saw him in the same room as the 木 character."  Help your child find the correct character and track down the bear. 

Find the Pirate Treasure-  Consider that your child has to learn three things when learning a new character.
  1. What the character looks like (AKA Character Recognition)- ex. 木
  2. What the character says (AKA how to read the character)- ex. "Mù" OR "ㄇㄨˋ"
  3. What the character represents- ex. Tree
Use these pieces to make a "treasure map."  This is slightly complicated, so first lets pretend that the game is all set up; here's what it would look like:
  • Hand your child the first clue.  Ex. Find the character 木.
  • Your child looks for 木 hanging on the wall.  Once found, the child looks under the paper and finds the next clue.  Ex. A word starting with the sound "ㄕ."
    • You'll want to be sure that only one of the currently posted characters starts with  "ㄕ."
  • Your child finds the character 水.  Looking under the paper reveals the next clue.  Ex. A word meaning "sun."
  • Your child finds the 日 character.  Under the paper, your kid finds a picture of a treasure chest.  You tell him/her they've reached the end of the hunt and have discovered the pirate treasure.  Its a piece of gum, chocolate treasures, a certificate redeemable for extra book reading time at bed time, a trip to the park, sticker, game time with Mom/Dad, etc.
O.K., got the idea?  Remember when you create your clues, you have three different characteristics you can ask your child to look for (character recognition, the sounds in a character, or the meaning).  After posting the characters around the house/room, place the next clue underneath the character until the last clue is found.  Place the treasure or treasure chest picture under the last character in the hunt.  Have Fun!

Bumper Kids-  I call this game "Bumper Kids" to remind you that this game is best played with only one or two kids.  Have the kids stand in the middle of the room.  Next, call out different characters (in Chinese or provide the English meaning).  The child or children then try to run as fast as they can to the place where that character is posted.  (This game works best with 3-5 characters posted in the same room.)

Pre-Made Papers
*Here are some pre-made files to help you begin these games in your house.
Common Characters Only
Common Characters with ㄅㄆㄇ
ㄅㄆㄇ Only for Common Characters
Common Characters with Pinyin
Pinyin Only for Common Characters
Images Representing Characters (only some characters are represented since not every common character lends itself to being represented with an image easily)
ㄅㄆㄇ Letters

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