Chinese New Year Celebration in Mandarin Class

Middle and Upper School students participated in a Chinese New Year celebration facilitated by Mandarin teacher Gina (Lanjing) Dong.

As Parker’s 8th–12th grade Mandarin teacher, Dong wanted to orchestrate an activity for students to learn more about how the Chinese New Year is observed in China, so she orchestrated a “Dumpling Party” in the Sheridan Family Café to immerse them in Chinese cuisine and cultural activities.

Dong asked her 8th grade and Upper School students to work together to share what they have been learning about Chinese culture in class with more than 20 7th grade students interested in learning more. Prior to December Recess, Dong worked with 7th grade Spanish teacher Mario Arango to share some cross-curricular learning about the Chinese New Year with students. Many of these 7th graders jumped at the chance to join the “Dumpling Party.”

At this gathering, Upper School students worked together to make dumplings while others rotated through stations to practice Chinese calligraphy, make paper handcrafts featuring Chinese characters, compete to pick up the most M&M candies with chopsticks in 30 seconds and attempt to pin a nose on a panda or dragon while blindfolded.

Participants received a stamp after taking a turn at each station and entered their fully stamped cards into a raffle drawing awarding Chinese gifts to the winners.

Upper School Mandarin students sang Chinese songs while everyone enjoyed the dumplings and a wide range of Chinese candies and treats Dong had provided.

All who participated left with a better understanding and appreciation of the Chinese New Year celebration.

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