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Background notes for teachers

Showcase China includes three units of learning:

Years 0–6

Is your life the same as mine? (years 0–3)

What is unique about China? (years 4–6)

Years 7–8

How does China connect with my world?

Years 9–10

How do we express our culture and heritage today?

Asia awareness

  • People and groups in China are diverse. There is no one expression of their cultures and traditions, just as there is no one expression of being a New Zealander. When approaching these units, it is important to celebrate diversity and difference as well as the things that bring people together.
  • The Olympic Games provide a rich opportunity to explore the culture, heritage, and languages of China through an integrated approach across curriculum learning areas. Along with celebrating this international event, students can gain knowledge and understanding of culture, heritage, language, and traditions of the peoples of China.

Using this resource

Timing

The units in this resource can be used at any time of the year leading up to the Olympic Games and will serve to equip your students with knowledge and understandings about the culture and heritage of China. However, some of the activities relate to the Olympic Games themselves and in particular to the opening ceremony. With this in mind, you could choose to start this unit at the beginning of term 3 2008 and then those activities could coincide with the opening ceremony on 8 August 2008.

Adapting the activities and units

School communities and students vary widely across New Zealand. Teachers are strongly encouraged to adapt and change these units to suit their learners. The activities are a good opportunity to make use of local experts in your school and community who have knowledge in Chinese language, culture, and the arts. Remember that some of your students may also be a great source of knowledge about China and Mandarin Chinese.

Approaches to current issues during the Olympic Games

The media interest in China and the Olympic Games before and during the event will be huge. It will provide many opportunities for teachers to build on the interests of their students and develop further understandings within the context of learning. Appendix 1 suggests several strategies and processes for analysing current issues and includes a set of five templates that can be used as they are, or adapted and changed to suit the learning needs of your students.

Connections between Showcase China and the physical education resources

The focus of S howcase China is on aspects of Chinese culture and heritage. These are explored as students gain understandings of Chinese society, language, and art, and how China shows itself to the world during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The resource has been designed so that teachers can introduce China to their classes before the Olympic Games even begin so that their students will watch the Games with more informed knowledge about aspects of Chinese culture and society.

The physical education (PE) resources focus on health and physical education activities based on the Olympic Games ideals and on the themes of similarities and differences, Chinese identities and values, continuity and change, and sustainability. These same themes run through Showcase China and so there are many opportunities to link and integrate activities from the two resources.

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