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Chinese number 5.

2008 Beijing: Olympic Games learning in Chinese schools

Level 4 Achievement objective, B4

Students will experience ways in which cultural and social practices are expressed through the ritual of movement, demonstrate understanding of this, and learn skills associated with a range of cultural activities.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • participate in a modified table tennis game for the purpose of recognising the sport as a Chinese favourite and identifying with Chinese sporting culture
  • participate in these games demonstrating characteristics of their Fuwa.

Relevant Olympic Taonga:

  • Chinese identity and values (tikanga, whanaungatanga)

Notes: Before this session, research the Chinese Olympic Games model schools. Look at how these schools are:

  • preparing students for the Olympic Games
  • using the five Beijing mascots (the friendlies) to teach about Olympism.

One such example is Hengli Central Primary school using table tennis as movement context. This lesson has been designed around similar activities in an effort to show the New Zealand students what Chinese students are learning in physical education and how they are learning about Olympism.

Hengli Central Primary School has developed a unique way of integrating Olympism with education and combining knowledge of Olympic Games events with physical education class. Table tennis has been chosen as the most effective sport event in conducting such education under the suggestion of the school's leading group, whose responsibility mainly focuses on improving Olympic Games knowledge and sports skills among students. A wide variety of activities about table tennis is constantly held and a school table tennis competition is held every semester. Gifted players will be encouraged to attend the high level of training courses. Now, each student at school owns one racket.

A table tennis class, Hengli Central Primay School, Guandong (from Beijing 2008 website).

Activity 1 – Table tennis: a Chinese favourite

Students could play one or a number of the following alternatives to playing table tennis:

  • padder tennis
  • paper plates and ping-pong balls – create nets and play in school hall or gym floor (children could play in pairs or fours and could be sitting kneeling or standing to play)
  • desk tennis (could push two desks together with cardboard net and play in pairs); (could be played in classroom).

Students make a charter for their game that identifies the spirit (taha wairua) and Olympic Ideals of the Fuwa.

Choose two of these examples of Olympism and describe how they would ‘look like, sound like, feel like’ while playing table tennis. (A collection of these examples of Olympism could be used to design a charter for general game playing during school break times.)

Play the game demonstrating these characteristics.

Extension – Students could design and make their own doukongzhu as seen below.

Doukongzhu – a traditional sport, Mentougou Dayu No. 2 Primary School, Beijing (from Beijing 2008 website).

Truce time:
 Discuss relevant information from this session. Each team is required to ask a question of the class.

Deliver  Chinese whisper:
 “The Beijing Green, Technological and People’s Games – what does this mean?”

This could be researched for homework in preparation for the journey to follow, that is, what is meant by these three themes for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?

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