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Chinese number 3.

Olympic Games focus – Beijing 2008

Level 5 Achievement objective, D1

 Students will investigate societal influences on the well-being of student communities.

Learning objectives:

Students will:

  • participate in a range of Chinese cultural games
  • identify the characteristics of the Fuwa (mascots) for the Beijing Olympic Games 2008
  • be able to demonstrate the characteristics of the Fuwa when playing cultural games.

This lesson involves a celebration of the host nation’s culture and identity, and an understanding of Olympism.

Key questions

  • What do we know about China?
  • What are the great things that China would choose to highlight in their celebration of the Olympic Games?
  • How has Beijing chosen to market Olympism to the world (in particular, the youth of the world)?

 Notes: Download the Fuwa information cards, which contain information about the five Fuwa (Olympic Games mascots). Blessings and elements of nature are represented in the characteristics of the Fuwa. Each Fuwa also represents an animal and a colour of the Olympic Rings.

Activity 1 – Fuwa: Chinese culture and identity

Divide the class into five groups. Introduce the Fuwa and their characteristics and give each group a Fuwa information card (Appendix 1). Each group describes how China has represented Olympism through each specific Fuwa.

Activity 2 – Chinese cultural games

Explore Chinese cultural games (adapted from the Travel China Guide website).

 Notes: Present the activities to the class  as a class group, but groups remain in their five Fuwa teams. For example, there will be five groups of tug of war at the same time. The purpose of remaining in the Fuwa teams is that each group can bring the relevant characteristics of their Fuwa alive while participating in the activity.

  • Tug of war (bahe)
  • Lion dance (wushi) Spring Festival – a tag game based on the lion dance: four members per team, three hold hands, fourth lion tries to tag selected lion from team of three.
  • Dancing among bamboo pole (tiao zhugan) – like elastics. In Chinese culture, poles are horizontal and parallel and are moved in and out and up and down. We suggest that these are kept static, but are moved higher on each successful turn.
  • Stepping on high (gaojiao) – stilts. For this age group, use tin can romper-stompers (tin cans upside-down and rope threaded through to be held at elbow level).
  • T’ai chi – students use slow motion actions to represent the letters of their names. The rest of the group follows.

Key questions

  • What have we learnt about China through these games?

China has identified three important aspects of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and they are as follows: People’s Games, Green Games, Technological Games

  • Why do you think China has chosen these three aspects?
  • What has changed in China as a result?
  • How do these changes impact on the youth of China?
  • How could some of these changes be sustained?

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