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Chinese number 3.

Beijing, China

Level 2 Achievement objective, C2

Students will describe how individuals and groups share characteristics and are also unique.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • explore the similarities and differences of Chinese games in comparison with games they know and play in New Zealand
  • describe how these traditional Chinese games are unique to Chinese culture.

Chinese games

Tug-of-war contest

Explore some traditional Chinese games (adapted from the Travel China Guide website).
Students will work in groups of eight to complete the same task. Spend 5–7 minutes exploring each game then move on to the next.

  • Tug of war (bahe).
  • Lion dance (wushi) – a tag game based on the lion dance: four members per team, three hold hands while the fourth member tries to tag one lion from the team.
  • Dancing among bamboo pole (tiao zhugan) – similar to elastics. In Chinese culture, the poles are horizontal and parallel. They are moved up and down and in and out. We suggest these are kept static but are kept higher on each successful turn.
  • Stepping on high (gaojiao) – stilts are traditionally used. We suggest that, for this age group, tin can romper-stompers are used (tin cans upside down with ropes threaded through to be held at elbow level).

Notes: Ensure website link is investigated to gain an understanding of the history of each game. This is necessary to meet learning outcomes. Traditionally, many activities are accompanied by singing, dancing, and instrumental performance. Use symbols and other musical instruments to provide a rhythm in the background as activities proceed. Choose some students to do this.

Image: Tug-of-war contest, Chaozhou Experimental School, Guangdong (from Beijing 2008 website).

Key questions

  • Can you think of New Zealand games that are similar to these Chinese ones?
  • How are these games unique to Chinese culture?
  • Why do you think they play these games?
  • How do you think playing games affects the well-being of groups of people?
  • These were some traditional Chinese games that are not commonly played in playgrounds today. What sorts of games do you think they play now (could research for homework)? Why do games change?

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