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Chinese number 3.

Olympic Games focus – Beijing

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
  • compare the characteristics of the mascots for the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 and 2022
  • be able to demonstrate the characteristics of the mascots 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.

Revisit the homework task from Morally, ethically sporty.

Read the information and watch the videos introducing the two mascots for the Beijing 2022 games:

  • Bing Dwen Dwen – olympics. "Bing" means ice and also symbolises purity and strength, and "Dwen Dwen" represents children. The mascot embodies the strength and willpower of athletes and will help to promote the Olympic spirit.
  • Shuey Rhon Rhon – paralympics. Shuey Rhon Rhon is a Chinese lantern child who is looking forward to welcome friends from around the globe for the mega event. Exuding positivity, the glow emanating from its heart symbolises the inspiring warmth, friendship, courage, and perseverance of Para athletes that lights up the dreams of millions every day.

What does each mascot represent?

What similarities can you see? / What are the differences?

Activity 1 – Chinese culture and identity

Divide the class into five groups. Introduce the Fuwa mascots 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 mascot teams. For example, there will be five groups of tug of war at the same time. The purpose of remaining in the Fuwa mascot teams is that each group can bring the relevant characteristics of their Fuwa mascot 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.

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