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Chinese number 3.

Beijing 2022 – What will the world see?


Curriculum connections:

  • Social sciences
  • English
  • Languages – Chinese
  • Visual arts

Focus concepts:

  • Sustainability
  • Culture and heritage

Effective pedagogy:

  • Providing sufficient opportunities to learn


Learning intentions

Students will:

  • view videos/images of the Olympic Games and analyse cultural symbolism used in these
  • process their findings by presenting their ideas.

Activity 1 – Olympic Games symbols

Display the emblem for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games. The emblem is inspired by the Chinese character for “winter” and resembles a skater at the top and a skier at the bottom. The flowing ribbon-like motif between them symbolises the host country’s rolling mountains, Olympic venues, ski pistes and skating rinks. It also points to the fact that the Games will coincide with the Chinese New Year. 

Logo with text: Beijing 2022. Olympic rings are underneath.

The use of blue in the emblem represents dreams, the future and the purity of ice and snow, while red and yellow – the colours of China’s national flag – symbolise passion, youth and vitality. 

The Beijing 2022 mascot for the games is a panda – Bing Dwen Dwen. In Mandarin Chinese (the official dialect of China), "Bing" has several meanings, though the most common is ice. The word also symbolises purity and strength, while “Dwen Dwen” means robust and lively, and also represents children. 

Optional extras

Examine Olympic Games symbols/pictograms from earlier Olympic Games (search under Olympic symbols). Compare and contrast these to the symbols for Beijing 2022. Design a chop to represent an image for New Zealand. (See lesson 4 Linking language and art on how to make a chop.)

Analyse the visual/written language, for example, the imagery and symbols (such as the dragon).

  • What does the logo communicate? To you? To Chinese people?
  • How does the logo link to Chinese culture and language, and previous Olympic Games imagery?

Consider use of line, positive and negative space, shape, typography, and colour.

  • How do these images link to what we already know about China and Chinese culture?

Key questions

  • What is Beijing presenting to the world – what do they show that they value through the images and items selected?
  • What does the text tell us? (write this down)
  • What do they value from their past and present?

Complete the fishbone diagram below by describing, on the ‘riblets’, the impact and effect.


Fishbone diagram with text on left :China culture on show. Spine text: seen by. Text on four ribs: Colours, Actions, Symbols, Impact.

Activity 2 – Diary, newspaper report, poem, or postcards

Choose from the following options to further develop understandings:

Diary: Write a diary of one of the athletes, or a viewer of the opening ceremony, or a viewer of the bid video – note feelings, links to Chinese culture, wonderings, etc.

Newspaper report: Write a news report for Reuters as a summary of the opening ceremony – choose an identity or a perspective from which to do this. For example, it could be a New Zealander visiting the Olympic Games, a Chinese official reporter, a blogger, and so on. Use the templates in Appendix 1 to explore or analyse current issues further.

Chun lian or Dui liang – Spring Festival poems: Examine the Chinese tradition of writing couplets – these are done for Spring Festival/New Year. Read about these couplets on the China highlights website. Like a haiku, the chun lian uses very few words and each one is chosen carefully. See the example of a chun lian, set out as if it is around an entranceway, and read its English translation. Students could develop a number of versions of these. Consider presenting them in the traditional style – such as around the doorway.  

Postcard: Write two postcards – one from a visitor to Beijing to see the Olympic Games and one from a local person from China. Imagine viewing the SAME day from two different sets of eyes: What would be different? What would be the same? Present findings and summaries to the art class to use for their development of visual arts linked to China.

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