17 Jul, 2013
10 : 00
Step inside one of YCIS Shanghai’s Year 1 classrooms and you might be surprised at all of the useful information you’ll be able to learn. During a recent unit, Year 1 students at Hongqiao Campus conducted a thorough study about their “home” city, Shanghai, which culminated in a field trip around town.
Shanghai is a city with unique charisma. It has an amazing combination of classic and modern architecture and character, and it is a wonderful place to live. This year, the children in our classroom expressed great interest in learning more about the city in which they live, and we “left no stone unturned!” At YCIS, the teachers align our topics with the students’ interests in order to focus their learning, and the students’ inquisitiveness about the city led to the creation of a new, integrated topic called “I Love Shanghai.”
In order for our students to gain additional insight into the city while at school, the teachers introduced the following aspects into the topic:
1. Special Chinese FoodsShanghai has long been known as the gastronomic capital of China. Using pictures and texts, the students learnt about Nanxiang steamed dumplings, specific pan-fried pork buns, steamed dumplings stuffed with crab meat and spiced broad beans, and more delicious Shanghainese dishes, which made everyone very hungry!
2. Architecture in Shanghai Discussions, books, and other materials were used to discuss traditional architecture in the city. The story, The Legend of Long Hua Pagoda, based on the history of this particular Pagoda, captivated the students’ interest. We also studied an area downtown called Xintiandi, as a representation of “Shi Ku Men” (stone-gate) architecture, which left the students asking excellent questions about building and design. They learnt more about life in Shanghai throughout history while watching a short video called Wu Li Xiang (which means “home” in the Shanghai dialect). They also learnt about the buildings located at the Bund, which represent many western countries’ architectural style, and which have always been a symbol of Shanghai. The students were fascinated to learn about the architectural styles of different countries when they studied the Peace Hotel, the Customs House, and the HSBC Headquarters Building. Additionally, to complement their study of traditional architecture in Shanghai, they also learnt about the many beautiful, unique, and modern buildings in Shanghai, such as the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Centre and the Jin Mao Tower. The students eagerly memorised the height of these buildings, creating a fun game called “Count the Floors”, and rehearsing a verse from a children’s song in Chinese, “the highest floors, hidden in the clouds.”
3. Bridges in Shanghai Shanghai is home to a number of famous bridges, including The Nanpu Bridge, the Yangpu Bridge and the Lupu Bridge, which are well-known all over the world. Like three ribbons across the Huangpu River, they add beauty to the city. Our students were inspired to see these distinguished bridges. They picked up their pencils and drew plans for future bridges by themselves.
4. Touring Shanghai As the old saying goes, “Seeing is believing.” As this fun-filled topic drew to a close, students set off on an educational day trip around Shanghai, further enhancing their understanding of and interest in this city. It was a wonderful topic, and we enjoyed seeing the children’s interest spark their learning. We believe that our students will continue to keep this learning experience, and the love of Shanghai that came with it, in their memories for many years to come. Contributed by: Ming Zeng, Year 1 Teacher