Last week saw the “Think, Understand and Perform” Learner-led conference of learning achievement for personalised in-depth bilingual reading took place at NACIS primary campus. The corridors were decorated with children’s creatives work. Students engaged in various activities including bilingual reading and sharing session. They were encouraged to express themselves freely and were happy to find that reading had become much more enjoyable.
Guided by teachers, Grade 1 students read Guess How much I love you, Olivia and Diary of a Worm, and decorated the corridors with their creative work. By following the sentence patterns of Guess How much I Love You, they wrote down touching words and made greeting cards to their beloved ones. While enjoying reading Diary of a Worm, they wrote diaries of other animals. They even made Olivia’s clothes with environmental-friendly materials and wore it to school for their performance. During the interaction session, students worked with parents to make rabbit’s ears and clay earthworms and wrote greeting cards to friends. We could hear their happy laughter and cheerful voices all around the corridors!
During the Grade 2 sharing session, parents were led to visit the exhibition areas with the themes of The Giving Tree, The Zebra who Ran too Fast and Last Stop on Market Street. Each area is carefully designed and arranged by teachers to present the children’s work. Students enthusiastically shared with parents the work they read as well as their reflections. They integrated multiple elements including music, drama, programming and visual arts to their presentations and expressed their ideas in diversified, personalised, and visible ways. Some of them reproduced the happy hours between the tree and the little boy. Some of them showed the friendship between the zebra and its fellows with dance and music. Some of them created new stories by following the pattern of The Zebra who Ran too Fast. And some students wrote moving stories between them and grandparents. This is a process of integration and reflection. In this way, students can develop their reading abilities. Parents and children were enabled to have an insight into a different world of reading.
Grade 3 students read Journey to the West and brought us some interesting woodblock paintings that showed their talents in arts and their understanding of the story. The rockery they created attracted much attention. The clay figures on the rockery were all made by students. During the sharing session, students showed their interpretation of the texts to guests through forms of drama, shadow play and puppet play. The bilingual sharing gave full play to the characteristics of our school and the academic advantages of Think-series. All sharing contents, from the preliminary preparation to the formal sharing, were completed by the children themselves, which were appreciated by teachers, students, and guests.
Grade 4 students read The Water Margin and made full use of their creativities to show their understandings of the book. Based on the personalities of characters, some students wrote lyrics and sang out their understandings of Water Margin heroes in the form of a rap. As students at a bilingual school, some students created a bilingual shadow show while others brought us an English drama show, which was played in modern ways. These performances won applause from the audience. During the process of line drawing, children knew better about the appearances of the 108 Water Margin heroes. Through reading report activities such as “Speaking of Water Margin”, “the great Lin Chong”, “Song Jing in my eyes” and “the controversy over Li Kui”, students expressed their appreciation of the heroes and thought of the social affairs beneath the characters and stories. Reading a book together allowed children's wisdom to shine through communication and sharing. Their Chinese literacy was improved in personalized ways.
Grade 5 students also read one of the Chinese four classics: The Three Kingdoms. The international teachers led students to create some static works such as the English introduction of Three Kingdom celebrities and the vivid clay sculptures of them. They injected vigour into the event. Our national teachers focused on traditional Chinese culture and guided students to create works such as drama, Peking Opera masks and calligraphy, providing cultural depth for the event. Given appropriate guidance, students were free to express their ideas and work independently. They made progress in multiple aspects. From the layout of the corridors to students’ performance, students were immersed in the Three Kingdoms culture. They went beyond the novel.
The “Think, understand and perform” personalized in-depth bilingual learning built a bridge for exchange and integration of Chinese and western cultures. While students were internalizing the native culture, the international teachers were enabled to have deeper understanding of Chinese culture. Students expressed their outlooks on life, the world as well as themselves in their works. Our teachers worked as supporters and guides to encourage students to make judgement and communicate on their own, so that they can feel content with themselves, appreciate others, and listen to others’ feedbacks. Furthermore, they accumulated and updated their learning experiences through creation and sharing and apply their learning achievements in a real-world context. We would like to thank all parents for their support and recognition. Let’s work together to provide students with more space and platforms to create, express, and help them become better selves.