Chinese Writing Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Caitlin Ferraiolo Brady

Caitlin is a sixth grade geography teacher in Connecticut. She holds a Master's Degree in Educational Techonology.

This lesson is an exploration of the evolution of Chinese character writing over time. In the lesson, students will look at examples of Chinese characters throughout history and try the art of Chinese calligraphy on their own.

Lesson Objectives

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify and create several Chinese characters.
  • Explain how Chinese characters have evolved over time.

Common Core Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Time Length

One 40-minute class period

Materials

  • Chinese character evolution charts
  • Black paint
  • Small paint brushes
  • Cardstock
  • Chinese character sentences
  • Sentence example

Vocabulary

  • Oracle bone
  • Characters
  • Calligraphy

Instructions

  • Create a Chinese Character Evolution Chart that the students will use throughout this lesson. The chart should have a variety of words (nouns are usually best) shown from their early oracle bone character through their modern Chinese character. Leave a space at the bottom of the chart for students to write their reflections.
  • Using the related lesson, Writing in Ancient China, introduce the topic of ancient Chinese writing to the class. Explain to the students how the characters have been used to share information and tell stories for thousands of years, but the characters themselves have changed over time.
  • Give each student a copy of the character chart. Allow the students a few moments to look over the chart and jot down any thoughts or questions they have about it in the space provided.

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