The DLI program in our school is growing. It needs support and understanding from the local community. And our mural program met the needs in two different ways. One is training the chosen ones to practice Chinese calligraphy for the mural, the other is using the mural to inspire the interest of all the 472 students in our school in learning Chinese or Chinese culture. Besides, it gives extra support for the DLI program by being a complement of culture learning for all the 103 DLI students. They learn more about the Chinese language, writing, and culture by the project. Cooperation between the 6 DLI teachers and other 42 teachers increased too. Now more teachers understand and support the DLI program. And as multiculturalism is better understood through the mural, we draw more students into the DLI program, and now the community get more involved with DLI program and more people know our school and choose to send their children here.
In order to select some students for the mural program, we had the introductory classes for the basic, then the afterschool calligraphy club to learn more and finally the morning training session for 23 mural students. They practiced a certain character in the Chinese poem On the Stork Tower 《登鹳雀楼》for the mural with instruction videos and papers from me. Meanwhile I tutored them during the whole period of time to help them improve their calligraphy writing.
The students surprised me a lot by progressing so much in calligraphy. The first work and the last one are quite different. I am so happy to see all the differences. And they are really interested in practicing calligraphy and still want to learn more after the training. Since the mural is done now, the students feel really proud of themselves and they are admired and envied by their peers. Teachers, school and the community all feel proud of them too.
Festivals are the important part of the culture. Spring Festival is the most important festival in China and there are a lot of customs that helps the students learn more about the Chinese and Chinese culture. There are three sections about the project. Before the Spring Festival, students learn why the Chinese people celebrate the Spring Festival and how the Chinese people celebrate it.
The project will be made of two parts. First before the festival, students will learn about the tradition of Spring Festival and how Chinese people celebrate it. They will make crafts in preparation of the festival, like paper-cutting, lanterns and couplets, to decorate the classroom and a Chinese culture bulletin board. They will also learn about Chinese food and practice how to use chopsticks. Then on Chinese New Year, the students and parents will make a fieldtrip by bus to the Chinatown in downtown Chicago.
The students are going to be pen pals between my host school in Chicago, Illinois and my home school in China. In order to experience Chinese culture, the students who participate in the pen pal activity in America are going to Chinatown in downtown Chicago in April as a field trip.
The project took place in Seventy First High School, Fayetteville, NC. Most people in my community have a very limited exposure to the Arabic culture. Many families in my local community have at least one member in the army or planning to join the army at some point in their life.
My capstone project is the Chinese New Year Guard Rally. The purpose of this event is to enable students to experience Chinese traditional culture more deeply and be interested in learning Chinese. The event is arranged on the day before the Chinese New Year, which is New Year ’s Eve. We performed three times during the day so that all the teachers and students of the school have the chance to take part in this event. The first is for pre-k to second grade students, the second is for third to fifth grades, and the third is for sixth to ninth grades.
A grand Chinese New Year celebration was held in Plantation Middle School during Chinese New Year. The students and staff in our school and feeder schools and the officials from our county were invited to spend the wonderful afternoon with my Chinese students who well performed the Chinese-styled programs and showed their projects about Chinese culture. Some students from feeder schools also sang Chinese songs which I taught them during outreach. This capstone raises people's interest in China and Chinese culture and establishes mutual understanding among different peoples.