Calligraphy Mural of a Chinese poem《登鹳雀楼》On the Stork Tower

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.

Chinese New Year Celebration: A field trip to Chinatown

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.

Sister Partnership Between West Park Academy and Xinjin Experimental Primary School

Host School

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.

Butterfly Lovers 梁祝

Butter lovers-(梁祝) also known as "China's Romeo and Juliet" is a Chinese legend of a tragic love story of a pair of lovers. The most popular love story in China tells the legend of two 4th century Chinese lovers who could not marry due to different family backgrounds. After the hero dies of a broken heart, the heroine leaps on his grave and the two turn into a butterfly couple after their deaths. For centuries, the story has been adapted into traditional operas, movies and TV plays.

Chinese Local Fair

Host School

My capstone is actually my CLP, which is a Chinese local fair. I had intended to hold it in March, but we had spring festival and too many snow days in February, so we didn't have enough time to get everything ready for it. And now we are busy with every detail to make sure it will be successfully held on April 26. So far, we have taken a field trip to MIA to help as many as possible students to have a general visual idea of what Chinese culture is like. Besides, I appointed 6 students to be directors of each section of the fair.

Chinese New Year and Chinese Culture

The project is about Chinese New Year Celebration for the students, teachers, parents, faculty and community members and guests. From a series of activities, like lectures, assemblies, cross- culture fair, and Chinese Club, the people in the community will get a basic understanding and full engagement of Chinese Culture. The idea is to spread the knowledge and understanding of Chinese Culture, history and traditionas as well as the language to the community at large in order to increase people’s interest in Chinese Culture and Language Learning.

Chen Ken's Capstone Project Description

My capstone project is having students experience Chinese culture in the Chinese community in Chicago. We have learnt a few lessons about Chinese food and Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, then we will take students to experience what they have learnt in the classroom personally. So we called this activity Cultural Immersion Chinatown.