Where has my dear snowman gone?

The sun is peeking down from the sky. It looks for the snowman, but the snowman is no where to be found. Do you know where the snowman has gone?

Click on the following song to get some clues.

The vocabulary list below could help you figure out the lyrics for this song.

怎么 (zěnme) means how or how come.

不见了 (bùjiànle or bùjiànliǎo) means to have disappeared.

只有 (zhǐyǒu) means to only have.

(shǒu) are hands.

(jiǎo) are feet.

(tā) means he.

(pǎo) is to run.

(pà) is to be afraid of something.

太阳 (tàiyáng) is the sun.

(zhào) means to shine.

(xuě) is the snow.

(xiāo) means to vanish.

原来 (yuánlái) means actually or originally.

不坚牢 (bù jiān láo) means not durable.

虽然 (suīrán) means although.

(yǒu) means to have.

不會 (bùhuì) means cannot.

(hǎn) is to holler.

(jiào) is to shout.

只好 (zhǐhǎo) is to holler.

融化掉 (rónghuà diào) is to shout.

(tóu) is the head.

(nǎo) are the brains.

(děng) means to wait until.

出来 (chūlai) means to come out.

自己 (zìjǐ) means oneself.

不能 (bùnéng) means unable to do something.

(bǎo) means to protect or defend.


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Let’s draw a snowman

Has it started to snow in your town? It’s fun making snowballs, and, of course, a snowman!

First make a very large snow ball.
大雪球 dà xuě qiú

Put on top of it a medium sized snow ball.
zhōngxíng xuě qiú

Then add a smaller snow ball at the top.
小雪球 xiǎo xuě qiú

Make two small disks for the eyes.
眼睛 yǎnjing

Make a small red disk for the nose.
鼻子 bízi

Make a partial circle for the mouth.
嘴巴 zuǐba

Let’s put a hat on the snowman’s head.
帽子 màozǐ

How about adding a few buttons, too?
扣子 kòuzi

What else does a snowman need? Go ahead and add it to your drawing.

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Let’s draw a train of gifts

Now that you know how to draw a straight line, a square, a rectangle and a circle, you can draw a train like this one:

What will this train carry? I want it to bring me lots of toys, so I put the Chinese and English words for toys on the fist boxcar.

You can label the other boxcars as you wish. Here are a few suggestions:

玩具 wánjù Toys

饼干 bǐnggān Cookies

书本 shūběn Books

爱心 àixīn Love

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A few basic shapes

Can you draw these shapes?

直线 zhíxiàn
Straight Line

四方形 sìfāng xíng

长方形 chángfāngxíng

圆形 yuánxíng

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East South West North

In my childhood my mother taught me how to fold various interesting origami shapes. Here is one that could be used as an aid for learning Chinese characters.

If you use the pattern I’m providing and follow the instructions, you will get on the face of the four-leaf-clover shape the Chinese characters for east, (dōng), south, (nán), west, 西 (xī), and north, (běi). Hidden inside will be a set of adjectives that describe personal qualities. Put your thumbs and index fingers into the four compartments under the face of the four-leaf-clover shape. Keep your thumbs together and your index fingers together and pull your thumbs and index fingers apart to open the clover shape one way. Now pinch your thumb and index finger together on each hand. Pull your hands apart to open the clover the other way. A different set of characters will be revealed each way. You could make your own pattern by writing other terms or phrases in place of the adjectives I’ve chosen.

How to play the game: The operator of the shape will ask the player to choose from the characters on the leaves: east, south, west or north. The operator will sing or recite a nursery rhyme at the same time opening the shape to the beat and alternately in one of the two ways. When the song or rhyme stops, the internal characters corresponding to the chosen leaf will be revealed to the player, which may or may not be what he or she was hoping to see.

How to fold the four-leaf-clover shape:

1. Print the pattern, cut out the main square and hold it facing you. Fold it half both ways (with the characters inside) along the solid dividing lines to form creases. Then open the pattern so it is flat again.

2. Put the pattern on a table with the blank side facing you. Fold in the four corners along the dashed lines.

3. Flit the pattern over to show the side without any characters. Fold in the four corners along the dotted lines.

4. Fold it half both ways along the solid dividing lines to form creases. Then open it to show the printed adjectives.

5. Now, this is a little tricky – Bring the four corners together while pinching the sides to form a pointed well, sort of.

6. Lift up the leaves (with east, south, west and north printed on them) and put one thumb or finger into each pouch thus formed. Practice opening and closing the four-leaf-clover shape both ways.

If you would like to make an English or Chinese word card key ring for your children, there are detailed instructions posted at chinesehacks.com.

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Miss Springtime

To welcome the arrival of spring, why not get your kindergarten or first-grade class to act out the song titled “Miss Springtime”? You can find the link for the tune under Play and Learn (Chinese) on the right-hand side, and the lyrics are posted here. (Look for the 3/28/12 post).

The main characters are Old Man Winter and Miss Springtime. The other children will act as “flowers and grass” or “bugs and birds”, sit on little stools or carpeted floor, and sing the song in a chorus.

For the first segment of the song, Old Man Winter will trudge slowly across the stage, slightly hunched. The garden elements will dip their heads, cover their eyes with their hands, and pretend to fall asleep.

For the second segment, Miss Springtime will gently flutter her arms as a butterfly does with its wings, and weave among the garden elements, who will slowly wake up and stretch out.

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Scissors, Rock and Fabric

You’re probably familiar with the popular Chinese hand-gesture game, called: 剪刀, 石头, 布! (Jiăndāo, shítou, bù!)”.

剪刀 (jiăndāo) is a pair of scissors, 石头 (shítou) is a rock and (bù) is a piece of fabric.

Well, here is a challenge. Watch John Jacobson in the video titled “Scissors Paper Rock“, and see if you can do this dance but substitue the English words “scissors”, “paper” and “rock” with 剪刀 (jiăndāo), 石头 (shítou), and (bù), respectively, using the proper guesture for each. In English, paper sounds better than cloth or fabric; and “rock” is placed at the end of the phrase for the same emphasis provided by (bù). Have fun!

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