Fortville Elementary students recently had the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese through fun activities and games led by high school students. The Mt. Vernon High School Mandarin Chinese Teacher, Miss Yi-Fan Lin, and Elementary School teacher Jessica Daugherty, saw a great opportunity to give their students an experience they may never forget. Miss Lin scheduled a day to take her class to Fortville Elementary School and use their Mandarin Chinese skills to teach younger kids about the language and culture.
Miss Lin, originally from Taiwan, became a new addition to Mt. Vernon High School last year when she was selected to be the Mandarin Chinese teacher. The Mandarin Chinese program has been a great addition to the high school and has given students the opportunity to learn a unique language.
The high school Mandarin Chinese students taught the elementary schoolers basic words that are important to know when learning a new language such as hello, goodbye, thank you, and sorry. They also engaged the younger ones in some crafts to help them remember the characters and how to write them. They used glue to write the two characters that mean hello, and then stuck rice and mung beans on it. Another activity that the younger students participated in was a game to review the five phrases that they learned. The kids had to throw sticky balls to the pictures and phrases based on what they heard in Mandarin, and then say the phrase out as well.
“The best way to learn something is through teaching it,” said Miss Lin, who feels that this day was beneficial for both the high school and elementary school students. “The kids started to grow an interest in learning about other cultures and they will be willing to learn new things and be open-minded.” She even mentioned that it sparked interest in some of the younger ones to try to learn more Mandarin on their own by downloading and using an app on their iPads.
Children had fun interacting with the older students and learning more about the fascinating language that not many Americans can speak. Mt. Vernon provides students with many opportunities to learn new languages and cultures that equips them with more knowledge about the global community.