February is Ancient China Month!

With February 3rd being Chinese New Year, this is a very special time to study ancient China.  We will start by celebrating Chinese New Year at the Asia Society.  We will ring in the year of the rabbit with traditional Chinese dance and opera, mask making and calligraphy lessons.  Payton and I were both born in the year of the Rabbit- only 24 years apart. It is said that those born in the year of the Rabbit are ambitious, talented and articulate.  Sean was born in the year of the Tiger, sensitive and deep-thinking.  Jack was born in the year of the Dragon, how cool is that? Dragons are honest, brave and trustworthy- just like Jack!  Ava was born in the year of the Horse which makes sense because she is cheerful, skillful and perceptive.  This month we will be cooking authentic Chinese food with Amy Chan.  In preparation for this experience the children are researching traditional foods prepared for Chinese New Year celebrations and their meaning.  We will be learning ancient Chinese history, specifically four ancient Chinese dynasties; the Shang, the Zhou, the Qin and the Han.  We will be sampling translations of primary ancient texts like the I-ching, Book of Songs, Dao De Ching, and the Annalects of Confucius.  We will be learning about Lao Tze, Confucius and the Buddha.  Art projects will explore the use of jade and bronze, kite making and calligraphy. Field trips will include visits to Chinatown, the exhibit on puzzles at the Museum of Chinese in America, an exhibit at the China Institute titled: Along the Yangtze.  Our English component will include daily contemplative journaling and poetry. Science projects will include making Chinese inventions including paper, ink, ice cream and a suspension bridge.

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