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Count the Stars

Practice counting in Chinese using a comet counting tool designed with Chinese numerals.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Ask students why they should learn Chinese? In the world's population, three times as many people speak Chinese as speak English. In the United States, more than 2 million people speak Chinese. Have students find out which people in your school or community speak Chinese or one of its dialects.
    2. Counting to 10 is a basic skill in any language. Written symbols are the same in Mandarin (putonghua, or common language), Cantonese (spoken in Hong Kong), and other Chinese dialects, although the pronunciation may vary. Students research how to write and say the Chinese characters for the numerals from 1 to 10.
    3. Students cut cardboard into a Chinese design such as a dragon boat or a starry pattern such as the whoosh made by a comet's tail with Crayola Scissors. Punch 10 holes in the cardboard from which to hang stars.
    4. Students dip tissue paper in Crayola School Glue thinned with water. Attach in layers on both sides of the cardboard base. Dry.
    5. Students use Crayola Model Magic to form 10 large stars, one for each numeral from 1 to 10. While the Model Magic is moist, use the pointed end of a Crayola Paint Brush to etch the Chinese characters for each numeral, one per star. Students can etch English or Roman numerals on the other side, or include other symbols of China and its culture. With the brush tip, push a hole into the top point of each star for hanging. Dry.
    6. Cover a table with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Tempera to paint the stars, the characters, and any designs, characters, or words on your cardboard base. Dry.
    7. Use yarn or string to tie the stars (in sequence) from the cardboard.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    MATH: Apply and extend previous understandings of the number system.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    In small groups, students research Chinese characters and select a short, well-known poem to re-write using Chinese characters. Illustrate the poem using Crayola Colored Pencils.

    In small groups, students write an original poem, translate it using Chinese characters and illustrate the original poem using Crayola Colored Pencils.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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