Ahhh, Week 9, or more aptly, lesson 9. In the Kang Xuan textbook, week 9 introduces the last of the compound zhuyins. I can’t believe we’re almost done after 6 months. At this point, I’m actually thinking of just letting Astroboy not practice anymore after this semester, unless he picks it up himself. He has this tendency, even when a page has only 1 character he doesn’t recognize, to read the zhuyin. I know this because he takes so long at reading each character (since he’s slowly sounding out the zhuyin), but if I block out the zhuyin of the character he knows, he reads them faster.
The only reason we started zhuyin for Astroboy was because his sister was in the class. Before then, I had the thought that kids don’t really need to start till after learning the 500 Sagebook characters. Seeing Astroboy reading like this, I’m inclined to go with my original idea. I know that an older kid won’t necessarily do this. But in a way, Astroboy got introduced to zhuyin even before we really focused on Sagebooks and I need to switch his comfort level to the other way around.
Oh, before I go on, I wanted to note that, see how Kang Xuan pulls out the compound zhuyin as separate items to teach? If you’re ever searching for free zhuyin material, see if you can find ones that do that as well.
As I mentioned in my previous post, there’s been a lot of drawing and writing. Basically trying to entice the children to write. Here are some of the things they’ve drawn.
For lesson 9, I had the children design a treasure map. First I showed them a few treasure map versions drawn by other first graders. Everyone happily worked on theirs, except for Astroboy. Poor Astroboy and his inability to write for long periods. I drew most of it for him, based on his ideas, and even then he didn’t want to finish.
The way this is played, the map is rolled up until where the roads start to fork. As the child decides on which road to take, the map slowly gets unrolled. Each obstacle is labeled with zhuyin, like, volcano, tornado, lake, dead end, etc. It was funny watching them replay (even knowing where the treasure is) and then trying it on with Thumper because they were so excited about the map.