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Lesson Plans

China's Hygiene Education for Children during 1950s

Middle School Lesson Plan

Time needed

two 45-minute class periods


China’s Hygiene Education for Children during 1950s lesson plan uses two online Chinese public health posters from 1950s as primary sources. Students view the healthy daily activities depicted on the posters and acquire new vocabulary and grammar in Chinese. In Class 1, students first use the images on the poster to compare the daily activities among Chinese youth in the 1950s and their own. They learn seven action words/verbs that relate to the poster illustrations. In Class 2, students learn and practice time phrases and sentence structures in Chinese, as well as review vocabulary. In Class 3, students learn and practice the structure of phrase with two time references, location words, and the complete sentence structure that contain both time and location phrases.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Students will be able to:
    • exchange, interpret and present information about hygiene activities on the posters
    • identify the Chinese characters of the activities, time phrases and location word on the poster
    • describe the person, time and location of an action taking place in Chinese
    • compare the sentence structure of time, location and action between English and Chinese.
  • Background Information

    The two Chinese public health posters used in this lesson plan have been selected from the “Hygiene Education for Children” section of Chinese Public Health Posters (2006), an online exhibition by the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine. Teachers are encouraged to view the Chinese Public Health Posters exhibition as a whole and select other posters to meet the needs and interests of students, as well as incorporate other subject areas such as health education, communication, or social studies.

  • Vocabulary

    Class 1-Vocabulary: Action, Class 2-Vocabulary: Time and Class 3-Vocabulary: Place provide both traditional and simplified Chinese characters used in this lesson plan.

  • Materials

    Handouts: [Note: Most handouts include both traditional and simplified Chinese characters. Teachers are to review and determine whether to use one or both characters based on the established practices of their respective school systems.]

    • Warm-up Activity (PDF) (MSWord); Teacher's warm-up Activity (PDF)
    • Class 1: Vocabulary:Action (PDF) (MSWord)
    • Class 1: Teacher's reading script (PDF)
    • Class 1: Vocabulary Homework (PDF) (MSWord); Teacher’s Class 1: Homework Assignment (PDF)
    • Class 2: Vocabulary: Time (PDF) (MSWord)
    • Class 2: Time Phrases (PDF) (MSWord)
    • Class 2-Sentence Structures Summary (PDF) (MSWord)
    • Class 2-Sentence Structure Homework (PDF) (MSWord) & Teacher's Class 2: Sentence Structure Homework (PDF)
    • Class 2-Teacher's Circling Question Samples (PDF)
    • Class 3-Vocabulary: Place (PDF) (MSWord)
    • Class 3-Time and Place (PDF) (MSWord)
    • Cumulative Vocabulary (PDF) (MSWord)

    Other materials and set-ups:

  • Class 1 Procedures

    Class 1 Procedures:

    1. Display and introduce to students the Chinese Public Health poster 1 and poster 2. Then Project the Warm-up Activity handout and complete the Venn diagram as a class.
    2. Distribute copies of Class 1-Vocabulary: Action, and read aloud each word while pointing to its illustration on one of the two posters. Have students repeat each read-aloud.
    3. Demonstrate Total Physical Response (TPR) activity with a volunteer student by reading aloud a word and having the student act out its meaning. For example, as you read aloud xǐ 洗 liǎn 臉 ( xǐ 洗 liǎn 脸), the student listens then pretends to wash her/his face.
    4. Have students work in pairs and use the Total Physical Response (TPR) to practice learning the action words on the vocabulary list.
    5. Refer back to the Chinese public health poster 1 and poster 2 and review (visually, auditorily, and kinesthetically) as a class the action verbs on Action Vocabulary.
    6. Display Teacher’s Reading Script. Tell students that, as you read aloud the short paragraph, they are to listen for and act out the action words that they recognize.
    7. Pass the Exit card for students to write three action verbs in pinyin they learned in this lesson.
    8. Collect Exit card and handout the Class 1-Vocabulary Homework.
    9. Class 1 Evaluation: The class participation, completed worksheet, and collected Exit card provide assessment of the progress students are making in their language acquisition.
  • Class 2 Procedures:
    1. Have students use their completed Class 1-Vocabulary Homework and review answers as a class. Collect the homework from students for evaluation.
    2. Using Class 2-Time Phrases, review vocabulary and demonstrate Chinese sentence and time phrase structures through multi-sensory activities, such as read aloud, Total Physical Response (TPR), visual references to the text and/or poster illustrations, etc.
    3. Handout copies of Class 2- Sentence Structures Summary and Class 2-Vocabulary: Time and review the sentence structures and the new words on the vocabulary list by reading them aloud as a class.
    4. Conduct circling question activity--see sample questions on Teacher’s Circling Question Samples—by randomly selecting students to answer these questions one by one.
    5. Have students call out numbers from 1 to 3, and ask each student to make a vocabulary card with a Chinese word corresponding to her or his assigned number as follows: [Optional: To ensure legibility, the vocabulary cards may be prepared ahead on large index cards and distributed randomly.]
    6. Ask students to leave their seats and find two other people to form a complete and meaningful sentence. They must line up in a grammatically correct sequence within the time you set (about 20 seconds).
    7. Have each group read their sentence and tell the meaning in English to the class.
    8. Write one sentence that has been studied during Class 2 on the board, and handout index cards for students to translate it in English.
    9. Ask students to compare the sentence structures of the Chinese sentence and translated English sentence. Discuss as a class its similarities and differences.
    10. Tell students that they are to practice using correct Chinese sentence structures and translating them to English in their homework. Handout copies of Class 2-Sentence Structure Homework.
    11. Class 2 Evaluation: The class participation and completed homework provide assessment of the progress students are making in their language acquisition.
  • Class 3 Procedures:

    [Preparation: Prepare four zone signs using four different color papers/index cards with “People,” “Time,” “Place,” or “Action” written on each. Also make several vocabulary cards on papers/index cards, matching the zone colors, with people, time, place, or action words. See class activity on steps 10.]

    1. Write on the board the five sentences to be unscrambled from Class 2-Sentence Structure Homework.
    2. Call on five students and assign each to write her/his answer next to one of the five sentences. Have another five students to write their English translations for them.
    3. Read each sentence both in Chinese and English and correct them as needed as a class. See Teacher’s Class 2-Sentence Structure Homework. Have students correct their own work and answer the questions they have.
    4. Use the sentences student wrote on the board to introduce time phrase with both general and specific time references by adding the new word into the time phrase. For example: 我早飯前洗臉 (I wash my face before breakfast) -> 我 每天 早飯前洗臉。 (I wash my face every day before breakfast.)
    5. Using (A) from Class 3-Time and Place, have students review sentence and time phrase structures—i.e., subject/person + time phrase + action” and “general time + specific time, respectively.
    6. Distribute copies of Class 3-Vocabulary: Place and read aloud each word on the list.
    7. Display examples under (B) on Class 3-Time and Place and introduce place indicator—i.e., zài 在 and zài 在… wài 外 miàn 面.
    8. Introduce the sentence structure with both time and place phrases in Chinese with the examples provided under (C) on Class 3-Time and Place. Read them aloud and have students repeat and/or act out the meaning of the verbs.
    9. Display Class 3-Time and Place and read aloud various examples as a class. Also point to the cumulative vocabulary chart for students to refer to for the next activity.
    10. Place the four zone signs at four corners of the classroom and distribute the vocabulary cards (four different colors matching the four zones) among students who then move to their assigned zones.
    11. Call on a student from each zone, and have the selected students walk to the center and form a complete and meaningful sentence. Read aloud the formed sentence and adjust or correct as needed.
    12. Call on just one student to walk to the center then ask other students to make a meaningful and correct sentence. Repeat as the time allows.
    13. Collect the vocabulary cards, and ask students to close their eyes and visualize the four corners and the colors in sequence.
    14. Shuffle the vocabulary cards and pass them to students again. Have students use the word on their card and write a complete sentence with subject, time, place and action. This is their exit card and their assessment.
    15. Class 3 Evaluation: The class participation, completed homework, and exit card provide assessment of the progress students are making in their language acquisition.
  • Evaluations and extension activities

    In addition to observing and assessing students during class discussions, teachers can evaluate student progress by reviewing completed worksheets collected during all three classes.

    Extension Activities:
    1. Have students work in small groups to create a healthy daily activities for young people using their Chinese language knowledge. In addition, each group member writes a short paragraph with 5 sentences that describe the activities illustrated in their poster.
  • National Education Standards

    National Education Standards

    World Language: pageid=3392

    • Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics
    • Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language
    • Standard 3.2: Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures