International Travel Itineraries in 8th Grade Mandarin

Mandarin students in 8th Grade have been focusing on transportation, time, and activities, learning new vocabulary in the context of conversations rather than studying words discretely. They connected this learning to their own lives by translating their school schedules into Mandarin and describing how and when they travel to and from school, then expanded their view to learn about how other students around the world travel to school. As many students in New York and abroad utilize the public transportation system, 8th Graders also spent time comparing the public transportation system in the U.S. to the systems in China and Taiwan.                                                             

In October, 8th Graders took inspiration from the season as they embarked on the project of creating a one-year itinerary for a traveling pumpkin. Students began by writing the narratives of their pumpkins yearlong adventure by hand – the countries it visited; the special things it did, saw, and ate in each location; and the different modes of transportation it used to get from place to place. Next, students turned their narratives into short films or slideshows, recording voiceover and incorporating photos, illustrations, or live action film clips to bring their pumpkin’s international journey to life.