A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

Upper School Students in Mandarin Classes Visit Museum of Chinese in America

On April 5, all Upper Schoolers who are studying Mandarin enjoyed a field trip to New York City’s Chinatown to visit the Museum of Chinese in America and practice their language skills. The museum invites visitors to engage in the history, heritage, culture, and diverse experiences of American communities of Chinese descent, with collections specifically dedicated to telling stories of immigration and identity. 

Throughout the field trip, Upper School Mandarin Chinese Teacher Joanne Shang incorporated Padlet, a collaborative educational technology tool, to deepen the students’ learning experience. 

Upon departure from RCDS, Ms. Shang shared to the class’s Padlet a YouTube video of several Mandarin songs. During the bus ride into Manhattan, the students learned the lyrics and posted videos of themselves singing along. 

 

When the group arrived at the Museum of Chinese in America, they were greeted by museum curators who provided a short introduction of the galleries. The students walked through the various museum exhibits to investigate some stereotypes that have affected people of Chinese heritage and the history behind those beliefs and ideas. Again, students uploaded short vlogs and photos to their class’s Padlet in order to capture their real-time reflections during their gallery walk. 
 

To conclude the field trip, the Upper Schoolers visited bubble tea shops and had a hot pot lunch, where they practiced ordering their meals and desserts in Mandarin. Those who were trying hot pot for the first time enjoyed the experience of mixing different ingredients to create their own personalized dipping sauces!

On the ride back to campus, students were asked to share their field trip reflections on Padlet. Reflecting on the museum exhibits about how racism and classism impacted Chinese communities, one student commented that it was important to understand past violations of human rights so that such injustices are not repeated. Others echoed similar sentiments about the value of learning about the origins of racial stereotypes against Chinese Americans to complement their study of Chinese language, culture, and history in the classroom. 

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