Students Start Their Day the Right Way - Morning Assembly
The morning assembly is a 20-minute slot in the daily schedule (after breakfast and before class) where residential assistants (RAs) present to the students to get them pumped up for the day and excited about learning their target language.
In the Chinese academy, we always start morning assembly with a physical warm up to help wake the kids up and get moving around. We have done simple exercises, saying the name of the motion as we do it (for example, saying “lean back, lean forward, “or “to the right, to the left.”) Today one of our RAs led the students in a simple dance for the warm up activity. First, she taught us the basics of the dance. Then, we did it along with the video of a famous Chinese pop star doing it live in concert. Over the next three weeks we’ll be learning more simple dances that go along with Chinese songs.
After our physical warm up we invite students to join us in an interactive game with the RAs. By doing a fun, interactive game, the students get to learn some new vocabulary and get used to hearing and using Chinese first thing in the morning. Today we played the classic game “telephone” in Chinese, where you pass a phrase along a line of people by whispering it and see how different the phrase is by the end. We had phrases like, “My family has five people in it” and “how old are you?” as theses are simple phrases that everyone can say. Naturally, by the end of the line, the phrase was completely different. We had three lines of students playing telephone with the RAs at the end of each line. Each time we did a new round, one or two lines got the phrase right or almost right, and then there was always a third line that completely jumbled it up and added or left out words. After lots of laughs, the students headed off to class.
-Ellery Hamann, Chinese Dorm Head