Chinatown -- things to do?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Bored of Ed, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    I'll be teaching my class about China next week and want to plan a field trip to Chinatown in lower Manhattan. Do you know if there's anything to do there besides walk around and look at oriental people and stores? It can't be anything having to do with religion, but culture is great.
     
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  3. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Im not from the Manhattan area, but maybe you could contact a local restaurant to show student some traditional dishes. Or a store that has traditional clothes, someone who does writing in Chinese characters, etc. Maybe each place could give a 15-20 demo, with samples and such. They may be more than happy to do it for free to show off their culture.
     
  4. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I would find a good restaurant (cheap) and have some dim sum! You will get some really interesting foods and the kids can try something different!

    Are there any museums in Chinatown? I don't recall. Or maybe there is a place that has live music?

    FYI- "Oriental" is not a politically correct term... probably just say Asian or Asian American.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  6. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Oops. OK, then, Asian. What was wrong with oriental? I thought it = Far East. I always thought the Orient was so cool and exotic :(

    Anyway, my kids have various food restrictions, so a restaurant is not an option. I plan on making some kind of Chinese food in class, though. Any suggestions? Quick and clean?
     
  7. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Rice:lol:
     
  8. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Yeah, that works :D

    I was thinking also (somewhat messier, but fun) sushi -- I know that's Japanese, not Chinese, but we're not doing Japan... Alternatively, we could make fake sushi out of rice krispy treats and fruit roll up.
     
  9. RainStorm

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    I wouldn't do something that is obviously Japanese while studying China! That would be like serving French food while studying Italy!
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You might see if you could work out something with a dim sum restaurant during a relatively slow time of day - there might be some kinds of dim sum that would work, and perhaps someone at a school that serves Chinatown could help you here.
     
  11. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    My kids won't know the difference, and it would be fun... We could do it as a stopover in Japan on our way out of Asia, if you insist ;)

    ... so think of a better Chinese suggestion that's feasible in a classroom!
     
  12. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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  13. TeacherGroupie

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    There's bound to be a Chinatown merchants' association, or something like one; there's probably an Asian-American educators' association for New York City, and almost certainly one for New York State; could be that there are language schools based in Chinatown that could be helpful; it would make sense to check the New York city schools Web site for references to Chinatown visits...
     
  14. TampaTeacher

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    The word "Oriental" is tricky. It is only politically incorrect when referring to people. It's proper to refer to an "oriental rug" or "oriental furniture." However, lots of people just say "Asian" to be safe.

    I always liked the cool, exotic imagery I associate with the word "Orient," too.
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    As a teacher, please teach them if they don't know the difference.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  17. Miss Starr

    Miss Starr Companion

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    Feb 25, 2008

    Truthfully, Chinatown is mostly about walking around and seeing the sights and going to a restaurant. There is not much else down there. We go for lunch after studying China too. We have gone to the China Institute ( http://www.chinainstitute.org/ ) too, but it is not the most exciting field trip.
     
  18. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Well; isn't that the cutest??!!! I hate Sushi, but I'll eat yours anytime! :lol:
     
  19. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Why don't you just make rice and let the kids try to eat it with chopsticks?? They could have a contest to see who can finish their bowl first.
     
  20. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Great minds think alike, Miss Froggy! I was planning to have a chopsticks contest. However, I think food races are absolutely vulgar. I was thinking more along the lines of who can finish it most neatly (fewest pieces left?) without using anything but the chopsticks.

    Thanks for the input, everyone!

    One more Q: I live very close to Chinatown. Not the most Chinese area, but probably sufficient if all we'd do is walk through and look around. Being that my class is so small, would you consider it appropriate to make my apartment a pit stop on our trip? I think it might be cool for the kids, but I'm not sure whether I'm comfortable doing that... WWYD?
     
  21. love_reading

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    I was always told Oriental refers to objects and Asian refers to people. :)
     
  22. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I think it's because the region is called Asia and not the Orient is all. The prefix -al means of, so that would mean of the Orient. That's what I'm thinking. Anyway, Bored if you eat in Chinatown you might want to make the arrangements ahead of time so you can find a kosher restaurant. I'm sure there are plenty there in NYC. At Chinatown here, we just walk around looking at the market and shops, buying trinkets and food here and there. So maybe you might let them bring a little money to buy something to remember their trip?
     
  23. laf-a-lot

    laf-a-lot Rookie

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    Does any one have any cute art/ craft projects to make when studying the Chinese culture?
     
  24. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Bored - "Asian" is the new PC term. I have taken a vow to not be politically correct anymore - it is boring and predictable.Plus I like to stir things up.

    Not to offend anyone either! Just my thoughts. I think PC has gone to far and I was feeling like someone was gagging me, so I took the vow!
     
  25. MsMongoose

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    What about the Chinese zodiac, w/ the various animals--rat, dog, rooster, snake, rabbit, tiger, dragon, etc. You might show them the zodiac before you go, because they will see Year of the Rat pictures all over. On one grade level, most of your kids will have been born in one of two years, and so share zodiac signs. Kids like the animals, and it feels more personal because they feel it is "about" them. Pictures of the animals could also serve as an introduction to Asian art.
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Use chopsticks to pick up marbles out of a bowl...
     
  27. amwso

    amwso New Member

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    The way you talk about looking at "orientals" is actually pretty ignorant beyond just using the term oriental. In fact, most of whom you will see are Chinese-Americans. Telling your students you are going to see a bunch of Asians doesn't help them understand that they can all be American or that there are big differences between ethnicities and cultures. Also doing Sushi suggests that all Asians are alike when the genetic, cultural, and historical differences between Japanese, Chinese, and other Asians and Asian-Americans are quite different. There are a lot more misconceptions you can create but I'll stop there.

    Anyways, does anyone know a restaurant that won't mind 10 loud middle school students?
     
  28. blessedhands

    blessedhands Comrade

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    Hey

    I frequently visit the second CHina Town in Flushing, Queens. They have supermarkets (you would be surprized to know what is sold there). The banks, shopping areas, restaurants, whole community there is fabulous.

    I have a specific restuarant that I visit that is DELIS!
     
  29. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    1. My son's class made those adorable dome-like hats using large "circles" made out of grocery bags. Be sure that the cut is bigger than their heads...then cut out a small slit and rather than "seam" again...move the seam just over and tape well. Do not staple as their hair will attach to the staple somehow. ough! Add "ties".

    2. Chinese lanterns.

    3. have them write their name in chinese using the "chinese alphabet".
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :2cents:
     
  31. chinamom

    chinamom Rookie

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    Okay, I know this is late in this thread and you may have already done your unit on Chinese culture, but thought I'd add some suggestions. My daughters are both Chinese and I've done some lessons w/ their classes at school. They are younger than your students, but here are some thoughts.

    1. Dumplings-- You can get them in the frozen section of most grocery stores. You just boil them. I've gotten those and cooked them at home and then reheated them at school. They often come in vegetable, chicken, or pork varieties if food restrictions are an issue.

    2. I've also cooked noodles and just added a little sesame oil and soy sauce, and then reheated them at school.

    3. If you can get to an Asian market, you can find buns that are filled w/ bean paste. I don't recall that those even needed to be heated.

    4. You can also find assorted Chinese crackers and cookies at Asian stores as well.

    5. For younger kids you can make kid friendly chopsticks using a folded piece of paper and rubber bands.

    6. Enchanted learning has some craft ideas for younger kids, and older kids enjoy trying to write the Chinese characters. It's not easy!

    BTW-- I do think it is really, really important as educators to make sure that children understand that Asia is a continent of many countries, and they are not all the same or interchangeable. I cringe when I hear people say things like "Chinese, Japanese, whatever..." There's a difference, as much as there is a difference between the United States and Canada or Mexico. They are distinct places w/ distinct histories and cultures and people and languages. Not that the OP suggested otherwise, but it's something I've noticed among adults as much as children.

    Chinamom
     

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