Counting in Chinese: How to Teach Kids the Basics
    Date of publication :4/9/2019 3:57:42 PM


The Chinese language has a number of characteristics which help to facilitate the understanding of mathematical concepts. In Miss Mandarine’s pilot project, she instils the STEM concept in her Chinese teaching. Let’s see how Miss Mandarine teach Chinese numbers, mathematics in Chinese to her French students.


It took us in total two weeks to complete the theme “I love numbers”. I have already shared the teaching plan of the “associative teaching method” last week. This week I plan to share some in-class practical games to further consolidate this topic.


The theme of “I love numbers” is to learn basic knowledge of how to count in Chinese and how to do simple math in Chinese.  In previous sections, students have mastered the words "more" ()and "less"(),  personal pronouns, and the noun "" means “Age”.  Therefore, our first exercise of using numbers here is to learn key question word “”.   (“how many/how much”) in Chinese and to apply to the conversation of “How old are you?" -"I am * years old."


This activity is not just an exercise of filling in blank of numbers in a sentence, but a combination of Chinese characters learnt in previous courses and new knowledge. Let’s see it step by step:

Game 1: “You show, I say”.

Teachers need to prepare a set of basic flashcards: mine is the first level of hihilulu 3D flashcards. If you do not have it, you can download the Chinese character coloring card in the hihilulu Parentroom and simply print out. Organize students into small groups. Each group is composed of two students, and each student takes half of the cards assigned to the group.  If one succeeds in saying right pronunciation of the Chinese word, he continues the game. If he makes a mistake, he needs to hand out one card to his counter party. The winner is the one who win more card first.

Game 2: Decipher the number.

Divide the students into two groups. Teacher writes a series of Arabic numerals on the blackboard. And then these two groups will answer the questions and see which group reads the numbers quickly and accurately. If same group continually grabs the right to answer first, the same person cannot answer the question twice. This rule guarantee each student has opportunity to participate.

Game 3: Fighting fast.

Every time the teacher calls two students to practice. Teachers write Arabic numerals and then ask them to write the corresponding Chinese characters. The one who write more correct numbers in Chinese is the winner.

Game 4: Hand clapping.

The material used here is still the hihilulu 3D flashcard. Every time the teacher finds two students to practice. The teacher can randomly say two numbers in Chinese. Students need to write down and speak out these two digit numbers separately, then raise hands to call out "give me five".


Game 5: Number bingo.

Let students prepare a 5*5 grid paper. Write down a number in 1-20 range randomly in each grid, and the remaining five grids can write any number within 100. Teacher starts to call numbers: if students hear a word in their own grid, they draw a circle. If a student completes a line, the Bingo form is completed and the game is over.


These five games can be used to practice numbers in Chinese. If you want to create a more active and engaging classroom atmosphere, you can leave students to decide the content through the game. I believe that you also have a lot of efficient and interesting teaching games like these, welcome to share with me!

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