Monday, June 14, 2010

Mercy Watson: Princess In Disguise

Last month, I saw an interesting shop at the CC (community center) near my apartment in SG. My DH and I went in and talked to the person in charge there. It is a center for learning Chinese through story telling. Basically they selected age appropriated books to read to the students and then from there, teach them the vocabs and let them perform certain part of the story.

I like the idea very much and I think Den will love it too since the method is rather similar with what we have been doing with Sonlight. However, with our travelling back and forth Mly and SG, it is not possible to enrol Den in the center .

Since then I have been playing with the idea of DIY the Chinese lesson this way. I went to the SG school fair last week and bought a few interesting books I think I can kick start this lessons with.

Just for background info, we are Chinese but Den first language is English because my DH don't speak/read in Chinese (lots of Chinese Malaysian don't speak/read Chinese) so we speak English at home. My parents are supposed to speak Mandarin with Den but unfortunately since Den's English vocab is better than her Mandarin, she tend to reply in English and slowly everyone speak English to her!

The fact that there were not much Chinese picture books available when Den was younger make it worst. Almost all our reading was in English. Recently there are more and more affordable books translated into Chinese from China available in Mly. Of cause the library in SG is amazing. I need to let Den spend more time in listening to Mandarin in order to successfully teach her the language. Her listening vocab need to be improved before I can teach her to read.

In order to do that, I have been reading as much Chinese books for her as possible as well as started the theme lessons with songs for her. Read about the theme lessons at my previous posting
Now I want to try combine the theme lesson method with book reading. I decided to kick this off with one  of the book I bought from book fair - 小猪梅西扮公主 (Mercy Watson: Princess In Disguise) - animals + princess + humour - sound like successful combination to me!

I started reading the book to Den last week. It took us 3 sitting to finish the 16 short chapter book. Honestly the Chinese translation was awful! I have to paraphrase in many places but the story was very good and very funny and the drawing was excellent. Den loved the story and could not have enough of it. The book come in Chinese and English version. I love the English original version 100 times more than the Chinese one...but please don't let Den know.

It is about a pig called Mercy Watson, who lived with Mr. and Mrs Watson. It is Halloween and the Watsons decided to dress Mercy up as princess to go trick-or-treat. Mercy doesn't care much about the dressing up but really want to get some treat! For her, treat mean butter toast!

Things go wrong during trick-or- treat and Mercy end up chasing General Washington (a cat) around town. General Washington goes up a tall tree and can not comes down. The firemen have to come and get her down. Everyone end up in the Watson's house for their famous butter toast.

Before we started reading the book, I listed down the new vocab I wanted Den to learn:

  • 公主 (princess)
  • 王冠 (tiara)
  • 女巫 (witch)
  • 海盗 (pirate)
  • 粉红色 (pink)
  • 裙子 (skirt)
  • 危险 (danger)
  • 追逐 (chase)
  • 牛油 (butter)
  • 消防员 (fire fighter)
I still not sure if I want to use flash card. May be I will, just for a few words.

We finished the book today and after that I taught her the song I wrote for this book (she learned faster with song)

(Tune: skip to my Lou)

梅西是只小胖猪 (Mercy is a little fat pig)
她最喜欢吃牛油 (She likes to eat butter)
梅西是只小胖猪(Mercy is a little fat pig)
她最喜欢玩追逐 (She likes to play chase)

梅西是只小胖猪(Mercy is a little fat pig)
她穿起裙子戴王冠 (she wears a dress and a crown)
梅西是只小胖猪(Mercy is a little fat pig)
打扮成一个美公主 (she disguises as a pretty princess)

Oink (x5)
不是海盗不是女巫 (Not a pirate, not a witch)
Oink (x5)
小猪梅西扮公主!(Little pig Mercy disguises as a princess!)

梅西是只小胖猪 (Mercy is a little fat pig)
她最喜欢吃牛油 (She likes to eat butter)
梅西是只小胖猪(Mercy is a little fat pig)
她最喜欢玩追逐 (She likes to play chase)

你追我吖,我追他!(you chase me and I chase him)
他追小猪梅西!(he is chasing little piggy Mercy)
梅西追猫将军! (Mercy is chasing the cat general)
Oink Oink Miao Miao Oink Oink Oink!

Since it is such a long song, we only learn the first two verse today. We will continue singing this for the next few days. Let see if this can be a new way to improve her Chinese vocab!

*I added some activities after that, if you are interested in reading about them, check out the Part II.

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