Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Great Pumpkin, Shanghai Style

One of the perks of being a foreign English teacher is the thrill of celebrating western holidays with students.  Halloween is no exception. 

The party started two Mondays before Halloween.  One of the local teachers at my elementary school approached me and asked,
            “Annie, can you please teach the children about Halloween?  On Halloween, we are going to have the students trick or treat around the school.  Could you make sure you teach them how to say ‘trick or treat, give me something good to eat?’”
            “Sure thing! That sounds like fun!”  I replied. 
            “So, can you start teaching them about Halloween Thursday? “ The teacher asked.  This was going to be different.  In the US, I would wish my kids a Happy Halloween and would keep instruction going as usual to prevent the Halloween candy crash from happening in my classroom. We would not spend multiple class periods on the holiday.  I immediately started searching online for holiday activities. 

As per the school request my students spent two hours singing Halloween songs, telling spooky stories, creating masks, playing games, and learning about the traditions of my childhood. 

I was able to find a cheap witch hat at the YuYuan Garden Bazaar.  I was so touched when my 4th grade students gave me a matching cape.  How did they know I was going to dress up like myself for Halloween?  I rewarded them with a rendition of the "Golden Arm" ghost story.

The kids didn't really get the concept of Jack-O-Lanterns.  It is very common to eat fried pumpkin around here.

The kids quickly picked up the concept of trick-or-treating.  Fortunately, I only had to stop one student from singing,
"Trick or treat. Smell my feet.  Give me something good to eat.  If you don't, I don't care, I'll pull down your....".  How do these kids know that chant?  I thought it was an American deal.

I was able to keep some level of academic normalcy when the students created their own Halloween masks out of paper plates.  My first graders are learning parts of the face, while my second graders are learning about animals.

I loved the zombie mask, complete with rhinestone blood coming out of the eyes and mouth.

After teaching about Halloween for 4 days, it was time for Witch Anne to have some fun!  So Chris and I headed with some German friends to a Halloween bash at club M1NT in downtown Shanghai.  We had a great time watching Cirque Du Soir, dance, dangle, and devour fire on the bar. 
Dancing fire eaters rocked the bar.

Ditka Chris and Werewolf Joachim enjoyed cocktails and cigars.
I can do that...just give me my magic broom.
I promise I didn't put a spell on the Packers. :)

Overall, it was a fun Halloween!