Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Going Hunting

Since this wasn’t our first Easter in Shanghai, it came as no surprise to me that Easter is a pretty low-key event in China.  Unlike other western holidays like Christmas and Halloween, many kids have never heard of Easter.  This was going to change for my students.

Teaching Easter in China was a very delicate task.  I was afraid to teach the religious aspect of the holiday because I did not want to seem like I was converting students.  So I taught them traditional non-religious Easter activities instead.  So after giving my students the lowdown on the Easter Bunny and Bonnets, I introduced them to a time honored Western tradition: the egg hunt.

One of my darlings decided to wear his desk basket as his Easter Bonnet.
My first egg hunt was with my fourth grade class.  I hate to admit it, but I was rough on my 4th graders.  I hid all of the eggs in their classroom and made them complete Easter vocabulary activities for a good 30 minutes before it was time for the hunt.  I even taunted them by placing an egg in plain sight on the blackboard. 

Yep.  I was mean. 
It was hilarious to watch them scoping out eggs while they were in their seats.  

I also had a hunt for my 6th graders.  My middle school has an amazing garden, so I figured that would be the prime egg hunt location.  When I arrived at school, the local English teachers were extremely excited to hide eggs.  Some of them had never celebrated Easter before, so egg hunting was new to them also.  After 20 minutes, 100 plastic eggs were ready to be found.   Now all I had to do was guard the garden at lunchtime to ensure no students would locate eggs, and make sure nothing got damaged.   In an effort to keep them away from the gardens during their break and lunch, the local English teacher made them write dictations.  Needless to say they weren’t too thrilled when the Easter lesson came around.

This was prime egg hiding country!

The local Chinese teachers took the egg hiding to the next level!  There was a third egg lodged between the cactus branches!
The 6th graders had no idea the hunt was coming, however after explaining my egg hunt rules, they were ready to roll!

When the students saw my rules, they exclaimed, "Ms. Anne!  We would never steal each other's eggs!"  My response: "You have never been in an Easter Egg hunt!"

This was not a posed picture.  I had to hold out my arms to make sure the kids did not bust in the garden early!

She found the eggs in the cactus.  These kids are fearless!
Look at the loot!!

It only took 4 minutes to find all the eggs.  I need more eggs and a larger space next time! :) 
I hope you all had a very happy Easter.  Next up…Qingming!