Sam's 5th Grade Quest to China

When I was in 2nd grade I had the opportunity to leave my "home school" and attend a  magnet school in my district, the school is called Emerson Elementary and all of our learning is geared towards world cultures. So every science, reading, math, art lesson has a world cultures theme.  I like learning this way.

Our school pledge is:
I am an Emerson student. I pledge to be a respectful, responsible, global citizen. I am ready to learn each and every day. I will do my best, help others and be a positive influence on those around me because that's the Emerson way!

It all started 2 years ago in my 3rd grade class. My teacher wanted us to have Skype and pen pals in China. We spoke on video chats every Friday throughout the year. We met at 8 AM and they were in China where it was 8 PM. Then my teacher connected with our pen pals teacher, her name is Ping.  In 3rd grade we spoke on video chats with our pen pals and we also wrote letters to them.  Here is my letter to my pen pal. 

Then my pen pal responded to my letter, and here is what he said.....

At the end of my 3rd grade year Ms. Ping wanted to give us Chinese lessons over the summer for 2 weeks when she was here visiting Westerville.  My sister and I attended the Chinese lessons with a few of my classmates who also wanted to learn Chinese.  

Then school started and I was in 4th grade.  My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Mantenieks, asked those of us who attended Chinese lessons over the summer if we wanted to continue with our langauge lessons.  So for the last school year, (August 2016-May 2017) approximately 10 of us have been coming to Emerson every Wednesday morning at 8 AM, before school starts, so we can video chat with Ms. Ping so that we can learn Chinese.

Learning Chinese is not easy.  It is a hard language to learn because of the tones and how diverse it is.  One word in the Chinese language could have many meanings, it just depends on the tone you use when saying that word.  

We have notebooks that we use and have homework assignments that we must complete every week.  We also are required to practice Chinese for 20 minutes a day. I use an app and my notebook. 

I was also interested in learning about the Chinese military and created this presentation for my classmates when I was in 3rd grade.

We also learned a lot about the Chinese New Year from Ms. Ping and here is what I learned about my Chinese Zodiac symbol.  You will see that on my document you can find out what yours is as well. I had a lot of fun doing that.

Here is a classroom presentation that my class made as we began to learn about China and where we would travel to.

We had so much fun learning about one another and our cultures that we decided it would be a great idea to host the Chinese students and their families for 2 weeks in Ohio this summer (July 2017) and then we would go to China for 2 weeks in July 2018. 

Throughout the school year we have been doing assignments about the Chinese culture.  I wanted to learn about the police and fire departments in China. Here is what I learned and shared with my fellow classmates when we met on Wednesday morning.  

We are in the planning stages of Camp Emerson where we will do educational activities and field trips with our Chinese friends so they can learn about our culture and our language.  

I am excited to host a family from China and I hope they are excited to be hosted by my family.  The Chinese family that we are hosting will host my dad and I when we travel to China next summer.  

I am looking forward to tasting their food when they are here and I hope they can teach me how to make dumplings and noodles.  I can't wait to have Taco Tuesday with them and to share my mom's salsa with them.  

Here is the letter my family sent to our Chinese family. 

Here is an interview I did with my friend who is also planning on going to China next year. 
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Please help me raise money for my dad and I so we can travel to China with my Emerson classmates, their families and our teachers to learn about their culture and see some of their historical sites....such as this one.....

I have been working odd jobs to raise money so if you want me to come help you with work at your home or garden please let my parents know. All monies earned will be applied towards my China fund.  I have already laid 40 bags of mulch for my mom's friend and earned $115.

Last Fall I helped another friend with their fall clean up and earned $20. No job is too small or too big for me.

I am not afraid of hard work and as long as I can do what you need me to do to help you, I am willing.

As the summer progresses and when we host our Chinese family and attend Camp Emerson I will continue to provide updates.  

I am very thankful anything you would like to donate to this cause.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that has never been attempted by my elementary school, so any awareness you can give to our cause is appreciated.


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Anne Darlage Goodman 
Westerville, OH
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