Friday, September 2, 2016

DisneySchool ~ Mulan ~

     I confess, I hadn't seen Mulan all the way through until recently.  My kids had asked to see it, and I realized it was one of the few Disney movies we didn't own.  We took a trip to the library and checked it out.  I loved it! The kids did too, haha.  This movie is filled with history and culture.  It also has an uplifting message and fun characters.  I was excited to get started on some related activities.

Language Arts
     Disney's Mulan is based on "The Ballad of Mulan" a famous poem in Chinese folklore.  The story describes a young woman who was skilled in martial arts and using a sword.  One male from each family was to become a solider to assist in the war.  Hua Mulan decides to take the place of her father who was elderly and her brother who was ill.  She displays so much courage and skill that she was asked to take on a higher post, but turns it down to return home.
     Mulan is a beautiful story for any girl to read and ponder.  In fact, it can be inspirational to girls and boys, since it encourages children to look beyond their place in the world and strive to accomplish bigger things without fear.  Truly inspirational.
I enjoyed reading the original ballad with my girls. It wasn't as entertaining as the movie, but had a more beautiful and lyrical feeling.  A wonderful way to expose my kids to a little poetry.
     We also picked up some other great books that focus on Chinese folklore.  These were fun stories!

RESOURCES:

History/Vocabulary
     While watching the movie, Marley asked, "What does ancestor mean?"  The term is mentioned several times, and it is a significant part of Chinese culture to heed the warnings of ancestors.  We talked about ancestors, and I even introduced Marley to genealogy - the study of family history; descendants and ancestors.

Culinary Culture

     I love Chinese food! So I took advantage of this unit study and told my husband that we needed to take the kids to a nice Chinese restaurant.  We went to one of my favorite restaurants, The Golden Dragon.  They always have a beautiful ambience with lots of eye pleasing decor.  I took the kids on a tour around the place and we took note of the Chinese Art.

     To my surprise, the kids loved the food! Their favorite items on the menu were the egg rolls, and the wonton soup.  The cleaned their bowls.  Marley said she really liked how "fancy" the restaurant was.  It was a successful evening out for our family and they were able to be expose to some authentic Chinese dishes. And letting the kids try to eat with Chopsticks is
a lesson in itself. ;)

Chinese Art Project 
     I love finding painting tutorials on YouTube.  It is so easy to find a quick and easy lesson, especially for art projects.
     The girls practiced some different art skills while painting their Chinese Bamboo pictures and writing out their names in Chinese characters.  This is one of the easiest art projects we've done and they were quite proud about writing out their Chinese names.


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Field Trip

     This part took some research on my part.  I was determined to find a Chinese garden for the kids to explore.  I find they learn the most and have the most fun when they are outside and can make their own way through a new environment.  Luckily we were able to visit the International Peace Gardens in Salt Lake City, UT.  This place is fabulous! There is a small garden dedicated to each of the major countries in the world.  So we found a couple of perfect gardens for our Mulan lesson plan.  We worked hard to dress up and film a music video for the song Reflection.  It was incredibly beautiful in the gardens and the girls were able to experience a little bit of what Mulan might have felt.


Physical Education
     One of Marley's favorite activities is going to karate class.  Long before we watched Mulan, she
started taking classes to study martial arts, and she has just loved it!  It has given her some confidence in defending herself and in shouting for help.  I've really enjoyed watching her progress.  After watching Mulan, we talked about the way she utilized martial arts and how she maintained honor.  It wasn't long after that Marley took her final stripe test and graduated to an orange belt.  I was so proud!

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