Activity 4: How much is it?
Cartoon: How much is it?
Teaching and learning goal: Students learn how to ask the question 'How much is it?' and reinforce their understanding of prices.
Dimension(s): Listening and reading
Teacher notes: Prior to the lesson, cut up the Daily Routine cards in the template provided. The cards include different times of the day, different daily activities and three cards with the word 我 (I).
Divide students into groups of three and give each group an envelope containing the Daily Routine cards. Say a sentence aloud, either in Chinese or English, such as 'I go to school at 9.00am'. Allow time for students in each group to work together to arrange the cards in the correct sequence to create the sentence you have given them.
Then, ask students to each take a 我 (I) card and use it to create at least 5 sentences using the time and activity cards. These can be nonsensical sentences, such as ‘I go to school at 6:00’ or ‘I eat dinner at 2:30’ Students write each sentence in their workbook and share each one with their group. They then select one sentence to share with the whole class.
I'd like to buy your pen
Teaching and learning goal: Students engage in a two-way basic conversation between a shopkeeper and a customer, practising their skills of saying a price.
Dimension(s): Listening and speaking
Teacher notes: Go to a student's desk and pretend to be a customer. Pick up a pen from their table and say 'I want to buy a pen' (我想买钢笔). Elicit the response 'Here you go' (给你) from the student. Then ask, 'How much is it?' (钢笔多少钱?) and ask the student to give you a price for their pen. Up until this point, this is the same dialogue as the short animation that students watched earlier. However, the conversation will be extended slightly. Depending on the price they give, respond with, 'Too expensive!' (太贵了), or if it's a reasonable price, respond with 'Here's (price) yuan' (这是__ 元).
Ask for a few more volunteers who would like to sell you a stationery item. Repeat until students become more comfortable with the dialogue.
Then, ask students to try the dialogue with a partner. They may play and pause the Shopping animation (Part 1) if they require additional support.
How much is it in China?
Teaching and learning goal: Students are prepared for the video conference with a Chinese partner school.
Dimension(s): Listening, speaking and reading
Teacher notes: Teach students how to ask the question, 'How much is ____ in Australia/China?' Explain that they will be using this sentence pattern in a video conference with your partner school in China to find out about how much things cost in China.
Students think of which products they would like to ask the price of during the video conference. They can use the online Chinese dictionary to research their word or ask you. Students write three possible questions in their notebook, just in case one is taken by someone else.
Students already know the word for expensive (贵 guì). Now, teach them the word for cheap (便宜piányí). Give each student one card that reads '贵 guì' and another card that reads '便宜 piányí'. Explain to them that when they discover the prices of different items in China during the video conference, they can hold up their '贵 guì' card or their '便宜 piányí' card to show their opinion on the prices given. Give an example conversation and invite students to hold up their cards based on the price given, as a practice. Students then rehearse the conversation and the use of the cards in small groups. Collect the cards back from students.
Schedule the video conference with your Chinese partner school and hold a practice session with the Chinese teacher beforehand to ensure you are able to clearly communicate with each other using your selected video conferencing application2. Before the video conference session, ask the teacher in China to give the Chinese students a quick revision of how to ask 'How much is ____?' in English.
Create a list of your students' names and place them in a hat or bag. Ask the teacher at your partner school to do the same with their students' names. Let the teacher know about your '贵 guì' / '便宜 piányí' cards and invite them to use them also during the video conference, or create similar cards in English.
2It is recommended that you test a number of different video conferencing applications to determine which will work best for your school and your partner school. Some free applications to try are: Skype and BlackBoard Collaborate vRoom.