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Foundation – Year 2: 'Trading Places' – Lantern FestivalBookmark

Learning area: Geography, Health and Physical Education, Language: Chinese
Year level: Foundation, Year 1, Year 2
Country: China
General capability: Intercultural understanding

This learning sequence explores celebrations, holidays and festivals that are known and/or celebrated in the classroom, focussing specifically on the Chinese Lantern Festival.  It is also aligned to the Australian Children’s Television Foundation ‘Hoopla Doopla’ episode ‘Trading Places’ and explores different ways of moving, focussing on circus dance and gymnastics, culminating with a final movement performance piece.


Episode Synopsis: Episode 24 - Trading Places

It is the Lantern Festival & Bop needs help to make the lanterns. If Zap helps Bop make lanterns then who will do his deliveries? If Mimi does deliveries who will make the dumplings? Soon everyone in town has traded places.

Hoopla Doopla Background

In the town of Hoopla live six extraordinary characters each with their own amazing physical skill: Mimi runs the café and looks after everyone in town while juggling muffins and milkshakes; Ziggy, the shop keeper, does magic tricks which go in surprising directions; Zap, the town messenger, delivers packages in the most acrobatic manner possible; Bop, Mr Fix-It is able to lift almost anything; flexible Squidgie looks after the town garden and can often be found inside a pot-plant, finally Jango, the street sweeper, is always playing tricks and causing mischief.

Hoopla Doopla! is a unique and ground breaking show for 3-7 year olds, using physical action and comedy to drive the story. They tumble, juggle, leap and somersault in and out of trouble. However, whenever anything goes wrong - and it usually does - they always have each other to fall back on.

Hoopla Doopla! is a co-production between the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and China Central Television.  There are 52 x 12-minute episodes with both English and Chinese language versions. It was filmed in in Beijing with a mix of Chinese and Australian crew and performers.

Hoopla Doopla! - Series 1, Episode 24 - Trading Places [MANDARIN]

The Hoopla Doopla: English & Chinese Language Resource contains the English and Mandarin language versions of 13 selected episodes from the Hoopla Doopla! TV series. They are available for purchase and download from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation at: Hoopla Doopla:  English & Mandarin Language Episodes for Download

Related resources


This learning sequence has been developed in partnership with the Australian Children's Television Foundation

Images: Chinese Lunar New Year 2014, Hoopla Doopla! - Series 1, Episode 24 - Trading Places [MANDARIN] by Australian Children's Television Foundation (Standard YouTube Licence)

Activity 1: Engage

  1. Students identify holidays they know that are specific to a culture, e.g. Chinese New Year and the Thai water throwing festival of Songkran.
    *These may or may not be celebrated in the classroom.
  2. Explain to students they will watch a Hoopla Doopla episode about a Chinese holiday, they should try and guess which holiday it is and afterwards they will need to record how the holiday is celebrated so they should watch out for this in the video
  3. Students watch 'Trading Places' and record ways in which the Lantern Festival is celebrated as a spider diagram though words or pictures in small groups using Inspiration (provide a word bank as needed) after watching it.


Images: Chinese Lunar New Year 2014, Melbourne AU – Wikipedia Commons File: Chinese Lunar New Year 2014, Melbourne AU (12250875754).jpg

Activity 2: Explore

  1. Elicit where students think Hoopla Doopla village is set and where the characters are from.  Explain that some are from Australia and some are from China.  Look at Australia on an interactive map.  Use Scribble Maps  and the pencil tool on a class board or individual devices and mark some initial observations about geographical divisions e.g. countries they know, the equator, oceans and land and demarcate these divisions using the pencil tool on Scribble Maps.
  2. Introduce the concept of 'continents' and teach how they are made up of countries. Students work in groups to research countries in either the continents of Asia and Oceania using Scribble Maps. First circle the continents in two different colors and then identify countries within the continent they were allocated. Review the terms north, south, east, west and ask students in pairs to prepare to introduce their continent using these terms and different country names to another pair. Students then work in pairs to 'introduce' their continent to another pair e.g. countries in that continent as well as geographical relationship to each other.  Students find Australia and China on Scribble Maps and discuss the idea of Australia's 'neighbours' being Asian countries.
  3. Exploring further: Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival.  Divide the class into 2 groups; A and B.
    Group A:  Students in small groups watch 'Sagwa The Siamese Cat – Ba-Dot Lantern Festival' and 'Travel for Kids: SF Lantern Festival' videos.  Add on to their spider diagram information learnt from these two sources about how and why the festival is celebrated.
    Group B:  Students in small groups watch 'The Story of Nian', lion dance performance(highlight: 02:10, 06:30, 13:32) and the dragon dance performance.
    Add on to their spider diagram information learnt from these two sources about how and why the festival is celebrated.
    The two groups then share back to one another and add onto their spider diagrams information about Lantern Festival they learnt from the other group.
  4. Ask what Mimi was making for Lantern Festival in the episode 'Trading Places'? (sticky rice balls in sweet soup =  tangyuan).  Explain these are a desert and discuss if deserts are generally healthy or unhealthy and if it's possible to have healthy deserts? Should they go in the 'eat always, eat sometimes or eat seldom' category?  Can students think of other deserts that could fit into these three categories?
  5. In small groups students identify a holiday or festival known to them all.  Students then compare this holiday using the Venn Diagram Maker framework to Lantern Festival identifying which ways the holidays are similar and different e.g. Similar – cooking and sharing special food, decorating. Different – Halloween people dress in fancy dress.
  6. Personal Attributes: Students identify what activity/jobs each Hoopla Doopla character is good at.  Ask students what else they think each character might be good at.  Ask students to work in pairs and choose a Hoopa Doopla character, brainstorm what the character is good at and then use that information to think about what kind of person are they and create a sentence (written or spoken) to describe that character e.g. Mimi is caring and helpful because she cooks nice meals for everyone.
  7. Students retell the story of Hoopla Doopla - Lantern Festival again in pairs.  Discuss what happened when they did each others' jobs and when they finally did their own jobs.  Students sit in a sharing circle. Go round the circle and share something they are each good at eg. I can write my name. I am good at skateboarding. I am good at helping my friends. I am good at ballet.  Then students share something they think someone else in the class is good at.  Cover which kinds of words we use to describe people (adjectives) and what kinds of ways can we describe them (physical and personal attributes).  Elicit some examples of adjectives to describe personal attributes e.g. kind, helpful, shy, confident, quiet, clever.  Students work with a partner of their choice, they share three attributes they think define them.  They can help their partner with ideas. Students may share back to the class.  Students now draw themselves in the middle of an A4 paper and write or draw attributes that they think describe themselves.
  8. Lead a discussion with students about why in Trading Places the characters did each others' jobs.  Explain that the Hoopla Doopla village is like a family and a class can also be like a family.  Discuss how we can include others to ensure everyone feels part of the class family.
  9. Students re-watch the lion dance performance (highlight: 02:10, 06:30, 13:32) and the dragon dance performance.  Students discuss how the animals moved e.g. with multiple people making up the animal, jumping up and down, moving in unison. 
  10. Do a quick warm up. Break the class into smaller groups of approximately six students.  Each group can choose to either make a lion or dragon dance moving around a designated space.  They will need to focus on team-work to complete this. Once completed, groups perform to each other to suitable music.
  11. Students work in groups of 4-6 using Adobe Voice to create a presentation about Lantern Festival.  Using photos taken of the performances along with images provided and potentially images drawn by students and then scanned, students create voice overs to make a simple presentation.  Present to other groups once completed.

Activity 3: Reflect

  1. Ask students to share with a partner what skills they needed to complete the lion or dragon dance (communication, teamwork, taking turns to share, trying each others ideas). Use the Visible Thinking Routine 'Think, Pair, Share':
    • 'Think, Pair, Share' involves posing a question to students, asking them to take a few minutes of thinking time and then getting them to turn to a nearby student to share their thoughts.
  2. Brainstorm how they felt after their performance pieces. How did their bodies feel? What can they do to look after their bodies after participating in physical activities? Record on Padlet.
  3. Review the Personal Attribute Body Outlines.  Discuss as a class why it is important to know what we are good at.
  4. Review connections to the world using the world map and ask students to find the continents and countries covered in small groups using Scribble Maps.
  5. Students review their Inspiration spider diagram about Lantern Festival.  Do they want to add any further final information?
  6. Reflect on their learning on Lantern Festival and re-watching the Adobe Voice presentations. Use the Visible Thinking Routine 'I used to think, now I think':
    • Have students write a response using each of the sentence stems:
      • I used to think...
      • But now, I think...

Activity 4: Chinese – Second Language Pathway list:

Trading Places (Lantern Festival)

Access to Scootle digital content

Digital content has been incorporated into these learning sequences to support student learning. A link is provided to open each of these Scootle digital resources.

To access the Scootle digital content in these learning sequences you will need to create an account or login.

  1. Show the world map on Google Maps to the class and highlight China. Ask the students which language/s is/are spoken in China. Watch the video Real Chinese: Basic Greetings from 2:30 to 3:00. Ask if anyone in the class speaks Chinese or if they know anyone who speaks Chinese. Highlight that many people in Australia speak Mandarin or Cantonese (the 2011 Census showed 1.6% of Australia's population spoke Mandarin and 1.3% spoke Cantonese1). Give an overview of the difference between the two languages, e.g. Cantonese is a dialect spoken in Guangdong, a southern province in China and is also used in Hong Kong. Mandarin has four tones but Cantonese has six to nine tones. Identify which other languages are spoken in the class. Together as a class or as individual students, find the countries those language come from on Scribble Maps, if you didn't find them in the first part of the lesson.
  2. Discuss: What do you notice is different to English? (Tones, characters and order of sentences.) Introduce the difference in tones: show Fun Fun Elmo Episode 1 (2:20) to introduce the four tones and copy the model of sounding out the first tone.
    For a more detailed explanation of tones, watch Chinese with Mike Tones. Practise the different tones with the Tones Song (2:00 onwards).
  3. Introduce the different written form from English that Chinese uses, characters: Chinese with Mike: Writing Characters.
  4. Show an image of 10 items and explain that we want to count them in Chinese. Listen to the 1-10 Chinese number rap video: what do they notice about the language? Refer to the tones and character form covered already. Teach and practise saying the numbers one to 10, show both the Pinyin and the characters using the Chinese Number Lanterns video.
    Students check their understanding using the counting calculator and practise counting objects in the room, e.g. pencils and chairs, etc. Using character flash cards for numbers one to 10, students practise ordering them. Students practise and check their knowledge of the written form using the Number Train Chinese 1-10 (Level 1).










    Teach hand signals for Chinese numbers 1-10 from the Elmo video (5:27-7:30).

  5. Review that the village of Hoopla is set in China. Ask: how might you say hello in Chinese? (Nín hǎo, 您好.) Watch the video: Chinese with Mike: Basic Greetings (0:00-7:00) or Real Chinese: Basic Greetings (0:00 to 2:30). Students learn and practise everyday greetings (videos cover various):
    Nǐ hǎo
    Hello (very polite)
    Nín hǎo
    Good morning
    Zǎoshang hǎo
    Good afternoon
    Xiàwǔ hǎo
    Good evening
    Wǎnshàng hǎo
    Hello everyone
    Dàjiā hǎo
  6. Students watch the introduction video for the root word for country, explain that this is the 'traditional Chinese' and show the simplified Chinese character for country (Guójiā国家).  Learn country names for China, England, America and Australia, also teach any other relevant countries for students in the class:
  7. Students watch the What's Your Name? song.
    Review the usage of the phrase 'My name is...' (Wǒ jiào, 我叫.) Learn how to say where they are from and practise asking and answering with a partner, then practise by mingling around the room with an A4 sheet of paper pinned to their front with the name of a country in Pinyin and characters on it, and ask and answer where they are 'from' according to the country on their A4 sign.
  8. Students should imagine they meet someone in the street in China. What question/s might they ask them? Watch the 'Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi' song. Elicit what students think the song is about. What question is being asked? How do they know? Learn and practise how to ask and answer the basic questions: what is your name? My name is... What is his/her name?
    What is your name?
    Nǐ jiào shénme míng zi?
    My friend
    Wǒ de péngyǒu
    I am called...
    wǒ jiào...
    Who are you?
    Nǐ shì shéi?

    More able students can use the more difficult phrases and watch the video.

    Practise and review with Quizlet.

  9. Exploring further: Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival.  Ask the students to think back or re watch 'Trading Places', 'Sagwa The Siamese Cat – Ba-Dot Lantern Festival', 'Travel for Kids: SF Lantern Festival', 'The Story of Nian', lion dance performance and the dragon dance performance and share ways that the festival is celebrated that is related specifically to Chinese culture e.g. special food, lanterns and knots to decorate, lion and dragon dances.
  10. Learn the basic vocabulary related to celebrating Chinese New Year, practicing the correct tones when reading pinyin:

    New year
    xīn nián
    Spring Festival
    chūn jié
    biān pào
    jiǎo zi
    Red envelope
    hóng bāo
    Happy New Year
    xīn nián kuàilè
    Let's sing a song
    wǒ men chàng gē ba
    Let's dance
    wǒ men  tiào wǔ ba

    Listen to the two songs about Chinese New Year Gongxi Gongxi & Xin Nian Hao.
    Learn to sing along to both songs' choruses with the new vocabulary learnt.
  11. Introduce the vocab: like/dislike Wǒ xǐhuān我喜欢 / Wǒ bù xǐhuān我不喜欢.  Show on flashcards each of the Chinese New Year vocabulary items again and review them.  Students each have a hand out of the two new vocabulary items: Wǒ xǐhuān我喜欢 / Wǒ bù xǐhuān我不喜欢.  They hold up the cards to indicate their feelings for each of the Chinese New Year vocabulary items (dumplings, lanterns, fireworks).
    Students make a simple story book about celebrating Chinese New Year.  Cutting and pasting the key vocab and/or simple sentence starters with the vocabulary to make their own small story book e.g. I like dumplings/ jiǎo zi/饺子, I can see a (lantern/dēng long/灯笼), I can hear (firecrackers/biān pào/鞭炮). Include the vocabulary sentence starters 'I like/I don't like' as suitable Wǒ xǐhuān我喜欢 / Wǒ bù xǐhuān我不喜欢
  12. Review the Chinese vocabulary learned and review the differences in Chinese language compared to English (tones, Pinyin and characters).

1 The Australian Bureau of Statistics

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