In our mandarin homeschool, we do equal parts of reading and writing of Chinese words. Traditional Chinese writing exercises would be rote writing. I remember my school days and the boringly endless Chinese copy writing. So I vowed to find other avenues for Chinese writing, and here I have a cheap and easy wipe clean worksheet activity to share with you.
How to teach children Chinese writing with this wipe clean worksheet activity
I like Chinese worksheets with bigger pictures and numbered stroke orders so the children can learn stroke order right from the start. I had no luck searching online for Simplified Chinese writing worksheets, so I created some for our homeschooling needs. You can have a look at what’s available here.
As you can see from the picture above, there is only 1 Chinese character on each sheet, prominently displayed for the most part, so my kids can see the numbers and arrowed lines for the stroke order. At the bottom of the worksheet, I put in practise squares which allows them to trace first, and then write the Chinese words independently.
Setting up your Chinese writing wipe clean activity
You will need
- white board markers
- white board eraser
- dry erase hard plastic covers
- Chinese character worksheets
- Patience and a happy encouraging smile
Buy the thinner white board markers, not the thick chisel tips one. Kids can find it hard to figure out which way to hold them. I like the Expo brand ones, as they are just the right size, writes and wipe off well. For erasers, buy soft rubber grips one for ease of use.
Previously, I used plastic protectors to create wipe clean activities, but with these new dry erase hard plastic wipe clean covers, it is far easier to organise. Not to mention cheap and environmentally friendly too! (Plus you can totally set up an independent work station with this same set of stationery. Just swap the worksheets out.)
Wipe clean activity. Ready Set Write!
Slip a few Chinese worksheets in the plastic covers and write away.
I really like how simple this activity is, and how you can immediately give corrective feedback. When my children makes a mistake, I can point out immediately where the error is, wipe it away and have them correct their error. The feedback is far more immediate and effective than traditional paper and pencil.
As you can see from the picture above, Er Bao (who is 4.5 years old) loves this activity, and is very proud of her “Chinese writing muscles”. She will willingly write up to 5 worksheets in one sitting.
*Tip 1: say the number with each stroke they write. It will help them to remember the order independently later on.
*Tip 2: After your child has practiced their tracing worksheets, get a plain whiteboard, or plain writing worksheets. Ask your child to write the Chinese characters they learnt today without any assistance. This is an important step in their knowledge retention of the Chinese words they have learnt.
Getting your child to write can be a difficult task. But if you choose the right activity, you may be surprised at how much they will enjoy learning, and how much they are learning within that one writing task.
Chinese writing with young children can be hard. But stick at it and you will be rewarded tremendously.
Do share with me your personal Chinese writing activities! It’s always nice to hear from fellow homeschoolers.
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