Course 3

Mandarin Weather Forecast




★Each student picks a country and reports the weather of that country by using MovieMaker software.

★Each student will record her/himself reading the weather condition.

★Each student designs her/his own MovieMaker movie;

★Each student adds her/his own images and music to enhance features of the weather report, and Royalty-free music and images from the “Creative Commons”, plus sources cited appropriately.

★Students will only speak Chinese when working on the weather forecast project.


Useful Links


April.4    Students introduce the weather report;

April.8    Turn in the first draft

April.14   Turn in revised draft

April.18   Turn in MovieMaker movie

April. 20   Sharing the production

April. 22   Presentation!

UBD Project Outline

Project Launcher: A Powerful Learning Experience


When I began to teach the topics based on the curriculum, I thought how I can make a breakthrough at some point— especially in connection with Chinese food. The students have learned about this topic all the way from Lower School to Middle School, but never had live –school- experience.

As David Jakes concludes “Students must learn how to convey meaning emotionally. That’s why digital storytelling, when done right, can be such a powerful learning experience.”

So I assigned an authentic project: “Visiting a Local Night Market”. The students chose their own group to go to the Night Market and took their own photos there. They also designed their own photo story.

Here are Moeka and Eli, two 7th graders who created their PhotoStory with purpose and pride to show how powerful their experience at the night market had been.

YouTube Preview Image

Now let me share it with you.


YouTube Preview Image

I was looking for some methods of presentation for my teaching objectives when I was in Lower School. Power Point slides became my life saver at that time.

I think I have read a lot of interesting things on this site—Presentation Zen.

Simplicity is the essence for maximum grasp of a subject. I think that a visual medium with less information but more expression lasts longer in the minds of the learners than a series of explanations.


Lesson Accelerator


John Medina Rule 10: Vision trumps all other senses.“We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”

For helping the students to remember the new words quickly, I have used Comic Life project with sixth-grade Mandarin beginner students. Comic Life (Plasq; available from is a comic-creation software program.

Designing an Appearance Page

Materials: Internet access, Comic Life software

Time: three sessions, one for vocabulary introduction, one for application practice and finding pictures, and one for creating the Comic Life page


The students

  • Learn appearance adjective vocabulary. Then they choose 6-8 adjectives.
  • Search for copyright-free images,;   
  • Using the Internet and a favorite image-search engine, and download full-size images (not thumbnails) to a folder.
  • Open Comic Life, creating a new document in Comic Life and applying a page template.
  • Navigate to the folder containing the pictures, then arrange the pictures in the software.
  • Add, resize, and reposition images in the comic panes.
  • Add caption text to each image.
  • Save the comic page and print the document.
  • Share the projects in the class.

The whole project went very smoothly, the students remembered all the words quickly. The only challenge for the students was to type Chinese characters, because they have to set the keyboard again: Control Panel—Languages and Region—Format—Select Chinese (Taiwan, traditional form).

What I discovered for the first time , is that on the Comic Life you can export the template to movie. I should explore further how to do this on Windows.

 Created by Yoon


Created by Rebecca

Media-rich Learning



Media-rich learning is the ideal way for teachers to connect with today’s students. After reading several articles about visual literacy, I feel very strongly that the IT courses I have been choosing have changed my teaching strategies.  I also acquired different skills which enabled me to broaden my scope of presentation methods in the classroom, like moving from simple PowerPoint to more diverse forms of interacting with students.

When I was reading Visual Literacy and the Classroom by Erin Riesland, it reminded me that one of my previous IT homeworks was to compare Objectivist and Constructivist learning philosophy.

Now Erin Riesland made it very clear for us: “The learning model is based on the concept that knowledge is constructed rather than processed from information received from an external source. In this process, the student assumes the role of the producer rather than the consumer of information.”

Today’s digital natives are driving the move toward visual information (Susan McLester 2006). Therefore, with digital images, movies and other IT applications  in the classroom, amazing things can happen. Engaged through different IT tools, students feel a stronger connection to the subject matter, and spend more time on task. Even hard-to-reach students are inspired to step up and participate when they’re given the opportunity to demonstrate their strengths through the creation of digital projects.

That’s why I chose this course because I can reflect upon the courses I have taken before, and at the same time study and update IT– theories. As always, I need to sharpen my IT skills and enhance my knowledge to grasp the changes in the multimedia world.

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