So Monday, my exchange student, my son, and I will do a Seolnal (lunar new year) presentation for our student’s class. Since I know lots of families give presentations around this time of year, I thought I’d share what we’re doing. The class is upper elementary, but this presentation idea could be adapted for any age class, I think.
First we’re doing an introduction, which will include a brief history of Korea (how it’s 5,000 years old vs. the US being only 238 years old, and how for most of that time it was one country). During the introduction we’ll hand out maps of Korea that we found in one of the curriculums listed in the bar at right.
Next, we’ll give a brief “class” on the Korean language. We’ll explain how and when the alphabet was developed, show the kids the alphabet (and give them handouts of the alphabet), and teach them to say hello and thank you in Korean
Since our exchange student is only here for a year, she’d like to talk to her classmates about how the schools in Korea are different from schools in the US. She’ll talk about the school year being different, as well as how their school days are different.
Then we’ll give an overview of holidays in Korea, talking about how some are similar (like Memorial Day and Independence Day) and how some are the same (like Christmas, although it isn’t widely celebrated). But we’ll focus on the two main holidays of Chuseok and Seolnal. We’ll explain how these are family holidays and that families travel for several hours to be with their families and honor their ancestors.
We’ll tell them on Seolnal Koreans eat a special rice cake soup, play games, and the children will do a special bow in front of the oldest family member, for which they receive money.
We plan for our student and our son to demonstrate the sebae bow and then have all of the students try it, for which they will receive sebae ton in the form of chocolate coins.
Then we’ll teach the class how to play yut nori. Since you play yut nori in teams so I’ll lead a team and our student will lead a team. Once the game is over, we’ll have the students make their own yut nori set using craft sticks and buttons. We’ll have the rules of yut nori and the game boards printed out already so each student can take their set and play at home.
At the end of the presentation, we’ll have a Korean snack for each student which we’ve decided will be a ChocoPie with a Korean flag tooth pick stuck in it.
I’ve also recommended some books that the kids could read on their own if they want to know more. The titles include: The Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park, The Next New Year by Janet Wong, and New Clothes for New Year’s Day by Hyun-Joo Bae.
Honestly there are so many things to include that it was hard to narrow it down. But since the presentation is going to be on Seolnal, I thought it would be best to stick with a general overview and then specifics for the holiday. We’re all looking forward to the presentation, and hopefully the class will enjoy learning a little bit about a different culture.