Asian studies students teach second-graders about customs, food, and fun
Story and photos by Stephen Wilson
Around the world in 80 days is one thing, but around a continent in 90 minutes is another. Yet it didn’t stop Asian studies students from giving it their best effort.
Second-graders from Cheston Elementary visited campus and enjoyed their Asian tour as part of the Aspirations program from Landis Center for Community Engagement. The program has Lafayette faculty, Cheston teachers, and both Lafayette and Cheston students working together through cooperatively developed classroom-oriented learning.
Today elementary students rotated from table to table, or more appropriately, country to country to see photos, taste food, listen to music, enjoy games, and make things.
Li Yang, assistant professor of Chinese, introduced the day by asking students to think of where they were and travel west until they reached one of their many destinations.
Karli Israel, second-grade teacher, is thankful for the opportunity. “I have many diverse students and am happy to expose them to a bigger world—both life at the College and culture of Asia,” she says. “I hope it inspires the students to think about how college can be a possibility for them.”
Here are some of the activities the students enjoyed.
South Korea: map making, traditional food, and using chopsticks with Lafayette students Yuqiu, Ziyang, and Qianyu
India: an introduction to Diwali (coloring, dancing, making a Diwali wish) with Lafayette students Ryan, Izzy, Ben, and Luc
Afghanistan: flying kites with Lafayette students Brian, Ethan, and JD
China: character writing, folding paper, playing ping-pong with Lafayette students Zishen, Zi’an, Biquan, and Tianyu
Vietnam: playing dragon snake game and bamboo jacks—similar to pickup sticks—with Lafayette students Noah, Blake, and Tom
Japan: rolling their own dessert sushi with Lafayette students Eric, Thomas, and Matt
Thailand: Buddhist New Year, flag, hopscotch to learn the main islands with Lafayette students Antoine and Josh
Philippines: the card game with Lafayette students Brendan and Kris
Indonesia: playing badminton and a variation on rock, paper, scissors with Lafayette students Peter and Leslie