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Ancient Art of Chinese Calligraphy

 Ancient Art of Chinese Calligraphy

Recently, the Marvin Immersion students in second grade and third grade hosted a calligraphy teacher from Guangzhou, China. Ms. Chen taught the students about Chinese Calligraphy (中国书法) and the ‘Four Treasures of Study ( 文房四宝).' The students learned about the brush, the ink, the paper and the ink dishes. Ms. Chen explained that the special paper is made from bamboo and let students feel the soft paper. She explained that the bristles in the brushes come from the hair of animals like sheep, horses and goats. Students learned that a narrow stalk of bamboo holds the bristles in place.

Chen Laoshi (Ms. Chen ) taught the students about the value of this ancient art form. She taught them about the highly respected calligraphy masters; how long they study, how they sit, and how to make some simple strokes. Children were shown how to hold the brush (straight up), how to sit straight and tall, and most importantly how to make the strokes.

Our wise children already know the stroke names but rarely have the opportunity to work with ink and brush. Students learned how pushing, pulling and lifting the brush across the page can create beautiful characters. They learned how to use the brush to get just the right amount of ink and the perfect tip on the brush. They practiced this ancient craft with soft, traditional Chinese music playing in the background.

The children practiced the characters for 一 (one),  二 (two), 三 (three), 十 (ten) and 木(wood) . The beautiful character mu encompasses the four strokes of 横 (horizontal), 竖 (vertical), 撇 (left diagonal stroke) and 捺 (right diagonal stroke).

Aside from the enjoyment of using ink and brush, aside from learning about this revered ancient craft, students received intensive language instruction in vocabulary such as top, bottom, middle, long, longer, longest, right, left, etc.

Thanks to Ms. Chen, a teacher with the Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University. 

Students show their finished calligraphy pieces             Students practice writing             Students practice writing             Students working with brush and ink
Jenny Jin, Third Grade Mandarin Immersion Teacher