Our last graded writing project of the school year is writing a research report. This is quite a new concept to the students. To make it a bit easier, we all write about the same topic. We write a biography report about Gladys Aylward, a British missionary to China in the 1900s. Our report is based on the novel These Are My People. I like to put up a bulletin board with some of the items I have purchased on my trips to China.
We read the novel together as a class and take notes on notecards. This is the first time most of them have done this. The students then use the notecards to draft their projects. We write a five-paragraph report including information about Miss Aylward’s early life, her trip to China, her life in China, the Japanese attack on China, and finally, the last years of her life.
After they’ve finished the drafting, revising, proofreading, and publishing steps, the students are ready for a treat. We accomplish this by having a Chinese banquet for our lunch. We order food from a local Chinese restaurant, complete with chopsticks and fortune cookies. We also watch a video based on Gladys’s life. The children make placemats decorated with Chinese characters to display in our classroom.
They also make Chinese lanterns to hang from the ceiling. This makes for a festive atmosphere.
The students have a wonderful time. Some even choose to dress up for the day.
I think the Chinese banquet is a great reward for all the hard work of the writing project. It helps the students to experience a bit of Chinese culture as well as have fun.
How have you rewarded your students for a job well done?