Journey of the Noodle (video to supplement textbook and for communicative practice)

《面条之路》  (This is part 1 of a 6 parts TV series about the noodle, its history, its wide varieties in China and around the world and mouth-watering noodle dishes!)

Teaching ideas:

Target levels and students: intermediate to advanced; heritage or non-heritage/advanced.

How: as the video is 50 minutes, it is best assigned as homework with accompanying worksheet or writing assignment. But show the clip for about 10 minutes in class so students have a “taste” of it and you can clarify the context and contents of the video.

If you work with a textbook, this unit is a good supplement to provide cultural knowledge and communicative practices (listening, discussion and writing) for a learning unit that deals with culinary traditions in China.

a.before showing this video in class or assigning this video as homework, have students brainstorm 6 noodle-like food items/dishes from 6 different cultures (such as: 中国四川的担担面; 北方的杂酱面; 广东的馄饨面; 山西的烩面; 美国的鸡汤面; 意大利的通心粉, 千层面).  Prepare a number of images representing these noodle dishes in case students don’t recall these easily or do not have the Chinese words for these canonical food items.

b. have students watch this clip in class or as homework. Students write down 6-10 new Chinese words they learned while watching this clip. Students log these words in their vocabulary log-book. Next class teacher can use 5-minutes in class to exchange vocabulary.

c. what worksheet or homework to assign:   possible ideas:

1) each student or groups of students, are assigned a particular segment of the video to write a summary/recap, and note down one thing that they did not know before watching the video. Be read to share ideas in class.

2) each student or groups of students study a particular dish in terms of how it is made by the following categories: ingredients; methods/procedure; sample food images. do a presentation of their findings, by poster, by blog entry, or at, or using photstory3 as a form of digital story-telling.

3) students create a class noodle recipe book (a noodle dish that they want to learn to make, or a noodle dish that is their favorite comfort food).


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