Teaching Chinese with Theme-Based Approach: Chinese Theme Packs

by | Blog, Chinese Printable, Teaching Chinese at Home

I created Chinese Theme Packs to teach my kids Chinese. Learning Chinese using theme packs is engaging and fun. Much more effective than boring textbooks.

I never dreamed I would be sharing my Chinese teaching materials.  Over 500 Chinese Theme Packs sold in the past three years. All to families and educators throughout the world.

In this blog post, I will explain how theme-based learning works. Why it is ideal to use Chinese theme packs for learning Chinese.  And I will also show every single page of my favorite theme pack, Colors.

I hope it will elevate and expand your children’s interest in learning Chinese at home.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
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When I decided to teach my oldest child (4 years old at the time) Cantonese, I didn’t know where to start or how.

She went to a private local Hong Kong preschool for half a semester. I noticed how difficult and complex the Chinese curriculum was. Everything they taught was too advanced. The way its teaching method was also too robotic for my half Chinese half American daughter. It didn’t fit her needs, abilities, or our ideal learning style.

I didn’t want my daughter to have an education like me. Sitting down at a desk all day and long listening lectures.  Then having to memorize, not learn, EVERYTHING to pass exams and tests. There was no thinking, creating, or room to explore.

So, I created Chinese Theme Packs.

 

  • I wanted something fun and simple. It had to be easy and hands-on too.
  • I wanted to cover all the basics like math and literacy skills with games that young kids would love.
  • It needed to be bright and colorful with beautiful Asian-style clipart and pictures. Making a good impression while they learn from flashcards, games, and worksheets.
  • It had to be easy for busy parents to prepare and affordable. I wanted to make accessible for everyone. So even non-fluent parents would be able to support their kids learning Chinese.
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

That’s why in two years I created 13 different themes in 6 language versions. But to make it more accessible to more people I am adding more versions of 9.

Whether teaching Mandarin or Cantonese, using Traditional or Simplified Chinese its all covered.

Chinese Theme Packs come with pinyin, Zhuyin, Jyutping, or English.

Before seeing a Chinese Theme Pack, let’s learn about theme-based education. Also, know as a thematic approach.

 

 

What is a Theme-based Approach?

“A thematic approach to teaching involves integrating all subject areas under one theme. It crosses over subject lines and helps children relate basic academic skills to real-world ideas.” (Classroom)

Start by picking a theme/topic for kids to explore. Then, learn different subjects and skills which fit within the theme. Then,  encourage kids to study and learn. Include in-depth reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and other subject areas.

A thematic unit is much broader than a single topic. It’s common to cover a wide range of topics. Such as mammals, the solar system, cultural festivals, shapes, community helpers. It can even be based around popular children’s classic stories.

Many teachers/homeschooling parents have a different theme each week. Others may plan theirs to last 1-2 months.

 

 

Why theme-based learning is important?

Thematic units are quite common in preschool and elementary classrooms. There are many benefits of using a theme-based approach, especially for young children.

Research shows thematic units help young children achieve higher levels of learning.

 

Theme-based approach:

  • It helps kids make connections about what they learn in the real world.
  • Provides more opportunities for kids to explore in-depth
  • Engages the whole brain while learning through hands-on involvement
  • Incorporates reading, math, science, social studies, art, etc. in a more functional way
  • Provides a well-balanced curriculum and learning
  • Saves time because it connects all subjects
  • Creates an environment that encourages kids to learn, explore, and discover the world
  • Allow educators to be a facilitator of children’s’ learning but not a provider
  • Allows greater flexibility and freedom
  • Teaches kids how to learn and find knowledge on their own

 

 

What is an example of a theme-based lesson plan?

Take bugs for example.

A theme around bugs could include the investigation of bugs in your yard or park. It would include reading books about different kinds of bugs. Watching videos about their life-cycle.  Learning about the similarities and differences between all kinds of bugs. Solving word problems on how long they live. Drawing the ideal environment for different bugs. Writing a paragraph/poem/story about one of these bugs. Making up a bug dance or going bug hunting. Finding and raising them.  Pretending to be a dragonfly and imaging how it lives.

The list could go on and go on.

 

 

How do you start teaching kids with themes?

  1. Decide what theme to teach
  1. Set up your homeschooling environment/classroom
  1. Set up displays, model and props (involve the kids in the planning and set up)
  1. Plan different activities across different subjects
  1. Evaluate your kids by observing their work. Record their learning progress. Ask them questions to understand how they feel about them.

 

 

How do you teach Chinese with themes?

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I used a Chinese Theme Pack each month for the first year homeschooling. I would teach in both English and Cantonese. It worked well.

The 1st week I taught my kids in English so they would understand the context and background. I then repeated in Cantonese during the 2nd week. I focused on teaching Chinese and culture.

Then, in the 3rdweek, I added different subjects and activities. We covered science, arts & crafts, STEM, dances, and songs, projects, etc…

 

 

 

Pros & cons of the Chinese Theme Packs

Pros

  • Easy to use 
  • Low Preparation 
  • Reusable 
  • Chinese literacy & math skills included 
  • Hands-on active participation and involved learning 
  • Fun and engaging with games 
  • With 9 language versions
  • Printing them out. We have started putting Chinese Theme Packs on Amazon.com, so you have an option to buy it as a booklet. 
  • You need to prepare it ahead (cutting flashcards out). 
  • Only has basic Chinese

Cons

Here are all 13 Chinese Theme Packs that I have created

Chinese New Year 中國新年/ 中国新年

Spring 春天

Easter 復活節/复活节

Dragon Boat Festival 端午節/端午节

Summer 夏天

School 上學去/上学去

Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節/中秋节

Halloween 萬聖節/万圣节

Christmas 聖誕節/圣诞节

Body 身體/身体

Colors 顏色/颜色

Manners 打招呼

Family 家庭

P.S. My blog was gone a couple of months ago, so I’m in a process of updating and uploading the rest of the Chinese Theme Pack back to my blog. That’s why you will see the “updated” theme packs are highlighted and available for you. For the older version, you still have them in my TPT store if you need it right now. Sorry about that.

Don’t worry, I am going to make more covering different topics in the future.

It’ll be even better if you leave a comment below and let me know which topic(s)/theme(s) you would like next.

 

 

 

 

What is in each Theme Pack?

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There are over 40 pages. Hands-on Chinese activities, writing practice, math, and coloring pages are in each pack. Print it out and let your kids try. It’s that easy. Or you can plan activities to go with it.

Chinese theme packs’ Content:

  • Matching Games
  • Penmanship practice sheets
  • Matching Activities
  • Word Puzzles
  • Sorting exercises
  • Vocab Clip Cards
  • Chinese Number Clip Cards
  • Puzzles
  • Color Matching
  • Shapes Tracing
  • Roll & Count Game
  • Size Sorting
  • Writing Numbers
  • Size Sequencing
  • Patterns
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Coloring pages

 

 

What Language Versions do you have for each Chinese Theme Pack?

 

There is nine language version, they are:

  • English only
  • English with Traditional Chinese
  • English with Simplified Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese with Jyutping
  • Traditional Chinese with Pinyin
  • Traditional Chinese with Zhuyin
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Simplified Chinese with Pinyin

 

 

Which Language Version is Best for me?

If you do not know any Chinese yourself and want to teach your kids Mandarin Chinese

Use English with Traditional/Simplified Chinese, or Traditional Chinese/Simplified Chinese with Pinyin. This will help you with pronunciations and Chinese characters.

 

If you do not know any Chinese yourself and want to teach your kids Cantonese

I would suggest you use Traditional Chinese with Jyutping.  It has pronunciations and Chinese characters.

 

If you know basic Chinese yourself and want to teach your kids Chinese

Use Traditional/Simplified Chinese with or without any romanization.

 

If you are fluent in Chinese yourself and want to teach your kids Chinese

Use Traditional Chinese/Simplified Chinese. If you want to teach your kids pinyin, then get the version with pinyin as well.

 

Need help with figuring out which Chinese and Chinese characters to teach? Here is a blog post to help you with that.

If you are struggling to find the best version for you and your kids, feel free to send me an email to chat with me.

 

 

 

 

Let’s look at the Colors Theme Pack
in Action!

 

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

I will show you everything single page of the Colors Chinese Theme Pack with the English with the Traditional Chinese version, so everyone can understand it easier.

 

 

 

Table of Content

Matching Game  

There are 2 levels of matching game with two different types of flashcards.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Penmanship 

There are 3 levels of penmanship worksheet

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Group the Right Colors 

Children can group the right color with cutting and pasting skills.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Matching Activities 

Matching the right color picture to the correct picture or Chinese characters

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Word Puzzles 

By following the shape of each puzzle, kids can guess the object and learn the Chinese character.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Vocab & Number Clip Cards

Use cloth pins, stickers, even their little fingers to choose the answer from each card.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Puzzles 

It’s a fun way to put the picture together along with Chinese characters.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Size Sequencing 

Children can learn about size sequencing. Arranging the biggest to the smallest cards.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Shapes Tracing 

Trace with each shape and to learn about shapes.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Roll & Count

 

How to Play

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

First Game to Play:

  1. Cut out and make the dice
  1. Roll the dice. Look at the legend on the next page and find how many stamps picture is worth.
  1. Stamp the correct number of boxes and write the Chinese numbers in the box above.
  1. Players each roll the dice five times. Taking turns.
  1. Write the total number on the bottom along with their name. The player with the most stamps wins!
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Second Game to Play: 

Take turns rolling the dice, and place a stamp in the appropriate box. See which body part gets 10 stamps first

 

 

Writing Numbers

Trace the Chinese word next to each picture. Then, draw lines to connect the numbers in order from the smallest number to the biggest number. 

It’s kind of like a dot-to-dot but in Chinese.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Which One is Different? 

Find the difference and circle the answer.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Patterns 

Keep the pattern going by cutting and pasting the correct item.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Maze 

Color, put stickers on, or stamp the path starting at 1 and ending at 10.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Addition & Subtraction

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Coloring Pages 

Trace the Chinese characters and English, then color the pictures.

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs
teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

What do you think about this theme pack?

 What’s your favorite? 

Any other games/skills can I add to the pack?

 

 

How Do I Organize each pack?

Sandwich bags & freezer bags & big plastic envelopes/folders are my friends for organizing the materials.

All the small little pieces go into a sandwich bag.

Then, worksheets, flashcards, game pieces, Chinese children’s books, and Chinese Vocab Poster, all go into a big folder. It organized by theme.

I can easily get the whole set do it whenever I need it.

The Result of My Kids using the Chinese Theme

teaching Chinese with theme-based approach: Chinese theme packs

Going back to my story, my oldest daughter loved Chinese Theme Packs. Her favorite was the matching game and the flashcards. She also liked all the printable games and coloring pages.

To me, I can reuse the Chinese Theme Packs that make it so much more valuable.

And now, my two older kids (ages 9 & 7) have a good foundation of the Chinese culture. They love it and want to keep learning Chinese. I’m so glad I made Chinese Theme Packs. They have helped provide a fun learning experience. They also make preparing all the materials quick and easy. Theme packs ignited the fire and passion for learning Chinese in my kids.

They are ready and excited for the next level.

Let’s Hear How the Chinese Theme Packs Bless Other Families

Detail Reviews from Other Bloggers and Parents 

body theme packs

Fun Chinese Worksheets for Preschooler

Review from Mandarin Mama

Her packets are a steal for the amount of value you get out of them… Each activity will have a suggested age range and I found it spot on. Fortune Cookie Mom knows her audience! And it’s just another example of how thoughtful and nuanced her packets are. She really takes all the guesswork and headache out of teaching kids Chinese.

Dragon Boat Festival theme packs

Dragon Boat Festival Printable Chinese Activities for Children

Review from Chalk Academy

Here is my daughter’s favorite part of the Dragon Boat Theme Pack: the 粽子 coloring page… Aren’t the details of the illustrations beautiful?! 

If you are a busy and/or non-fluent parent who doesn’t have time to prepare Chinese learning activities, I recommend Fortune Cookie Mom’s Dragon Boat Festival Theme Pack.

The various language options are greatly appreciated; options allow for learning to be more accessible to all types of learners!

Homeschooling Chinese with Fortune Cookie Mom

Review from NihaoHello

She was like ‘wow’ at the Page with all the numbers 1-10 and I think she really likes that it is very colourful…I did spend about 10 minutes to prepare (cutting/choosing the pages of) these materials and I think they’re really good and effective! Truly daughter enjoys working with it.

You could be the next one

 

The Chinese Theme Packs are right for you, if …

 

  •  Your kids are from age 3-7
  • You are a busy parent who needs materials which are easy and are low prep
  • You desire to provide fun and positive Chinese learning experiences for kids
  •  You want to teach kids basic Chinese literacy and math skills
  • You need more resources to teach the Chinese culture & different topics
  • You want the flexibility to create custom lesson plans and activities.
  • You want quality resources to guide the way

 

Chinese Theme Packs have helped me in so many ways.  I can keep teaching all four of my kids Chinese at home. If not for the thematic approach, I couldn’t keep it up.  There are too many responsibilities as a homeschooling mom. They have simplified my life.

I hope by sharing it will help you start teaching your kids Chinese. It will help them to feel interested and they will have fun learning Chinese. If you are a busy parent it will make your life easy.

 

Thank you for your resources. When I had taught my children all that I knew, I relied back on the methods that I was taught Chinese. I knew it wouldn’t be interesting, but I had no other resources. When I found your blog, I started with the freebies to see what my child thought. They love the age-appropriate activities and ask “Mommy, can we do Chinese work?” Thank you so much!

I love using the Theme pack from Fortune Cookie Mom. It is very easy to follow and convenient for parents or teachers to prepare the lesson by using her theme pack. My children are 3 and 5 years old. They practice writing, counting, sorting, recognizing new characters with the materials included in the theme pack. There are puzzles and game ideas included. We got the color theme pack and it was well-made and fit the need of teaching young children. It also helps develop the child’s visual discrimination of sizes, which prepares my children for later work in writing and mathematics.

Kristy

Owner, Love School at Home

I would say Fortune Cookie Mom is the pioneer of theme-based Chinese Learning packs for young children. I have not found anything in the market which is similar and comparable with the ones Fortune Cookie Mom is offering. I love the options of choosing Traditional/Simplified Characters, along with many pinyin and English. I have been using them to teach all the Chinese festivals to my little one and his friends. It’s very helpful for families living outside of Chinese Language environment who are teaching their children Chinese because the materials are all downloadable, it’s very affordable, and the themes have covered most of the topics that preschoolers need to know. Thank you Fortune Cookie Mom for spending your time and effort to make these wonderful Chinese Learning packs.

Michelle

Owner, Cantonese Mommy

The package support is very comprehensive, the cartoon and design are nice too. I will probably recommend others to experience on it.

Try the Free Chinese Theme Pack Samples! 

I have included 4 free samples in my Chinese Resource Library for you to try.

Sign up below for FREE

 

P.S. You’ll also receive other exclusive resources and printables from me.

Save More with the Chinese Theme Pack <<Bundles>> 

 

 

 

You can buy each Chinese Theme Pack HERE or SAVE BIG with the BUNDLES HERE!

I have also created Chinese Children books to go along with the Chinese Theme Packs.

Have you tried the Theme-based approach? How’s your experience?

Let me know in the comment of what other Theme would you like me to create in the future.

身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛!版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。

Grace

两个小孩的职业妈妈

This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!

Nicolette

Homeschooling Mom of Three

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