Urban Prairie Waldorf School

Chinese Afterschool Program

In Afterschool Chinese, students learn social skills and strategy in a variety of team-building games from China to increase cooperation, problem solving, and the art of being a good winner and loser as well as using some of the knowledge they have acquired in Chinese class. Students also practice traditional Chinese arts.  Fees associated with this program will be charged through TADS unless otherwise arranged with Administrative staff.

This year we have three sessions.  The first session is seven weeks of Chinese chess(Xiangqi象棋). Xiangqi blends the strategic aspects of traditional chess with the richness of Chinese culture. “Xiangqi is not only the most popular form of chess in the world,” said Board member and xiangqi player, Ted Shieh, “but a more interesting form of chess that helps develop planning and analytical skills as well as improving self-confidence.”The first syllable, Xiang, or elephant, is a piece in the game. The second syllable, qi, is one of four traditional arts in China: qin (music), hua (brush painting), shu (calligraphy), and qi (strategy games). Traditionally, all Chinese gentlemen scholars were expected to be proficient in the four arts.The rules, pieces, and movements of Xiangqi are similar to international chess with the exception of an additional piece, the Pào, or cannon, which catapults in an attack. The pieces are identified not by their shape but by traditional Chinese characters engraved upon them. The placement of the pieces is on the intersection of board lines, rather than in the squares. Reflecting historic Chinese battles and military rules, the board has a river and palaces, which restrict movement of certain pieces but enhance those of others. All students in grade 3 and above are invited to sign up for this program.
The second session is two weeks of Chinese checkers.  Tiaoqi (跳棋) literally translates as jumping board game. Tiaoqi is a strategy board game which can be played by two, three, four or six people, playing individually or with partners. The rules of Tiaoqi are simple and accessible to all of our students. It can bring all grades together giving students an opportunity to increase cooperation and social skills. All grades are invited to sign up for this program.
The third session is seven weeks of Chinese calligraphy, (Shufa书法), which is one of the four traditional arts—music, chess, calligraphy and painting.  Traditionally, all Chinese gentlemen scholars were expected to be proficient in these four arts.  Teacher Glenda Ding describes calligraphy as sheer life experienced through energy in motion that is registered as traces on silk or paper. Over the centuries, Chinese calligraphy has developed into many different styles. In Chinese club, students practice “seal” script. All students in fourth grade and above are invited to sign up here.

For more information on this and other after school programs, contact Ashley Ingold.