Sample Parent Guide
for The Wall Watcher: A Story About China
Making It Interactive
Talking it over
- Jia and her parents travel to the Great Wall of China to go camping. Before listening to this story, what did you know about the Great Wall? Did the length of the wall surprise you?
- Have you ever been caught in a rain storm? What happened? Was it fun or did it spoil the day?
- Would you want to go camping? If so, where would you want to go? Mountains? Beach? Forest? Desert? What would you do to have fun outside? What would you eat?
- If you could have the power to change into any animal you wanted, what would you pick?
Slurpable Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup
Jia and the others slurped their soup during lunch. In China, it is not considered rude to slurp. It’s also not considered rude to burp when you are done. Give slurping a try with this Chinese noodle soup.
Great Wall reading recommendations
We love reading about the places and traditions we’re learning about. Here are two fun books about the Great Wall of China you can read with your kids.
Where is the Great Wall? by Patricia Brennan Demuth
The Emperor Who Built the Great Wall by Jillian Lin
Chop Stick Challenge
Line up several bowls (two for each player) and fill each with something small (dry beans, raisins, candy). You can vary the object depending on the age of the player. The goal is to see who can move all the contents of one bowl to the other bowl the fastest — using chopsticks of course. Remember – players must use one hand and there is no touching the bowl or scooping allowed.
For more fun activities to learn about China, go to the Around the World Stories China Pinterest Board.
Did You Know?
Great Wall of China Fun facts
- The total length of the Great Wall is 13,170 miles. That’s equal to half the length of the equator or 175,000 football fields.
- One third of the walls have disappeared due to human destruction or erosion.
- Many people believe the Great Wall is visible from the moon. It is not. This rumor was started in 1923 — 46 years before Neil Armstrong set foot there!
- One of the reasons the wall has stood for so long is that much of it was held together with a secret ingredient — sticky rice.
Eating Etiquette in China
As with any culture, China has its own set of rules to follow when eating. Here are a few:
- If the guest of honor or oldest member is not seated, other people are not allowed to be seated.
- Older people should eat first, even if you see your grandfather eyeing the best looking spring roll.
- Do not stick chopsticks vertically into your food, especially not into rice, as this will make Chinese people think of funerals.
- Do not wave your chopsticks around in the air or point with them.
- Do not stab food with your chopsticks.
- Slurping soup is allowed, as is burping — no “excuse me” necessary.
Gift giving in China
- Chinese people typically do not accept gifts when first presented. They will politely refuse two or three times. This does not mean they do not want it. They will accept it after a few offers.
- Gifts are not to be opened in front of the giver, as it makes one look greedy.
- A gift should be offered with two hands and also accepted with two hands.
- When you are invited to someone’s home, it is customary to bring a gift, such as flowers. Instead of a dozen flowers, bring eight, because eight is a lucky number. It is better to give gifts in even numbers, except for four, which is unlucky.
- Never give a clock as a gift, as this signifies counting the seconds until someone’s death.
Here are a few of the Chinese words used in the story:
Good Morning – Zǎo ān
The Great Wall of China — Wan-Li Changcheng
Goodbye – zài jiàn
More to Explore
How to use chopsticks
Here’s a quick chopstick lesson for all of you going hungry from not getting enough noodles in your mouth.
The Great Wall of China
Here’s a fun and informative video giving some of the history about the Great Wall.