Enrich and Enthuse – MTL@Frontier

May 18, 15 Enrich and Enthuse – MTL@Frontier

Chinese Language

I loved the activities planned for our Primary 4 pupils during the Mother Tongue fortnight this year!  I had fun and learnt so much about the Chinese culture!  Among all the fun activities, I liked the mooncake-making the best!

Before the mooncake-making session, we learnt about the origin of the Mooncake Festival. I have been eating mooncakes all these years and now I know the story behind it. My classmates and I couldn’t wait to start making our own mooncakes!  At the mooncake-making session, the teachers demonstrated to us how to make the mooncakes using the pre-prepared snow skin and fillings.

I might look very confident but I was quite nervous. I was a bit unsure in the beginning as I have never cooked before. I mean I have not even cracked an egg and now I was about to make a mooncake!   But in the end, I made two beautiful snow skin mooncakes.  I took them home for my family members and I was so proud of myself! It was not really that hard.

Time to make some mooncakes & 'tangyuan'.

Time to make some mooncakes!

Other than mooncake-making, we also watched an episode (Monkey Subdues White-Skeleton Demon, 三打白骨精) from the famous novel “Journey to the West” (西游记)!  I had heard from my parents that the stories from “Journey to the West” were fun but never had a chance to watch them.  All of us were engrossed during the viewing and hoped we could watch more!  After the show, we were invited to take part in a comic-drawing competition; we needed to draw a comic about the story.  I spent a whole afternoon drawing the comic and really hoped my drawing could win a prize in the competition.

My sister and her friends enjoying themselves during the tangyuan making session.

My sister and her friends enjoying themselves during the tangyuan making session.

Not only did I have fun during the Mother Tongue fortnight, my sister, who’s from Primary 2, also had loads of fun!  She learnt about the Yuan Xiao Festival and made Tanyuan!  She took the tangyuan home and everyone in the house tried.  I ate two and thought it was very nice.  But of course, they were not as nice as my mooncakes!  Hee hee! I mean how can my little sister be a better cook than I am, right?

Having fun at the reading picnic!

Having fun at the reading picnic!

My sister also told me that her class had a number of activities (such as making of picture books, and a reading picnic) to help them read more story books.  She did not quite like reading Chinese story books previously but now she begged my mum to buy more Chinese story books for her!  One evening, she and my mum went for a parent-child reading workshop (for pupils and parents from Primary 1 and Primary 2)  held in school and they came home with a lot of picture books.  I liked those books too as they had colourful pictures but I would only read them after I finished reading my “Journey to the West”.

Playing games at the workshop!

Playing games at the workshop!

After my sister told me about her activities during the Mother Tongue Fortnight, I wondered whether the Primary 1 and Primary 3 pupils also had fun.  Coincidentally, I met my buddy from the “buddy-me” programme during one of my recesses.  He told me that they had an idioms charade through which they learnt some Chinese idioms.

Playing charade!

Playing charade!

He also said his Chinese teacher told him that there would be a dizigui (弟子规) camp planned for them in August.  It would be a one-day camp with a lot of fun activities to help them learn dizigui.  I could see from his big smile that he was looking forward to the camp!

I also saw some pictures of the Primary 1 pupils having fun during the Mother Tongue Fortnight. They also had an interesting programme.


TP1_Guided_Readinghese were cheques made by the Primary 1 pupils BUT they were not normal cheques.  (see the picture) They were for their parents or grandparents.  With the cheques, the parents or grandparents could enjoy special services (such as sweeping of the floor) from their children!  My neighbour told me that the cheques were related to a story about a dinosaur mother’s love that they heard in the hall.  He enjoyed the story-telling at the hall a lot.  He said that the teacher really acted like a dinosaur when she told the story!  Really?!  I wish I was there to see! They also made colourful pouches to put their cheques in.

My neighbour who’s in Primary 1 said that other than the activities that I saw in the pictures above, they also played a language puzzle game.  Moreover, they learnt a poem from the Tang dynasty (悯农) about how farmers need to work very hard in the farms, and hence we should not waste our food.  He also went to the parent-child reading workshop that my mum and my sister went!  I think our teachers worked as hard as the farmers to plan so many activities for us.  I am now more motivated to work harder to improve my Chinese!

Not only did the Chinese pupils had fun during the MTL fortnight, my classmates taking Malay Language told me that they also had their own activities during the Mother-Tongue fortnight.  Read on to see what they have to say.

Malay Language

During these 2 weeks, we played language games and had quizzes in class. We like doing the crossword puzzles. Solving riddles were fun too! Some of the questions were challenging but we managed to solve them all! There were many Card Games for us to play and at the same time, these games challenge our knowledge of the Malay Language.

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Batik (garment) and Wau (kite) are two of the most commonly known art in the Malay Culture. Wau is played by the villagers during harvesting. We designed our wau and after which my teacher helped us to stick 2 pieces of straws at the back of the wau. As for batik, we had to solve the batik jigsaw puzzle. The results were many beautiful pieces of batik art! We also created our own bookmarks and book jackets based on the story books that we read during one of the activities.

One of the most memorable activities during the MTL Fortnight was the making of Bunga Rampai. Bunga Rampai is similar to potpourri. The ingredients of bunga rampai are flowers such as orchids, roses, jasmines and daffodils, pandan leaves and the sweet-smelling rose water which have been mixed with spices. Our teachers and some of my friends mixed these ingredients well. At the end of the demonstration, we even got to take home one sachet of bunga rampai!



Last but not least, there was a book fair! There were so many interesting books to choose from. The books were also reasonably priced. My friends and I managed to grab hold of some titles before they were sold out. We also saw our Malay teachers busily shopping for books at the book fair too!

Hmm…… This year our school offered Tamil as a Mother tongue subject for P1. Out of curiosity, both of us went to ask Mdm Majeena what the Primary 1 Tamil pupils did during their MTL Fortnight.

Tamil Language (P1)

Pupils offering Tamil Language started off their MTL fortnight by reading a storybook entitled ‘The Honest Woodcutter’. Through the shared reading, the pupils, verbalised the story, made the props and acted out the story with the Teacher. Wow…sounds interesting! Even Mdm Majeena joined in the role play. How fun!

After the role play, the pupils continued the MTL fortnight activities by knowing more about their traditional food. Sweetmeats play a vital role in Indian traditional functions. Thus, the Tamil pupils had a food tasting session. Through this, they learnt the traditional names of the food, how it is prepared and the special occasions when they are served. The best moment was the food tasting period when each pupil was given an opportunity to taste and enjoy the sweetmeat. Pupils simply loved the food tasting session. My mouth drools at seeing the sweetmeats…hmmm….. Can I have some please?

Not only, did the pupils enjoy eating, they also had a wonderful time in playing the Indian traditional games. Firstly, they played ‘Kabadi’ – an outdoor energetic game that taught pupils to respect the opponents and abide by the rules. Though it was a little rough, the girls enjoyed playing at our Indoor Sports Hall. The next game is called ‘Pallaanguzhi’. This is an indoor game, whereby pupils learnt to be patient and tolerant while playing this quiet game.  Not only did the pupils offering Tamil learn more about their mother tongue, so did I during this MTL fortnight.

In conclusion, all of us enjoyed all the activities that our teachers have planned for us during our MTL Fortnight. We learnt much about our language and culture during these two weeks. We would like to say a big thank you to all our teachers for planning such wonderful activities for us. We are looking forward to MTL Fortnight 2016.

Can we fast forward quickly?