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My First Book of Chinese Words – An ABC Rhyming Book


Cultural notes

Beautiful illustrations accompany short rhymes and poems in this childrens’ book that teaches basic and culturally significant Chinese vocabulary. A Chinese character is provided for each letter of the English alphabet and used to spell the Pinyin. If there isn’t Pinyin for the letter then English is used and the Pinyin is worked into the rhyme.

The preface of the book includes a brief introduction to Pinyin pronunciation. Each word features both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. In addition to the Pinyin and rhyme extra supplementary information is provided where necessary, such as an explanation of the phrase 再見, or that there is more than one way to say grandma in Chinese.

A bright and friendly book that uses the same family to introduce the words throughout, making it perfect for building stories around the characters. Rhymes are short, but memorable, and should help in remembering the vocabulary.

Suggested activities

Books/ Story time:

Art & Craft:

  • Print simple Chinese characters for children to draw. Laminate characters and include them with play dough, for children to mould the shapes of the characters. Use a sand or salt tray alongside the characters, for children to practice drawing shapes in to the sand

Language and Counting: 

  • Introduce simple Chinese words in to the children’s vocabulary through this book
  • Explore ABC’s – what would our ABC’s be for our centre or room? Create your own Alphabet book with words from your centre
  • Further explore Chinese language with ‘Sing and Learn Chinese’ Book & CD

Dramatic Play: 

  • Introduce Chinese items explored in the book in to your home corner, including traditional clothing, chopsticks, bamboo steamers, place settings and Chinese foods

Food and Cooking: 

  • Introduce Chinese foods in to your menu, including offering chopsticks as an option to children for meals

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The research for this resource was made possible through a grant from the Central Coast Council.