Here are more ways to bring Chinese reading alive, while learning the 石部首 (shí bùshǒu, radical of “stone”).
Since 石 means stone, we worked with many little stones in a Montessori way.
To save you time researching, you’ll be able to download the printables later. All you need to do is to write the words out.
Materials & Preparation
- About 2 to 3cm diameter each
- Light coloured
- 1kg (about 30 to 50 stones)
- Black fine-tip permanent marker (I use Sharpie)
- Pencil or ball-point pen
- Printables (download below)
1. Get stones
Gather 30 to 50 stones from the garden or buy a 1kg packet from a gardening store.
I bought white-coloured ones, which were actually painted on and the surface was powdery. So I’d to wash them well before using.
On hindsight, I’d go for naturally light-coloured stones.
2. Write on the stones
Referring to the printable (Radical Stone List), write each character carefully on a stone.
Ideally, let your child watch you write as this will increase his interest in writing carefully and beautifully.
If it’s been a while since you last wrote in Chinese (thanks to typing!), practise on paper first.
Control of error:
Write the Hanyu Pinyin in pencil or pen behind the stone.
That’s it! Your stones are now ready for learning.
Have some extra blank stones for more activities.
Activities / Presentations
1. Arranging stones
(I’m not using the master printable in the picture above because El already knows how to write the word.)
- Use the printable titled “Radical Stone Master”.
- Say, “这个字是’石’。” (Zhège zì shì shí， This word is ‘stone’.)
- Arrange blank stones on the printable.
- Invite the child to try.
2. Tracing and Writing
Print 1 more copy of the “Radical Stone Master” file for the child to trace with fingers or coloured pencils.
3. Treasure Hunt
- Prepare a tray of stones with words. You may mix in blank stones.
- Start from the most commonly used words. Show 1 stone with a word to the child.
- Read the word to the child.
- Say 1 or 2 examples of how to use the word in a phrase.
- Let the child hold the stone and repeat the pronunciation after you.
- Put the stone into the tray.
- Repeat for 3 to 5 stones (depending on the child’s age and interest)
- Play “Treasure Hunt” by saying a word and inviting the child find it.
- Control of Error: Flip the stone behind to check the Hanyu Pinyin
The child may be interested to work with the stones in more ways:
- Paint on stones
- Use marker pens to decorate stones
- Make pictures with stones
- Build mini structures with stones
As the child works, you may briefly describe what he is doing, then let him work independently.
The child may discuss what he has done with you.
This increases the usage of relevant words and deepens the learning.
Download your free printables here:
>>> Printable Chinese Reading Radical Stone Master 石部首 (PDF, 17kb)
>>> Printable Chinese Reading Radical Stone List 石部首字 (PDF, 61kb)
Happy teaching and learning Chinese!
Hop on to our other Chinese learning materials:
- How to Teach Chinese Reading
- Our Favourite Chinese Online Dictionary
- Flashcards & Home Practice Materials
- Montessori Printables
- Chinese Learning Activities
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