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    The May 2017 Nanjing Open Day Report

    Kathleen Oleksiuk

    "Faster than a speeding bullet... It's a bird... it's a plane... it's Superman!" 

    Yes, this month is "Superhero and movies month" at JESIE! It's time to dust off our capes, put on our masks, arm our web shooters/godly hammers/magic lassoes/glowing rings/unbreakable shields/light sabers/mutant powers, and fasten on our utility belts and robot armor and go fight Evil! Or, at least rent a few videos, make some popcorn and sit down for an evening of adventure

    Our super-powered reporters for this month's Open Days are Tony Smales, James Thompson, John Davis, and Andre Du Plessis.

    As Tony reported to the JESIE Cave: On 5th May, I was delighted to welcome Val and Cheryl to deliver special lessons at a school that I regularly teach at: Zhonghua Middle School, located close to the Confucian Temple Scenic Area. Val wowed the class with his lesson all about superheroes, of which the highlight was without doubt the 'Superhero Situation Game'. In this, the students had to assume the character of a superhero. Depending on the given situation, they had to make a smart choice to dig themselves out of whatever sticky situation teacher Val presented them with! Neither were all the choices were easy or obvious though, since superheroes must protect their secret identities as well as protect the public. All kinds of situations were depicted: heroes inadvertently entered to compete in the Olympics, hostage situations, assassination attempts on the TF Boys (cue screaming girls!), and many more... After this highly engaging activity, teacher Val rounded the session off with a short-clip of Disney's 'The Incredibles', followed by some relevant questions. All in all, a highly interactive and memorable session for the students of Zhonghua School!

    On May 5th, two JESIE teachers, Jaf and James, were invited to teach an open day at Nanjing No.5 Middle School. James went with films and taught the students about the different film genres, as well asking the students how to describe each film genre. They were then asked to describe their favourite films for the other students to guess. The teacher was pleasantly surprised by the students' knowledge of Western films, with them knowing classics like The Godfather, Scarface and Titanic. Jaf focused on comics and their history. He also asked the students, to their delight, to create their own superhero. This included a quiz that determined the name, strength and weakness of their superhero. A few were given some quite interesting names such as 'Strawberry Sausage' and 'Judgmental Octopus'. To finish it off, Jaf asked the students if they would rather be a hero, antihero or villain, and why? Surprisingly, a lot of students chose villain; for them, apparently, to be a superhero means living with too many rules.

    From our correspondent John Davis, we have this report: The 19th of May was a great day for a great many students at both Taizhou Fenghuang Primary and Taizhou Experimental Primary schools. "Super" Mr. John arrived in the morning at Taizhou Fenghuang Primary to deliver a lesson about superheroes and their respective powers. The students ranged in age from grade 3 to grade 6, but they all had a grand time acting out superpowers like super strength by lifting some chalk and super intellect by doing some basic arithmetic. By the end of the lesson, they were even able to spin a probability wheel and discuss what they would do with the superpower that it landed on. When the bell rang to end the lesson, Super Mr. John was more than happy to give out super strong high-fives to the whole class. Similarly, the grade 6 students at Taizhou Experimental School packed themselves into tight quarters in order to hear Mr. John teach about his power to stretch and read minds. The students at both schools cannot wait until the next open day and will be talking about their super day for weeks to come.

    Here is our latest update from Andre, our teacher in the field on May 26: We first arrived at LiXian Primary School where the theme for the day was Superheroes, and the grade 5 classes at LiXian were treated to two educational and entertaining demo classes from Morgan Bakewell and Brian McPherson. Morgan taught the children about superheroes'super powers, and the students competed to answer questions about which superhero would win in a fight and why. Students also learned much exciting information about their favorite superheroes, after which they answered questions scoring points by throwing a sticky ball at a spider web. Brian entertained with a captivating performance which saw students using chopsticks to construct sentences based on the superheroes, at the end students got to design their own Superhero with superpowers. The creative children created a superhero named "Mr. Brian" who could control time, fly, use super strength, and use water to help people.

    The second stop of the Open Day was at HongShan Primary School where Joshua Hall and Jafar Abbas treated two grade 4 & 5 classes to a superhero extravaganza. Josh amazed with videos of superheroes after which students competed to answer questions and at the end drew their very own superhero with superpowers. The children's super intelligence was on display as they drew fantastic heroes with extraordinary powers. Jaf taught about villains, heroes and sidekicks and introduced the children to major cartoon characters. His students tested their own super powers of "recall" on a treasure map to answer questions after which they got to answer questions using a Batman game, which allowed teams to catch villains and test their knowledge.