Learning how to write the old-fashioned chalkboard way

I come from the generation where whiteboard didn’t exist in the classroom. We had chalkboards and I used to love standing by the classroom’s doorway, holding two chalkboard dusters in my hand and hitting them together to remove the chalk dust. Therefore, when I saw this at Diaso at S$2, I couldn’t resist myself and bought one.


Read on to find out how I use the chalkboard to teach C to write and learn Mandarin characters. I use similar methods when teaching English characters except I would use the whiteboard.

Materials needed: Jumbo chalks, paint brush (we use crayola’s one), a container to hold the water, the chalkboard (20x26cm) from Diaso and the words you would like the child to learn. I am using this book that I bought from Popular Sg at S$.190. It’s a gem as the book teacher the common characters kids should know at age five and there are mini games for each character as well as a recap page after a few characters. 



Step 1: Write the character that the child is to learn on the chalkboard. Get the child to write the character in the book. I use the technique ‘Sound as you write’ when getting my child to write.

Sound-as-you-write technique:

What this technique means is that as the child is writing down the letter or character, he or she would have to verbalise the sound of the letter.

For example, if the child is learning the letter a, as they are writing, the child will be required to say,

a, apple, /a/

If the child is learning the word, cat, he would say aloud,

c,a,t, cat

Since my child is learning the Chinese character here, he would have the verbalise the strokes as he is writing, and when he has completed the entire character, he would say aloud the character out.

Step 2: Using the brush and water, the child will trace over the character, using the sound-as-you-write technique.

Step 3: Using another colour chalk, the child has to write the word back onto the chalkboard. The watermark acts as the guideline for the child. Similarly, the child has to use the sound-as-you-write technique.

Step 4: The child will use the brush and water to draw over the chalk-marks again.

This is a simple activity that can be done with any characters. It requires minimal preparation time and the child loves learning this way rather than just through an assessment book.

Who says learning has to be boring?




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