By Pu-mei Leng
I still feel the need for addressing the issue of Xenophobia in the Chinese classes even though our students are stressed and even depressed now. For my lower-level classes, instead of discussing and debating the issues directly, I only focused on a simple message: intentionally or unintentionally, discrimination and prejudice hurt people. In a crisis we are facing, we do not need to hurt more people. I believe my students can get this simple message.
What I did was to come up with a simple storyline: A panda was sad and hurt because people call the virus “Panda virus” since his parents were from China. I ran the basic storyline for three classes.
The first class was story-asking, the culprit turned out to be a pig who said “panda virus.”
The second class was a puppet show—I had a bag of finger puppet with me and I told the story. The culprit was a hen (a dog toy with a bikini)
The third class was a story-listening- I drew the figures as I was telling the story.
The class got the same story with different details as their homework. I gave one class reading comprehension and the others listening comprehension and ask them to draw.
Here is the copy for the homework
但是有一天Jose （Jose is my class character, a stuff toy penguin）看见熊猫哭了，Jose问他为什么哭了，是不是因为有冠状病毒，没有人来看他了。
Jose 说：“ 当然不是。不哭了，不要伤心了。”
大象听了，大象很生气。河马听了河马也很生气。他们都从非洲来。他们说：“没有人叫Ibola virus 非洲病毒，为什么叫Covid19 熊猫病毒？岂有此理！”