CyberFair Project ID: 8124

Close this Window

NOTE: Due to URL changes, some links may no longer be valid.

International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Clapping, Talking, and Singing – The Art of Shuochang at Yu-Tsai
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Yu-Tsai Billingual Elementary School
    New Taipei City, , Taiwan

10 students, ages 10-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2016. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014,2015

Classes and Teachers: Christina Chen, Sunny Peng, Tina Yang, David Chen

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Yu-Tsai Elementary school is located in Yonghe District, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Aside from being a bustling commercial district, Yonghe is also filled with cultural and artistic breeze. Our topic, the Art of Shuochang, is also one of the special features of our school. There is often sound of bamboo clappers echoing on Yu-Tsai campus, and our students practice different forms of shuochang with varying accents, facial expressions, and hand gestures. This is what Yu-Tsai, from Taipei, Taiwan, is all about. We found happiness in the art of shuochang, and we discovered joy through different shuochang activities.

2. Summary of Our Project

Shuochang is not only a form of art, but also a way to raise students’ linguistic proficiencies and confidence in Chinese. Through teamwork and group learning, we added fun into shuochang by incorporating lively body language and hand gestures. Ever since the inception of Yu-Tsai, we have been actively promoting education that would manifest students’ artistic temperament. We not only added ‘The Art of Shuochang’ to the curriculum of the middle-grade Yu-Tsai classes to promote this traditional art form, but also formed an after-school club so any student who is interested can sign up. It has also become one of our specialty clubs. The club has been representing school to perform abroad and gaining positive reviews every year since it began in 2013. This year’s Cyberfair team is going to team up with Yu-Tsai’s shuochang experts to experience and popularize the art of shuochang. Hopefully, we would be able to promote the art of shuochang into different communities or different parts of the world.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our Internet connection goes through the academic network. There are fifty computers in the computer room for our students to work on the project. There is between one to four computers in every office, including the library, and one computer in every classroom. All computers are connected to the web to facilitate searching, discussion and printing. Our outbound connection is a fiber-optic line that connects to the New Taipei City education network. Moreover, the entire school is covered by WiFi for staff access.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1.Time Allocation Every one on the team came from a different class, so the time we have for studying shuochang and group practice was limited. In order to work on Cyberfair without missing out on regular school work, we rearranged our schedule to make time for the project, like meeting during recess or lunch hours. With the team working cohesively, we were able to complete the project without delays. 2.Understanding and Performing Shuochang Before the Cyberfair project, there were eight of us who had no previous exposure to the art of shuochang. It was a brand new experience and challenge for us. We had to not only learn various forms of shuochang, but also memorize the scripts, articulate clearly, and incorporate movements and facial expressions into our performance. It was not easy at all, but none of us gave up. Luckily, we received encouragement from our teachers and classmates along the way, so our performance got better every day. 3.Interviews and Researches In order to go more in-depth into our research, we conducted interviews with people who have been working with shuochang to share their personal stories. We also designed questionnaires to gather feedbacks and suggestions from the audience. Since the interviewees were mostly strangers to us, it presented a new challenge for us to overcome our inner fears and nervousness. We practiced numerous times to make sure the interviews would go smoothly. We even held mock interviews to prepare ourselves for any possible surprises. We aggressively approached people on the street in hope to complete the questionnaire. We got the job done with lots of courage and a smile on our face. It was with such determination that we were able to complete every interview and questionnaire and obtain valuable first-hand information.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Through our research on the Cyberfair project over the six-month period, we finally got a chance to understand the art of shuochang in depth. We learned shuochang through different ways, and, more importantly, we felt the joy of shuochang with our hearts through watching and performing. After getting in touch with shuochang, we finally started to understand the uniqueness of shuochang. It can be performed by one, two, or more people in different ways. We learned a lot about shuochang from our student shuochang expert teachers. We have also realized shuochang does require lots of practices and hard work, such as memorizing the script, paying attention to intonation, articulation, facial expression, and movements. After learning more about the art of shuochang, we organized a series of learning, experiencing, and sharing events both in and out of school. Our level of confidence and sense of accomplishment got higher after each performance.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

1.Language: Through our research, we went online to watch some shuochang videos suggested by our student shuochang expert teachers and attended an actual cross talks performance. These activities helped us to learn many elegantly written verses and poems. We have also learned more about Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, and English, and how we can have fun with them in the study of literature. 2.Math: After every event, we would conduct questionnaires to investigate the participants’ level of understanding and satisfaction. We organize the data, analyze the stats, and draw graphs using Excel. 3.Social Studies: Through research and interviews, we learned the content of shuochang could develop unique characteristics based on different locality, language, profession, or way of life. In our Hand-In-Hand learning plan, the Cyberfair team played the role of a student. In helping foreign teachers experiencing shuochang, we played the role of an instructor. In both in- and out of school activities, we played the role of a promoter. 4.Art and Humanities: During this project, we utilized what we learned in art class on making small cloth bags, team tags, invitation cards, posters, sign boards, hand-drawn graphs, mind maps, and style boards. When building the website, we combining techniques for drawing, formatting and filming for the project. 5.Science and Technology: We used Google’s Classroom on Google Cloud as our platform for discussions, Google Form for surveys. We used cameras and mobile phones to record each event comprehensively. 6.Max Activities: We organized several sharing and experiencing activities to connect the school and the community. We invited people in the community, our teachers, and schoolmates to learn and experience the fun of shuochang. We learned to communicate, cooperate, and work side-by-side with our student shuochang expert teachers. Everyone on the Cyberfair team realized the importance of team work.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

[Software] *Windows 7: OS used during the project *Internet Explorer, Google Chrome: Searching related websites for information and news *Microsoft Power Point 2013: Team Recruitment Reporting, Briefing to the principal *Microsoft Word 2013: Designing questionnaire, organizing project text documents and afterthoughts *Microsoft Excel 2013: Questionnaire statistics, making and analyzing charts *PhotoImpact X3: Image editing, designing team tags, invitation cards, posters, programs, and sign boards *Photoscape: Image editing *X-mind: Project mind mapping *Adobe Dreamweaver CS6: Building project website *Microsoft SharePointDesigner 2007: Building project website *GoogleForm: Designing online forms *Google Classroom : Discussions, topic research, posting of afterthoughts, uploading files *PowerDirector 11: Editing of shuochang performance and related activities

[Hardware] *Digital camera: Recording of activities and project progress *Sony digital camera: Recording of activities and performances *Microphones and speakers: Events and performances promotion *Projector and notebook computer: Playing performance videos *Smart tablets : Recording Hand-In-Hand classes, playing performance videos, conducting a survey *Laser printer: Printing project and event related information *Mobile phones with recording function: Recording interviews

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

1.Interacting With Local Community: After Hand-In-Hand learning with our student shuochang expert teachers, we planned various venues to promote and exhibit what we have learned. For example, we organized peddling doggerel in the market, storytelling in the library, and street performing in town. Through various shuochang performing venues, we allowed the people of the community to experience the presence of shuochang in our everyday lives. Besides performing, we also conducted surveys to find out how much people know about shuochang and how much they enjoyed our performance. Some people may even share what they know about shuochang with us, and these are all valuable experiences that we will embrace forever. 2.Interaction With School Staff and Students: We organized many activities in school for our teachers and schoolmates to enjoy. For example, in our shuochang performance, we adopted many shows and added interactive voting into them to introduce the art of shuochang. During our shuochang tour, we introduced shuochang in plain simple terms to teachers and students through posters and video clips. While doing shuochang with our foreign teachers, they not only experienced this traditional Chinese art of shuochang, but also shared something similar to shuochang from their home countries. 3.Interacting With Other Shuochang Teams: From watching, joint-performing, to interviewing, we spent time with Taiwan’s two leading shuochang teams, and their passion about shuochang overwhelmed us. They also made us understand the extent of diversity in this art.If we would like to learn shuochang in more depth and breadth, we must be prepared to get our hands dirty and put in more effort.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Before joining the Cyberfair project, most of us did not know much about shuochang. We thought it was merely cross talks. However, after six months of learning and studying, we have learned more about shuochang, its performance in different forms, and how to modify or write scripts! Beside people on the Cyberfair team, every one at school has also learned, experienced, and understood the fun aspect of shuochang art. On our project website, besides introducing the history and development of shuochang, we have also presented different activities to introduce, learn, share, and experience shuochang. Through our website, visitors can learn about not only the historical origin and uniqueness of shuochang, but also creative ways to have fun with the art of shuochang. As for the content of the website, we invited Ms. Li, our shuochang instructor, to help us check on the accuracy and consistency of the materials on the site. Once the site is complete, we invited Ms. Li, Principal Pan, and parents of Cyberfair team members to give us suggestions. Every one of them mentioned that the content of the site was solid, and our introduction on shuochang and experience sharing were also fun and interesting. It is truly a site worth spending time on!

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We are very grateful that seven students in the shuochang club were willing to be our student shuochang expert teachers. They started us off by helping us understand the art of shuochang, and then to how to speak, sing and perform shuochang. Ms. Li, Yu-Tsai’s in-house shuochang teacher, helped us to research deeper into the subject and gave us a big hand on the project website when it came to shuochang related knowledge and fun facts. We would like to thank the professional shuochang performers for sharing so many shuochang related stories in the interview and teaching us how to perform the congratulatory speech using a three-piece clapper. After completing our lessons in shuochang, we organized many types of shuochang performances at school and in the community. We are very thankful to the volunteer parents. They accompanied us to every venue, took pictures, filmed videos, and gave us lots of help and suggestions. We would also like to thank every one who stopped to watch us perform. The people of the community, adults and children in the library, stall owners and customers in the market, and everyone from school encouraged us with support and applause so we had the courage and strength to finish every performance. The surveys from the audience provided valuable data to help us analyze and understand shuochang related questions, and these surveys made our research more comprehensive in the end.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

[Discoveries] 1. Many Hands Make Light Work: The Cyberfair team learned shuochang from our student teachers, and they learned to perform in different ways with the Cyberfair team. In the end, the Cyberfair team finalized the project by publishing its findings over the six-month period on our project website. 2. Courage, Confidence, and Sense of Accomplishment: In our many learning and performing opportunities, we learned that we must have the courage to get what we want, and be confident to show what we have learned. As long as we take advantage of every opportunity to show confidently what we have learned, applauses from the audience and our own sense of accomplishment will make an ever lasting impression in our hearts. [Lessons] Before our first performance, we always thought to perform shuochang, we only needed to memorize the script and clap. But when it came time to perform, we realized just how wrong we were. We had to adjust our performance according to the age, nature, and preference of the audience. After a few performances, we started preparing before every single performance to ensure our audience would walk away with satisfied smiles on their faces. [Surprises] After this project, we found that shuochang is indeed a very special type of performing art. With different locations and languages, shuochang is able to take on different forms. It is able to combine different performing styles into one show, and the number of performers is not restricted. From this project, we not only learned the art of shuochang, but also raised our courage, self-confidence, and sense of accomplishment!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 8124)

Close this Window