CyberFair Project ID: 8373

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Deciphering Deities’ Poems Through Pictures
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: ChangShan Elementary
    Changhua City, Changhua County, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

6 students, ages 10-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 4, 2018. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018

Classes and Teachers: LAI YITING,KUO TZU-JUNG

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our Community is located in Changhua County with many classic antique temples, such as Old Longshan Temple, City God Temple, Guan Emperor Temple, etc… Most of these temples were constructed in the last fifty years. We can sense their cultural atmosphere as soon as we walk into the temples. Age has left traces on these temples which continues to bring people sunshine.

2. Summary of Our Project

While we were discussing our topic of research, we saw there was a Peace Amulet (a lucky charm of paper for repelling evils) hanging on a student’s pencil case. We were curious about where to get a Peace Amulet. We found that there were many different praying rituals in a temple, including rituals praying for Peace Amulets, Peace Water, Peace Rice, Enlightening Lights, Oracles(written in the form of poems), and so on. Among which interested us the most was Oracle Poetry. Many questions arose in our mind about the number of Oracle Poems as well as the content, meaning, and origin of each Oracle Poem. We decided to explore it to find out the answers to our questions, starting from data collection. From the news, we knew that Dajia Jenn Lann Temple had drown out four Oracles of the year, which are together called “Four Season Oracles.” Among the four Oracles, “Oracle for the People” is to foretell the fate of the nation. Oracle AA is chosen from a oracle pool as “Oracle for the People,” with its title “Ju-Der-Min Enters the Temple for the Truth.” The deeper we dug in, the more we realized that it was a field without boundary, with lots of schools, systems and contents that worth us to get close to study in details. We then decided “Oracle Poetry of Changhua Temples” as our topic of research.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

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):

Chung Shan Elementary School uses a 300MB fiber-optic scholastic network, which allows us to utilize the internet to search for data as well as to share it among members. In addition to the computer lab, the school also supplies laptop computers which we can borrow and, coupled with the wireless network in school, use to update information over the internet.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

(1)Difficulty in Collecting Data: We want more people to understand Taiwanese oracle poetry and raise its international profile. As a result, we use drawing to interpret “Nanyao Temple- Twenty-Eight Mansions Oracle Poem.” However, this poem is quite difficult to understand, we have to google its historical story online. After many discussions with teachers and classmates, we can then finish the drawing which should be able to interpret its message. (2)Difficulty in Field Study: During research process, information on the internet are not sufficient, only one with abundance of data is sixty Jiazi divine poems. We have to take field trips to 38 temples in Changhua County, and we discover that sixty Jiazi divine poems is also the most popular one. There are so many different kinds of poems, and even collecting four categories is difficult to organize. After discussing with teacher, we decide to have three main categories. First, the classifications in temples; Second, first sentence of the poem; Third, the classification from every town in Changhua. This classification method improves our efficiency on organizing information.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

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

Our school has participated in international education in the last two years. We have plans to create sister school partnership with Japanese elementary school. Some of our students participate in international education training program. There are temples in Japan, so they also have oracle poetry. Therefore, we want to compare poems between Japanese and Chinese, so we can further understand their differences.

Additionally ,the students learn the skills as shown below: (1)Learning how to organize data and write reports: In this project, we gather information online, interview temple staff for oracle poetry practice, look up data in books, and consult teachers on some tough issues. We are often asked to rewrite our reports, so it takes a long time to finish it. (2)Learning how to work as a team: Who are better at drawing would be responsible for making Twenty-Eight Mansions poem. The rest of the team would take on printing, scanning and other jobs. We are divided into two groups to research information. One group searches the internet and organizes information into simple notes. The other group looks up books for information. Everyone has his/her own responsibility, so we can finish the assignment on time. (3)Learning how to encourage each other: Other than our regular class, some of us have Chinese orchestra practice or international education trainings. We use after school time to organize and write reports. Sometimes we have to rewrite those reports so we all feel very exhausted. We continue to encourage each other so we can finish this project in time.

Project Elements

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

The devices we used for our project 1.Computers: document organization, visual processing, data organization 2.Internet: online file sharing, file uploading 3.Scanner: transmitting hand drawn images into digital files 4.Portable USB drives: saving and sharing files 5.Digital Camera: picture taking and filming 6.Recording pen: recording our interviews

The Software we used for our project 1.Photoscape:edit digital images 2.Google docs:share files, write personal thoughts, organize data 3.Cloud drives:upload and share data 4.FileZilla:FTP software, upload our completed project onto internet 5.Dreamweaver:make website 6.word:record and arrange documented information 7x-mind:draw mind maps

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

During this study, we gradually learn the origins, structures and categories of oracle poetry from the collected information. From field study, we learn how to conduct interviews and the ways of asking for divination lot. We also learn about Twenty-Eight Mansion poem by drawing interpretation illustration. These are all first time experiences for us. We hope our drawing and interpretation can make more people discover the beauty of oracle poetry.

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

In order to allow people in the community have a better understanding on oracle poems, we set up a website to introduce oracle poems, classification of oracle poems, and the meaning of each oracle poem. Because the wording of an oracle poem is very hard to understand, and usually the poem represents an ancient story, the easiest way to understand the meaning of the poem is to tell the story by pictures. Therefore, we put in great energy on drawing pictures in which every oracle poem has a picture that shows the story for the poem. School teachers of fifth and sixth graders would use the information on our website in Social Science classes, so that students would appreciate the wisdom that oracle poems convey.

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

For the project, we interviewed volunteers of Nanyao Temple and learned the procedures of asking for an oracle poem, as well as knew how to interpret an oracle poem. We are very thankful to the volunteers for their not to mind taking all the trouble to answer our questions. We also thanks fathers of Yo-Tin, Yu-Ann, and Ja-chi for the rides they offered us to each temple to collect oracle poems, and for the pictures they took. We also appreciate the help from a retired teacher for his help on data checking and photo sorting.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

In the process of our research, we realized that in ancient time, when medication was not highly developed, besides seeing a doctor, Medicine Poems were once a way for civilians to deal with a health problem. A Medicine Poem is similar to a prescription of Chinese medicine. It contains the name of medicine, amounts and indications for people to get their medicines form Chinese medicine stores. Due to the regulation of modern medication laws, temples which provide Medicine Poems have greatly reduced now.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 8373)

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