Skip to content

Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative creates science curriculum in Mandarin

January 16, 2013

Creating curriculum in Mandarin is a huge job for most schools. Our already overburdened teachers have to not only teach a full day but also spend their nights and weekends translating and crafting lessons. For many programs this work goes on year by year as new teachers and new programs struggle to create classroom curriculum they can use. There hasn’t been a great deal of sharing across programs, in part because each school district uses different textbooks and standards. Thankfully the new Common Core education standards being rolled out in many states are making it easier for teachers and schools to share curriculum and create deep and nuanced class work that benefits all programs.

The wonderful educators at the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative have taken a giant step ahead with their work, and they’re sharing it with the rest of the nation! Here’s their first posting (or the first I could find), a fully fleshed-out unit on cell membranes, ready-to-teach, for third grade Mandarin immersion classes.

Three cheers for Minnesota and the MMIC! Now let’s find who else is doing great work like this and make sure it gets shared widely across all 128 Mandarin immersion school in the nation.



You can find the full pdf here.

Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC)

Engineering is Elementary® Units

The Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC)*, a K-12 – University collaboration, with funding support through the U.S. Department of Education’s Foreign Language Assistance Program Local Education Agencies with Institutions of Higher Education (FLAP-LEA/IHE) is pleased to make available Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) units for the Mandarin immersion classroom. With permission from the Museum of Science in Boston, the Engineering is Elementary® (EiE) curriculum serves as the foundation for each MMIC Engineering is Elementary® unit.

These interdisciplinary units are designed to target Chinese Language Arts, Science and Engineering and Social Studies and Culture learning. Consequently, we encourage programs to temporarily suspend teaching of these curricular areas and continue teaching only the math curriculum when implementing these units. Each unit makes use of a focal narrative as a means for contextualizing the subject matter content throughout the lessons. Units conclude with an adaptation of the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Integrated Performance Assessment.

Each MMIC Engineering is Elementary® unit includes unit overview materials, a storybook, lesson plans and supporting materials, and a summative Integrated Performance Assessment. Some lessons also include a teacher guide and answer keys. Unit overview materials and lesson plans are in English except for the portions of the lesson that have been translated from the original Engineering is Elementary® curriculum and sections where we provide examples of teacher and student language use which are in Chinese. The storybook is available in Chinese only. Additional supporting materials, handouts and assessments are available in two languages (Chinese and English) and two formats (pdf and Word).

The MMIC curriculum team has worked to model best practice in curriculum, instruction and assessment for the dual language/immersion setting given what we have learned over decades from research. Each lesson includes a strong focus on language and literacy development within the context of subject matter learning. It is our hope that Mandarin immersion programs across the country will use and adapt these units as necessary to best fit their respective contexts.  Enjoy!

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: