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PB Middle Moon Festival

Pacific Beach Middle School Students Celebrate Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
Posted on 09/16/2022

Students in the Mandarin language programs at Pacific Beach Middle School (PBMS) had a taste of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival earlier this month, as they prepared and then feasted upon traditional mooncakes.

A rich pastry typically filled with sweet-beans, egg yolk, or custard, mooncakes are traditionally eaten throughout the autumn festival, which is based on the legend of Chang’e, the Moon goddess in Chinese mythology.

PB middle student making mooncakesPBMS Mandarin language teacher Yan Yan and parent volunteers provided the baking supplies and instruction (delivered in Mandarin, of course) to groups of students enrolled in either the Mandarin immersion program or the introduction to Mandarin language classes. Cultural activities such as this one incorporate Mandarin reading, writing, and speaking skills and also (literally) add flavor to classroom learning. Yan hopes making mooncakes becomes an annual tradition at the school.

“Making the mooncakes was cool because it helped me learn about the customs and culture that Mandarin-language speakers enjoy in other parts of the world,” explained eighth-grade student Dylan F., who is enrolled in his second year of Mandarin language at the school. “If I ever go to China, I will have a better understanding of their lives and customs.”

Sixth-grader India Z. has been learning Mandarin since kindergarten and brought some of her handmade mooncakes home for her family. “I like the custard ones the best, but my mom really likes the bean paste filling. They are yummy, but also a beautiful treat to look at. Serving them at a meal gives me the chance to explain Chinese customs and show off some of my Mandarin language skills to others who aren’t familiar with these foods and traditions.”

The San Diego Unified School District’s Mandarin immersion program begins in kindergarten at Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School and continues into PBMS and Mission Bay High School, giving students the opportunity to be immersed in the language from kindergarten through high school. Students can also begin introductory Mandarin language classes in sixth grade at PBMS and continue through the middle and high school programs.

For information on Pacific Beach Middle School, visit sandiegounified.org/schools/pacific-beach-middle.