I gave the kids small round paintbrushes and black craft acrylic paint to write with (although how cool would a real calligraphy set be?!?), and had them first use tracing paper to simply trace the four-character idioms, which fortunately are printed very large on the worksheet:
We didn't fuss about the proper order of brush strokes, but I pointed out the varying thicknesses of the strokes, and asked the children to recreate each character as accurately as possible.
I also asked them to set aside the tracing paper at some point and make an effort to copy the characters by themselves:
The kids spent ages doing multiple copies of these four-character idioms (yay!), and were really pleased with how they turned out. I added their best copies to our Ancient China wall display, which I actually have to move somewhere else, on account of our HUGE map of China (Thank you, Red Cross Book Sale Free Morning) won't fit there.
I seriously thought about ordering silkworms for our lesson on silk next week (did you know that you could do this? Crazy!), but I just do not want to support a population of silkworms indefinitely through the winter, so I think I'll let the kids paint play silks, instead.