Friday, January 25, 2013

Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year is coming up on February 10th.  I like to touch on it as a way of learning about other cultures and comparing customs.  Christmas Around the World is always popular, but then we tend to forget the rest of the world the rest of the year.  Here are a few super simple ways to celebrate if you're interested!

{dragon dance}
2013 is the year of the water snake but the dragon dance is a major part of the yearly celebration.  Show your students pictures like these or maybe even a video clip of the dragon dance.  The choreography shows a dragon chasing a pearl with the intention that if the dragon catches it, the pearl with bring him good fortune and prosperity.

{lion dance}
The lion dance is often confused with the dragon dance but is actually a little different.  The dragon requires multiple people and their faces are shown but the lion dance only uses 2 people {they only have 4 legs!} and their faces are covered by the costume.  You can see examples of the lion dance in this video.

{dragon crowns}
Then find a dragon or lion coloring page that you like, attach it to the front of a sentence strip crown, run streamers down the back {for the dragon} and let your students make their own celebration dance!

{fire breathing dragons}
Tell me this isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen.  KangarooBoo made them using paper cups, popsicle sticks & streamers.  The kids blow through the back to make the flames fly!

{pattern block dragons}
Use die cut pattern block pieces to let your students create their own dragons.  If you'd rather stick with the 2013 theme of the water snake, just don't add the legs!  ;)

Always extend by writing on the back, of course!  They flipped to write with a white colored pencil.  :)

{paper lanterns}
Show your students pictures of children in China just like them to compare celebration symbols.
Follow the DIY steps to make a simple paper lantern with streamers.

{Chinese New Year symbols}
Create a Bubble Map of celebration symbols using the vocab cards at Communication 4 All.  Or print the large vocab posters, put them in your writing center and let your students explain what each symbol means.

{history of the Chinese New Year}
While you're there, download the awesome powerpoint story about the history of Chinese New Year {perfectly acceptable for young children} by clicking on the image below.

{fortune cookies}
Tell me you haven't been sitting there thinking of orange chicken as you read this.  Or beef and broccoli?  Whatever your preference, Chinese food meals always end the same...fortune cookies!  Kids loooove cookies.  Make these cute ones out of cupcake liners then serve a real one for a snack.

{ni hao kai-lan}
Nick Jr.'s special friend Kai-Lan can also tell you a lot about China, their culture and the Chinese New Year.  Click on the picture of her below to be taken to a video clip of her explanations and maybe even learn a few Chinese phrases!  :)

Happy Chinese New Year!


  1. Thank you so much for reminding me! These are awesome ideas & I usually don't do a lot with the Chinese New Year, so these will be awesome. Does the fortune cookie sight give sayings to put inside for children? Probably should check it out! Thanks again, Jackie

  2. I love the pattern block dragons!

  3. What fantastic, creative, all-subject-encompassing ideas! I made sure to pin them all!!! Love your blog....

    Carla M

  4. Thanks Carla! Isn't Pinterest great for remembering things?! :)

  5. thanks for sharing...

  6. We have Monday off in observance of Lunar New Year and will be celebrating all next week! Thank you for the great links and ideas!


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