Chinese New Year is a fun way to celebrate diversity in the classroom. There are some many great books and activities that you can do with your kids.
This is one of my favorite holidays to teach my students about. I am fortunate enough to have grown up with many Vietnamese friends. I also teach in the same community and have had many Vietnamese students throughout the years. In the Vietnamese culture the celebration is called Lunar New Year.
Some of my favorite girls from a few years ago and our awesome ESL aide
I would like to share with you some of my favorite books and activities that I like to do in the classroom for Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year Books
Sam and the Lucky Money is about a little boy who gets a lay see (red envelope with money) and can’t decide what to buy with it. After seeing a homeless man without any shoes, he decides to use his money to buy the man some socks. It is a really great story to teach about generosity also.
If you have Discovery Education there is a short video of this book. After reading the book I use the discussion cards made by Laura Candler to discuss the story. This is part of her Chinese New Year Activities packet. She also has some other great activities in the packet.
Dragon Dance is a lift the flap book. It is excellent to use as an introduction to Chinese New Year. It describes the customs of the holiday in an easy way for young children to understand.
D is for Dragon Dance is an ABC book. Each letter describes a Chinese New Year tradition. After reading this book with my students I have them make a circle map of 5 customs that are done during the Chinese New Year.
I also love reading The Pet Dragon! This is a great book about a girl and her pet dragon. The author incorporates Chinese symbols into the pictures. It is a fun way to introduce the Chinese language to students. After I read the story I give students a copy of some of the Chinese characters from the story. I then have the students write a sentence using the Chinese characters. They really love this activity!
Chinese New Year Activities
I also like to give my students a pair of chopsticks and have them eat popcorn with them. It is fun to watch them try to pick up the popcorn!
Chinese Paper Lantern
I also have the children make a Chinese lantern. They always have so much fun making this lantern. Click on the title Chinese Paper Lantern to download the directions.
Chinese New Year Unit
I use this every year in my class. It is fun and educational. The kids love it! Stop by my store to check it out.
Do you celebrate Chinese New Year in your class? What kind of activities do you do? Let me know.
Gung Hay Fat Choy!