Chinese New Year

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year.  If you're hoping to explore the lunar calendar beginning with students, read on for links and ideas to make the day a success.

Start by learning about Chinese New Year traditions through a holiday read-aloud of D Is for Dragon Dance by Ying Chang Compestine.  This story follows a boy and girl as they prepare for Chinese New Year, introducing symbols and traditions in an alphabetical list.

Introduce the Chinese Zodiac with a beautiful printable from Jan Brett.
Let students use the chart to figure out which animal will be associated with this year.  Then let them find which animal is associated with their birth years.  Challenge students to find patterns in the chart, such as how many years will pass before one of the animals is repeated.

Finally, allow students to make their own paper dragons using a template from Kaboose and a piece of crepe paper streamer.  Just decorate the dragon face,
cut out the masterpiece,
and attach the tail.
We used a stapler, so there was no waiting for the glue to dry.

Find out more about Chinese New Year history and traditions at A China Family Adventure.

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