Studying Chinese New Year can make it very different from other school activities and focus on creating lanterns and a dragon and listening to Eastern music, or using balls and a flashlight to determine who the phases of the moon are made, or practice folding: paper for origami or wrappers to make spring rolls and dumplings to eat. Trying calligraphy can be an opportunity to hold a pen or brush and write – one that may not have the associated handwriting stress. Some find that using tweezers and attempting chopsticks allows them to work on fine motor coordination in a fun way.
You may want to review my Chinese New Year Overview and Wikipedia’s entry on Chinese New Year before you begin any unit. Any of these can be used during a study of China or Chinese New Year. I especially like the use of folk tales.
Language Arts CNY Lesson Plans
Chinese Zodiac Lesson Plans
Brushstrokes from West to East is a 43 page document containing Vermont-standards based lesson plans for K - 6, including lanterns, paper cuts, and clay dragons.
Basic "Chinese" Lantern
Not everything fits under the Chinese New Year umbrella. See Musical Mandarin for more "(Chinese) Lesson Plans" including math and (coming soon) Chinese Inventions.
Individual lesson plans:
- Chopsticks for lower elementary,
- Beth's Chinese New Year Lesson (probably for pre-K and K),
- For high schoolers: Chinese Door Guards and
- Multicultural Science Education: Myths, Legends, and Moon Phases by Andrea B. Freed
Of course there are more Lesson Plans on China, not related to the New Year, that you can also use during this time.
Last updated: August 2007