Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy Chinese New Year!

This week we will celebrate Chinese New Year in my PreK class.  Chinese New Year Celebrations for 2017 will run from January 28th to February 15th.  This year is the year of the Rooster.  I love to bring unique cultural celebrations to my classes.  Most of the kids I teach don't celebrate Chinese New Year in their homes...so this is unique and fun!

I start out the day by reading "Bringing in the New Year" by Grace Lin.  It is an age-appropriate story about a family preparing for the New Year celebrations.  The colors are bright and bold, the text is simple and leaves lots of opportunities to ask the children questions and relate all of the preparations to their own lives.

I also spend some time talking about the Chinese zodiac and what the Year of the ________ is all about.  This year I will talk about Roosters and what the Chinese believe the characteristics of those born in this year will be.

There are fantastic videos put out by Panda Express that very simply explain Chinese New Year in a way that is entertaining and fun for the kids.  I found them youtube.  Just follow the links below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u-R-aIq3_E

Here's another, this one is the Legend of the Chinese New Year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9EehyCxRw0

This video gives information about the Chinese Zodiac.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PrMgM8fZVs

For centers we sit on cushions on the floor and practice eating ramen noodles with chop sticks!  I twist a rubber band around each pair of chopsticks to make it easier for the kids to master.  They LOVE this center for the noodles of course, but it is a FANTASTIC fine motor activity!

I have a matching game and a numerical order game in my lesson plan, but one fun activity I have done in the past is to put a container or bowl of puff balls on a table, give each student a set of chopsticks (again, wrapped with a rubber band), and we will use dice or number cards to count out puff balls to place in an empty bowl using our chopsticks.  The kids have really enjoyed this activity in the past.  I only use one die, and keep the numbers low...otherwise it can take forever to complete.

The best activity and the one the kids love the most is to make a real Chinese dragon.  I have the templates in my lesson plans-I will provide the link at the end of my post.  The kids love making their dragons, but mostly...they love playing with them when we are through!  It took many years for me to figure out how the kids could play with them immediately.  I use glue sticks for the glitter and to glue onto the dragon body, but the most important step is to hot glue the craft sticks onto the body before class begins.  That one step of prep make the whole day 100 times better.  I'm including photos of past year's dragons.  The kids are so happy with their work, and it is a perfect end to a fantastic day of celebration and learning!



My lesson plan for Chinese New Year can be accessed through the link below.  There is so much included in this one-day plan.  It will make your Chinese New Year celebration so much fun and so much easier!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chinese-New-Year-Math-Literacy-Art-and-Culture-for-PreK-K-and-Homeschool-2372702

Happy New Year!


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