The Chinese New Year is the most celebrated holiday in the world. Bringing the celebration into your classroom is a great way to help students learn about different cultures and celebrations around the world. There is a multitude of ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year in your classroom.
The dragon carries a large amount of symbolism in Chinese culture, especially during the Chinese New Year. Introduce your students to this symbolism and then have them create their own miniature Chinese dragon using colorful paper and chopsticks. Once they are complete they can explain their dragon to their classmates.
2. Chinese Zodiac
Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar and the Zodiac. Explain and explore the Chinese Zodiac animals with students. Once they have learned about it have them find their animal and create a 2D or 3D visual representation of their Chinese Zodiac animal and explain how its description does or does not describe them.
3. Lantern Festival
At the end of Chinese New Year celebrations, families participate in a Lantern Parade and festival complete with feasting and riddle games. To close your study of Chinese New Year have students create their own Chinese lanterns and write riddles for their classmates to solve. Put the lanterns on parade through your classroom or school.
4. Classroom decor
Turn your classroom into a Chinese pagoda. Make sure you include all sorts of Chinese artwork and decorations, with the colors red and gold dominating the color palette. Involve the students in the decorating and include explanations or activities centered on the importance of each element.
5. Calligraphy and Artwork
Chinese writing is an art in and of itself. Introduce students to the beauty and complexity of Chinese Calligraphy through creating chun lian, a form of decoration for the Chinese New Year. Guide them in writing a Chinese symbol in gold and black on a red piece of paper to decorate the classroom with. In addition, you could explore Chinese landscape artwork by having students create their own landscape scrolls using water, ink, brush, and paper.
These, and many other ideas, can turn your classroom into a celebration of this very unique holiday. Through this your students will gain a greater understanding of a culture beyond their own.