Wednesday, January 25, 2017


More people celebrate Lunar New Year than almost any holiday in the world: and most Americans don't know very much about it.  Here's a visually exciting introduction to this amazing celebration.


Mystery Bag: Holds a stuffed dragon puppet

Word of the Week: 
      English: HELLO
     Chinese: NI HAO (Knee How?- rising inflection at end.  Listen on Google Translate so you get the tone right: Chinese is very dependent upon the tone of each syllable.)
     Practice (To the tune of "Farmer in the Dell")
     Let's wave and say NI HAO,
     Let's wave and say NI HAO.
     Let's say HELLO to all our friends,
     Let's wave and say NI HAO.

INTRODUCTORY Video:  CeeBeebies: (BBC Children's  This videos shows a child's perspective of Chinse New Year: have kids watch for :
     1.  what color are the kids wearing (red)
     2.  Lion Dancers
     3.  Things they're familiar with (festivals, dance recitals, giving gifts to parents)

BOOK:  Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year (Scholastic, 1990.)
     This is a great book to take your time over: nonfiction & the pictures are wonderful.  Find similarities between Chinese and American culture (for example, the "altar" in the Chinese-American home is like the pictures traditional Americans may have of family members who have died: many Hispanic-Americans will light candles or incense by these pictures, too.)  The meal reminds many young children of Thanksgiving.

MOVEMENT: Dragon Dance (To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
  Dragon, Dragon turn around.  Dragon, Dragon touch the ground.  Dragon Dragon shake your head.  Dragon Dragon, tongue so red.  Dragon Dragon, stamp your feet, Dragon, Dragon coming down the street.)

ELECTRONIC RESOURCE:    Chinese culture in a nutshell:  Panda Express made a very nice video that explains the origin of Chinese New Year, the Chinese Zodiac and how to celebrate Chinese New Year... all in 5 minutes. (Google This: Panda Express Fortune Tales)

ELECTRONIC RESOURCE (ALTERNATE):  PebbleGo Social Studies Chinese New Year.  Accessed 24 January 2017.)  This goes really well with the preceeding videos, as many of the same concepts are reinforced.  We used the "Share What You Know" activity page with the 2nd grade to practice note-taking and active listening.

TUMBLEBOOKS: Round is a Mooncake or Red is a Dragon.

VIDEO to share CULTURES:  The LED Dragon Dance videos are so exotic and fun to watch!
MY favorite:
LEGO Lion Dance:

COLORING: 2nd grade enjoyed coloring "Chinese Symbols" with markers. 2nd grade also got red bookmarks with their Chinese Zodiac animal on it.  The K kids made paper-plate roosters or colored red-rooster 2017 for their families.

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