Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, has been celebrated for thousands of years. It is one of the most important holidays widely celebrated in many Asian countries and territories including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Thailand. Usually falling between January 21stand February 20th, this year's start of the Chinese New Year will occur on January 25th, and is the Year of the Rat. The celebration lasts for about 15 days.
Gung Hay Fat Choy is a common Chinese New Year’s greeting in Chinese Cantonese, which means “wishing you great happiness and prosperity.” On Chinese New Year, the themes of happiness, wealth, longevity, luck and good fortune are celebrated. Some of the traditional celebrations include family gatherings, visiting friends and relatives (baai nin), exchanging “lucky money” contained in red envelopes (lai see), decorating homes with paper decorations and scrolls, lion dances, and fireworks. Chinese New Year is a special holiday to celebrate with your class while teaching them others’ cultures and comparing them to American traditions.
We have put together a collection of fun, hands-on and Common Core-aligned lessons and activities, classroom decorations, and craft projects for you to explore and enjoy with your class, and I want to share them with you!
The Chinese zodiac consists of twelve animal signs, and is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar. It is based upon the monthly cycles of the moon’s phases, unlike the Gregorian calendar which is based upon the solar cycle. The zodiac begins with the rat, followed by ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, dog and pig.
Download this lesson plan for Grades 1-5, meeting Common Core objectives for both Reading and Math, surrounding the Chinese Zodiac, and decorate your classroom for the 2020 Chinese New Year - the Year of the Rat - while teaching your students about cultural traditions around the world!