Chinese New Year

Salpy Baharian, M.Ed
Teacher.org Co-Founder

This highly engaging Social Studies lesson on Chinese New Year is integrated with elements of performing arts (drama).  This lesson is appropriate for students in K-3, as it can be easily modified.

Grade Level: K - 2nd

Subject: Arts, Social Studies

Length of Time: 50-60 Minutes

Objectives & Outcomes

After a lesson on Chinese New Year, the learner will act out (role play) a 30 second scene from a traditional family visitation tradition using oranges, tangerines, and sweets. The learner will use at least three details that we discussed.

Materials Needed

  • American New Year paraphernalia  (e.g., glitter glasses, beaded necklace, horns)
  • “Chinese New Year: Festival of New Beginnings” by Terri Sievert
  • 8 tangerines
  • 8 oranges
  • Various wrapped fruit candies.

Procedure

Opening to Lesson

  • Without much explanation, teacher will begin by acting out the countdown segment of a typical American New Year celebration.  Teacher will turn the lights off in the classroom and wear typical  American New Year  party paraphernalia (glasses, beaded necklaces, horns) in order to create the setting.  Teacher will excitedly count backwards from 10-1, then finally proclaim HAPPY NEW YEAR!
  • Teacher will invite students to partake in discourse regarding the scene that was just performed.  Have you experienced anything like that before?  What was familiar about it?  What did my performance remind you of?  What types of feelings were evoked when you watched my performance? Teacher will dictate students' responses on to chart paper.

Body of Lesson

Instructional Activity/Development

  • Teacher will read “Chinese New Year: Festival of New Beginnings” by Terri Sievert.
  • Teacher and students will discuss the gifts of oranges, tangerines, and sweets that were present in both the story.
  • Oranges represent money and wealth while tangerines are symbols of good luck
  • Students will be invited to discuss the similarities and differences between American New Year and the Chinese New Year Celebrations.
  • Teacher will introduce the phrase gung hay fat choy, which is the traditional Chinese New Year greeting that means “May you prosper”.

Guided Practice

  • Teacher will bring out the traditional gifts that families give to one another on Chinese New Year's Day (oranges, tangerines, and sweets).
  • With a student volunteer, teacher will act out (role play) the visitation and gifting process that was described in the book.
  • The tradition is to visit family members within three days of the new year.  At the visitation, it is customary to take sweet treats to family members’ homes.  This is to symbolize wealth  and good fortune in the new year.

Independent Practice

  • Teacher will bring out the traditional gifts that families give to one another on Chinese New Year's Day (oranges, tangerines, and sweets).
  • With a student volunteer, teacher will act out (role play) the visitation and gifting process that was described in the book.
  • The tradition is to visit family members within three days of the new year.  At the visitation, it is customary to take sweet treats to family members’ homes.  This is to symbolize wealth  and good fortune in the new year.

Closing

At this time, we will gather back on the rug to discuss new concepts that were learned in the lesson.  Teacher will dictate student responses onto chart paper.

Read our guide on Teaching Holidays in the Classroom.

Assessment & Evaluation

Performance Assessment

  • The role play section will be used as a performance assessment.  This provides students an opportunity to convey their understanding through gestures, sounds, and physical movement.  This provides students with a deeper connection to the material.

Informal/Anecdotal Assessment

  • Informal teacher observation of student participation as they create their scene (record will be kept in teacher log).

Modification & Differentiation

Learn more on how to teach students about holidays and history.

Related Lesson Plans

Foil Printing

In this visual arts lesson, students will create a print using paint on foil then add detail to the print.

Land and Water

This lesson is designed to help kindergarten students “distinguish between land and water on maps and globes”.

Upside Down Art

This lesson will allow students to practice creating art from a unique perspective while learning about Michelangelo.

Christmas Around the World Part 2

This lesson combines Music and Social Studies. Students will listen to and learn Christmas songs from around the world and analyze.

Comments