1-2-3 Come Do Some Chinese New Year Activities With Me.
Chinese New Year starts February 19th this year, and runs for 15 days. I know some of you will quickly dismiss Chinese New Year, as something you want to make time for this February, because you feel you don't have any time to plug in one more thing to an already overloaded schedule.
However, even if you don't have time for an entire theme day, many of the following activities can quickly and easily be added to what you're already doing. If nothing else, simply read several books about Chinese New Year during your story time, and have children locate Asia and China on a map. My Y5's were absolutely fascinated.
If you need some help finding a story, click on the link for a list of 53 of my all-time favorite Chinese books. I think you'll find it quite helpful, as it's a comprehensive annotated bibliography, where I explain and comment on each book.
You could also wish children a "Gong Hey Fat Choy!" (pronounced gung-she-fah-tie) Happy Chinese New Year, instead of greeting them with "Good morning" as they walk in the door.
One of the 4 Chinese bookmarks I've designed, has this greeting written on it. These could be left as a little surprise in their desks, or passed out to on-task students during reading.
One of our favorite Chinese stories was Tikki Tikki Tembo. My Y5’s were delighted when I repeated Tikki’s very long "full" name, and wanted to learn it themselves. Click on the link for an excellent animated version of this popular folktale.
Another wonderful YouTube video fairytale, is The Story of Nian a mythological, half lion-half dragon creature. It’s just 3 minutes long and explains the meaning behind many of the Chinese New Year beliefs.
Another simple way to add a splash of China to your day, is by playing some soothing Chinese music while your students work. There's something very calming in the melodic music that chinese instruments create.
I'm listening to "Music From The Tea Lands" as I blog. It's especially meaningful because 2 of our sons were born in Korea. If you don't have a CD, click on the link to hear 25 minutes of tranquil sounds from China.
Chinese New Year (2015) is the year of the sheep. My students wanted to know what animal was featured the year that they were born, so I included a list in the Chinese New Year Animal Game Card packet.
Finding the answer, is another quick, easy and fun way to add a sprinkle of Chinese New Year to your day. You can also have students play Memory Match or I Have; Who Has? games with the cards.
There are 11 sets of cards. Children can match animals to animals, animals to their symbols, or animal cards to word cards.
The packet includes background information about Chinese New Year, a list of what the animal traits are, along with the years that they were the special animal + a spinner game. For a discussion or writing prompt, students could share if those animal traits fit their personalities or not.
Are your kiddos working on counting and number identification? Why not take a few minutes to teach them how to count to 10 in Chinese? To help you, I designed some Chinese and English number cards, so children can play a variety of games.
The packet also includes an anchor chart that shows the order of "brush" strokes, as well as helpful links, so students can see, hear, and learn how to write the numbers.
It's quick, easy and fun; my Y5's were amazed. I think they just assumed everyone wrote numbers like they did.
One of the sites tells you how to ask a person their phone number in Chinese.
Since my Y5s were working on learning their phone number, I thought that would be a really fun activity for students, so I made a recording sheet. There's also one for students to write their age on.
You can introduce these lessons by reading a Chinese counting book. I've included 3 suggestions.
Click on the link to view/download the Let's Count In Chinese,Number Card Packet.
Also math related, are these 9 Chinese puzzles that will help your students practice counting forwards, backwards, as well as skip counting by 10s to 100. Set them up as an independent center for early finishers.
Another fun way to add a bit of Asian flavor to your day, is with these Chinese dragon alphabet cards. Use them as flashcards, an independent center or for some group games.
I've included a 3-page tip list of things you can do with the cards. After laminating, cut up an extra set and make puzzles. Click on the link to view/download the Chinese dragon alphabet cards.
Finally, if you have snack time, add a Chinese fortune cookie to the mix. What does the word fortune mean? Who can read theirs? What do they think of the fortune? If you have time, have them write a fortune they'd like to have and share it with a friend.
Still looking for more ideas? Click on the link, if you'd like to see all of the Chinese New Year FREEBIES on TeachWithMe. I also have an entire board for Chinese New Year on Pinterest. For a fun, Chinese riddle lantern craftivity, scroll down to take a look at the next blog article.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I hope you're able to add a splash of Chinese New Year to your daily activities to spice things up. Wishing you a relaxing day, filled with memorable moments.
"A nation's treasure is in its scholars." - Chinese proverbs