Chinese New Year
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5
Chinese New Year has been celebrated for thousands of years. The holiday, which focuses on home and family, was the most important festival on the ancient Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of a new lunar year. Traditional activities include exchanging red envelopes containing money, holding parades with Chinese Dancing Dragons, setting off fireworks, and cleaning the house.
Each new year is marked by one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals: horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, boar, rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, and snake. The Festival of Lanterns, which occurs on the last day of Chinese New Year celebrations, features paper lanterns created in the form of the animal of the year.
Today, many Asian families around the world celebrate Lunar New Year. While the holiday is widely celebrated in Asian countries, many cities in the United States hold large celebrations, too.
Chinese New Year Lesson Plans and Activities
From lantern festivals to landscape scroll paintings, these colorful activity ideas and resources from Instructor magazine will help you celebrate Chinese New Year.
Create puppets, make traditional food, perform dragon dances, and celebrate with other fun activities perfect for Chinese New Year festivities!
Paper lanterns and masks, books, videos and other suggestions for a festive Chinese New Year celebration in your classroom
Invite your students on a journey to Chinatown with this Common Core kicker.
Teach students about Chinese inventions in science, technology, textiles, and the arts through hands-on exploration.
Learn More About China
Students learn about China through literature before comparing and contrasting their lifestyle to that of Chinese children.
Compare the popular fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood to a similar Chinese tale, Lon Po Po, and explore the similarities and differences between the two cultures.
Students build their own compasses to learn about Chinese inventions in this lesson plan.
Teach students about the steps involved in silk-making by asking them to arrange picture cards sequentially and by examining silk cocoons.
Start your research on Chinese history with this article from Scholastic GO!.
This book list contains nonfiction books for grades K-8 about ancient and contemporary China and its geography, people, and traditions.
Watch my students demonstrate two Chinese New Year crafts to celebrate the Year of the Horse!
Students will trace their handprints on brightly colored paper and color a beautiful dragon head to make a Chinese New Year craft.
Create these festive Chinese Dragon Masks to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Students will learn that fish and the colors red and yellow are good luck symbols for Chinese New Year.
Celebrate Chinese New Year with this cute, colorful craft that your students will love!
Find all of the books you need to celebrate Chinese New Year with this Book Wizard book list.
Informational books, stories, teacher resources, and websites for celebrating Chinese New Year.