Celebrating lunar new year in your class!
Lunar New Year is a time for families and communities to come together and celebrate the start of a new year. This holiday is celebrated by many Asian cultures, including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. It is also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival.
Elementary school teachers can incorporate Lunar New Year into their curriculum by teaching students about the history and traditions of the holiday. For example, students can learn about the story of Nian, a monster that would come out to eat people on New Year’s Eve. To protect themselves, people would put up red decorations and set off fireworks to scare Nian away. This is why red and fireworks are still a big part of Lunar New Year celebrations today.
Another tradition that elementary students can learn about is giving red envelopes filled with money to children. This is a way for parents and grandparents to wish the children good luck and prosperity for the new year.
Middle school students can delve deeper into the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year. For example, they can learn about the lunar calendar and how it is used to determine the date of the holiday. They can also research the different customs and traditions that are specific to different Asian cultures.
In addition to learning about the history and traditions of Lunar New Year, middle school students can also celebrate the holiday in the classroom. This can include decorating the classroom with red decorations, preparing and sharing traditional foods, and learning and performing traditional dances.
One fun way to celebrate Lunar New Year in the classroom is by hosting a traditional lion dance. In this activity, students can make their own lion head and tail out of paper mache and then practice performing the lion dance. The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance that is performed during Lunar New Year. It is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
Another way to celebrate Lunar New Year in the classroom is by cooking traditional dishes. Many Asian cultures have their own traditional foods that are eaten during Lunar New Year. For example, in China, dumplings are often eaten on New Year’s Eve. In Vietnam, it is traditional to eat sticky rice cakes. Students can research and make their own traditional dishes.
Overall, Lunar New Year is a wonderful opportunity for both elementary and middle school teachers to teach their students about different cultures and traditions. By incorporating the history, customs, and traditions of Lunar New Year into their curriculum, teachers can help their students develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the holiday and the cultures that celebrate it.
Here are some children’s books about Lunar New Year:
“The Runaway Rice Cake” by Ying Chang Compestine
“Lunar New Year” by Tracey West
“How to Catch a Dragon” by Adam Wallace
Here are some websites about Lunar New Year:
Here is a resource you can use for Lunar New Year: