Teacher Sign Up
Sign In
Create a Traditional Item for the Chinese New Year

Students will conduct research to learn more about the Chinese New Year. Then they will create a lantern or other traditional item related to the holiday.

PROCESS:

  1. Instruct students to conduct research to learn more about the Chinese New Year. How and when did it begin? Why do people celebrate it with lanterns? And what, other than releasing lanterns into the sky, do people do to celebrate the holiday?
  2. Remind students that the lanterns are red, a color that symbolizes good luck in China. And they are decorated with pictures and symbols. Like the color, each picture or symbol has a significant meaning.
  3. Explain that some people decorate their lanterns with phrases in Chinese. Traditionally, many of these phrases have been riddles. People write the riddles on paper notes and paste them to their lanterns. When someone thinks they know the answer, they remove the note and check with the person who wrote it. If they're right, they get a small prize.
  4. Give students time to create a lantern or another traditional object related to the Chinese New Year. 

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their items with the class. Encourage them to share what they learned about the Chinese New Year.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:    

Grades 3-4:
Prior to conducting this activity, download basic instructions on how to create a Chinese lantern. Gather the necessary supplies. As a class, conduct research to learn about the Chinese New Year. Then instruct each student to make a lantern. Tell students to select their own "lucky" color. Have them decorate their lanterns with symbols or phrases that have special meaning in their lives.

Grades 5-6:
Prior to conducting this activity, download basic instructions on how to create a Chinese lantern. Gather the necessary supplies. Have students conduct research to learn about the Chinese New Year in small groups. Then instruct each student to make a lantern. Tell students to select their own "lucky" color. Have them decorate their lanterns with symbols or phrases that have special meaning in their lives. When the lanterns are finished, instruct each student to write a brief report. Tell students to explain why they chose the color they did and what each symbol or phrase on their lanterns means.

Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to conduct research to learn more about the Chinese New Year. Tell them to select one item other than lanterns that is part of the celebration. If students wish to demonstrate a more involved tradition, such as a dragon dance, encourage several pairs to form a small group. Provide the necessary supplies. Give students time to create something that illustrates this tradition. 

Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct partners to conduct research to learn more about the Chinese New Year. Tell them to select one item other than lanterns that is part of the celebration. If students wish to demonstrate a more involved tradition, such as a dragon dance, encourage several pairs to form a small group. Provide the necessary supplies. Give students time to create something that illustrates this tradition. When the items are finished, instruct each student to write a brief report. Have students explain what the item is, what it symbolizes to the Chinese and how it became an important part of the Chinese New Year celebration.