Reasons to teach children about the Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year is once again almost upon us.  This week I showed the children in my 2nd class the story of the Chinese New Year calendar.  They were fascinated at how each animal was chosen. They also loved discovering what animal represented their birth year.  I wasn’t too sure initially how interested they would be in the Chinese New Year but I was delighted to see how engaged they were throughout the lesson.  Below are some reasons why I think it’s such a great topic to discuss and teach in your class.

  1. Reasons to teach children Chinese New Year: The Chinese New Year is a topic which could be easily taught to all classes from 1st-6th. In addition, the material is very easy to adapt to the year group. Most children will be very interested to know what animal represents their year of birth.
  2. There are so many resources and activities available to support the teaching of the Chinese New Year.  On YouTube, you will find a huge range of videos to show different aspects of the Chinese New Year celebrations like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cRMRp9-Z08. On lesson plans, we have a Chinese New Year activity  worksheet suitable for most classes in the school, aside from infants.
  3. Children are engaged and interested in the topic.  It’s very visual and stimulating.
  4. It’s very easy to differentiate work for the Chinese New Year. Children can express themselves through images and drawings, in addition to writing about the topic.
  5. It’s a very inclusive topic which teaches children how different countries have different celebrations, cultures and traditions.
  6. You can integrate this topic very well.  You could use it as a stimulus in English as a creative writing exercise. In art, you could make lanterns, design a calendar or make an alternative Chinese New Year Calendar. Furthermore, you could link it to China in Geography or dance in PE. The list and opportunities really are endless.

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