Posted on February 7, 2010 by Suzan Woodard in Uncategorized.
Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14, but did you know it’s the first day of the Chinese New Year, too? Yup – the Year of the Tiger is upon us! Maybe your child or class would have fun with some global fusion – half hearts, half dragons.
Kids like quirky, well, most of them anyway. Hang Chinese lanterns from the ceiling and cut and paste valentines. Mix in talk of tigers, dragons and firecrackers and you are sure to engage the boys, as well.
I figure most of you have the Valentine’s Day theme down pat, so I’ll give you a few hints on how to use the Chinese New Year celebration as a spring board for learning.
Get to Know and Appreciate China
- Make Chinese paper lanterns to string in a doorway or from the ceiling. Very festive.
- Read “China” by Gisela Lee, who writes about this influential country’s rich history and vibrant modern-day culture. The book posted online by Big Universe has a map, colorful pictures and a good vocabulary list aimed at sixth-graders. (Teacher Created Materials Publishing)
- Fly a kite, bring collapsible umbrellas to school or play dominoes. They were all invented by the Chinese.
- Use “Kingka,” an award-winning board game, as a class supplement. Created by New Jersey educator, mom and children’s book author Sholeen Lou-Hsaio, the Mandarin-language matching game resembles bingo and introduces the 54 basic Chinese characters. It uses “the spirited nature of a memory game to encourage effective learning. It takes away the fear students have of learning Chinese,” said Lou-Hsiao.
- Learn more about giant pandas by clicking on this link, or read “Pandas’ Earthquake Escape” at Big Universe. (Sylvan Dell)
- “Confucius, Chinese Philosopher” is another Big Universe book by Gisela Lee, who collaborated with Wendy Conklin to write this biography. (Teacher Created Materials Publishing)
- Look at “Holidays” by author Dona Herweck Rice. It’s aimed at younger children with simple text and great pictures. Keep an eye out for the Chinese New Year street parade picture. (Teacher Created Materials Publishing)
- Go to Page 33 in the book “Animal World,” published by Saddleback Educational Publishing. It offers a little zoology on the tiger – with colorful photographs and a fun “factoscope” box. Or read “What Tigers Do,” a beginner book written by Kris Bonnell and published by Reading Reading Books, LLC.
- Print out this coloring page of a tiger, a boy in traditional holiday clothing, or one of men dressed to do the Chinese New Year lion dance.