Chinese New Year Classroom Ideas

Posted by Teresa M. on Feb 15, 2015 8:55:08 PM

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Learning about other cultures can be fun and a great way to engage your learners. Chinese New Year is on February 19, 2015. Below are high-interest lesson ideas that incorporate diverse learning strategies for all types of students.


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Magic Pot

Pleasant DeSpain (author), Tom Wrenn (illustrator) ISBN: 9780874838275

From the publisher: In this story from China, when a woodcutter finds a magic pot that makes two of everything that he puts inside of it, he thinks all of his troubles have disappeared! Or have his troubles merely doubled?

This is one of my favorite lessons taught for Chinese New Years’ with a math twist.

Lesson Plan Ideas

Primary Grades Math Activity

Have students sit in a circle and pretend they have a doubling machine.

Materials :

  • one die or numbered cube
  • paper and pencil
  • marker chips

Object: Students will recognize patterns with doubles.

Procedure: Working in pairs, have students take turns rolling the die. One student writes the number on the die down plus the number. (4+4) First student counts out the corresponding number of chips to partner counts out the double to find the solution.

Variations: Use a mirror to see double the amount of chips.

Connection to Common Core State Standards (Grade 1)

1. OA.A Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.

Additional Ideas

3-5 Algebra Lesson Activity

Vocabulary: input variable, output variable, t-chart, variable

This activity can be extended over three class periods depending on the depth of algebra you are teaching.

Read the text and discuss. Introduce t-chart concept with students. Have a student call out a number to become the input variable. Have students mathematically find the double for the output variable. Depending on time, have students make their own t-charts. Have students look for patterns.

Connection to Common Core State Standards (Grade 4)


Multiply or divide to solve word problems involving multiplicative comparison, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem, distinguishing multiplicative comparison from additive comparison.

Other Chinese New Year Resources

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Chinese New Year

Carrie Gleason (author) ISBN: 9780778789796

From the publisher: Kung hay fat Choy means may you prosper and is a greeting heard often during Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year, sometimes called Lunar New Year, is celebrated in Chinese communities throughout the world. Children will love this colorful and easy-to-understand introduction to this famous holiday.

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Walter Simmons ISBN: 1612113494

From the publisher: China, with over one billion people, is the most populated country in the world. China's most famous tourist attraction is the Great Wall, which runs across about 5,000 miles of northern China. Rich with Chinese culture, this title explores Chinese food, holidays, and daily life. Eager readers will also get to challenge their tongues with a few common words from one of the many Chinese languages! Blastoff! Series

PencilPrompts for The Chinese New Year

Use them for discussion, writing and drawing activities.

Red is considered to be lucky in the Chinese Culture. What things are red and why you feel red is lucky?

Using scissors is considered unlucky as it will cut your fortune for the coming year. Do you think this is superstitious? Research and write about other superstitions.

Dragons are often seen in parades in China. Why do you think they include them in their celebrations.? What makes dragons mythical creatures?

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Common Core, Differentiation, Publisher Preview, Writing, Literacy

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