Chinese New Year - Lesson Plan

Scholastic has a nice set of lesson plans for studying China and incorporating that into a celebration of Chinese New Year

Chinese Unit overview

Lesson 1: So many inventions! 

Book: Uses Ms. Frizzles Adventures in Imperial China by Joanna Cole.

Supplements: You can supplement this lesson with these websites describing Chinese inventions:
Chinese inventions from MiKids
Chinese inventions from

Activities: The lesson plan calls for making a compass as an example of one invention.  Another option would be to make an abacus out of beads and popsicle sticks or cardboard. Though I think I might prefer the more modern version that is base 10 to the authentic version which is more like base 15 in some ways.

Lesson 2: Story of silk

Book: Uses The Empress and the Silkworm by Lily Toy Hong

Activities: Sequencing cards for silk harvesting and pulling your own silk from a cocoon. You can purchase pre-dyed silk cocoons available for $5.95/10 in a variety of colors for the activity. These particular ones are cut so perhaps they are the "humane" type of silk harvest. You can also purchase the kinds where the pupa have been killed before they are able to emerge out of the cocoon and thereby making a hole and shortening the length of silk threads.

Lesson 3: Chinese New Year Celebration

Activities listed: Recipes, Banners, Signs, Puppets, Make lucky money envelopes, Learn to use Chopsticks, etc. One suggestion is to create good luck sign (The link on the scholastic page is not useful so you can try this link). To print more Chinese Characters click on this earlier post on Chinese Calligraphy books and resources. The link for making a dragon puppet is missing on the scholastic site so use this one.

More suggestions: Make an awesome paper machie dragon puppet from "That Artist Woman" blog. Visit activity village for a large array of Chinese New Year printables!


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