Chinese New Year is a festive time when the new year is welcomed in accordance with the cycle of the moon. This year Chinese New Year begins on 2/03/2011, which brings the Year of the Rabbit. The official celebration lasts for about two weeks, so you still have plenty of time to teach a fun and informative lesson about this holiday. Younger elementary homeschoolers will love learning about some of the simple new year traditions, as well as making some cute crafts.
First, enjoy a craft or two with your child. A Paper Bag Tiger Puppet is easy to do, and it can be made simply. Use paint or crayons to color the bag orange, and add black stripes to the sides of the lunch bag. You can draw the eyes, nose, and fangs, or cut them out from construction or simple printer paper. Black pipe cleaners are great as whiskers when cut into fourths and glued on the bag. 2010 was the year of the tiger, and this paper bag puppet highlights this fierce and brave creature. The tiger has always been considered to be a brave and loyal animal in Ancient China. A simple paper lantern is also an easy and enjoyable craft to construct with your child. The website titled "The Holiday Spot" offers a clear set of directions for making the traditional Chinese paper lantern. You can find their website at the end of this article!
Include journal writing and/or illustration in your new year lesson plans. Ask your homeschooler to draw and write a sentence or two about a rabbit. What do they already know about this cute animal? Have they ever seen a rabbit at a pet shop, or on a farm? Perhaps your child has seen one in the wild. Visit Enchanted Learning for free printable information about the rabbit to incorporate some animal themed science, too!
For educational fun be sure to visit Ni Hao, Kai-lan on Nick Jr. Online. You will find crafts, recipes, Chinese language and vocabulary, printables, and information on The Year of the Rabbit.
Gung Hay Fat Choy!