Curriculum Activities Outline:
1. READ: My First Chinese New Year, at least once -3 days that week.
2. MAKE: Chinese Red Money Envelopes. (* note: I gave each child 2 plastic coins for their envelopes, which quickly were lost, as expected, ha-ha. To add math to this activity, take some pennies and count how many will fit into the envelope)
3. MAKE: Chinese Red Rattle Drum.
4. WATCH: (Short) Lion Dancing Video below, on YouTube.
5. PLAY: Drums (instruments) with eyes closed to focus our sense of hearing, during the Lion Dance Contest Song.( I have coffee cans covered with contact paper and super-glued lids)
6. PLAY: Red Drums and dance during Lion Dance Contest Song.
7. DANCE: Try to roll over at the same time to the music, and copy dance as possible. “I'm a dragon! I'm a Lion”
8. POUR TEA (water): I had 2 real tea sets we used, but I did find & buy a plastic one later to keep in the dramatic play area. As long as I stayed nearby, they did not get crazy with the water and really had a blast. We did this activity during the days following as requested.
https://youtu.be/LaLvVc1sS20 Chinese story about tea for reference
9. READ AND MAKE: Dragon and Girl Puppets for storytelling with BOOK Would you rather be a Princess or a Dragon? by Barney Saltzberg. This is a great opportunity for an informal compare/contrast literacy discussion.
Other things we talked about:
We talked about how every Chinese New Year is celebrated by Asian Countries and located on our kid-style wall map. We discussed how every year has an animal and talked about what our animal is because of when we are born. Some students enthusiastically related to “their animal”.
We did 1 or 2 of these activities a day, and except for the crafts, repeated. The movement activities were great because of in-climate weather.
Preschool Chinese New Year Craft Puppets
Chinese New Year Lucky Envelopes
Unable to locate my original envelopes download, below is a free printable for envelopes. Print on white and allow students to cut and color. My students did their own gluing, we used the white printable for the front and red rectangles for aback. using paintbrushes and cups with Elmer's Glue.
Chinese Drum Rattle Craft
Recommended for small group or center. I modified a bit: used my circle punch for 2 red circles per student. Students glued each circle on either side of a craft (Popsicle) stick. Each child chose a plastic bead for their instrument. I strung the bead, poked thread through a needle & paper, and tied a knot. I glued the knot and allowed it to dry.