Teach w/ Me: Chinese New Year

I am introducing a new series called "Teach with Me". 

I am going to be posting through the holidays and themes

that come up during the school year...

But these blog posts will hopefully be ones you can teach off of...

 In a "Teach with Me" post you will find....

vocabulary based pictures
links to you tube for songs and videos
links to freebies
links to curriculum (but these post will not be curriculum commercials)
linky parties to other teachers teaching on the same topic

Enjoy the links and pictures, and if you deem them appropriate,

 just log on and teach right off of this blog post.

Today's "Teach with Me" is Chinese NeW YeAr!

Chinese New Year is an exciting holiday.

It is always in the month of January or the month of February.

Each year is named after an animal.
Snake - February 10, 2013
Horse -January 31, 2014
Goat - February 19, 2015
Monkey -  February 8, 2016
Rooster -  January 28, 2017
Dog -  February 16, 2018
Pig - February 5, 2019

These are some wonderful books about this special holiday. Your local

library might have copies of these treasures.

These are my favorites.

CNY books

Did you know that before New Year’s Day, 

Chinese families clean their home from top to bottom?

 They do this to sweep away the

bad luck from the old year.  The whole family cleans together!

The day before everyone gets a fresh hair cut too!

At midnight they will open the

doors and windows to let out any left over bad luck

and also to welcome in the New Year.

When children awake on New Year’s Day they will find red envelopes.

Check out the special way Sam spends his lucky money

on the Scholastic channel on You Tube.

Click the book cover to view on You Tube. 

Red envelopes are very exciting !

Who wouldn’t like some LuCky MoNeY?


Click the picture to link you to Martha Stewart’s free template

to make your own envelopes.

CNY dance

The Dragon Dance (click the pic to go to You Tube)

is one of the best parts of Chinese New Year.

The Dragon is not real, but it is said that he brings good luck to you.

You can see from the picture that the Dragon is actually a

HuGE puppet.  The people underneath make

him move and “dance” / chase a ball on a stick.

People celebrating Chinese New Year will often wear red.

That's because red is considered to be a very lucky color.

The children is this picture are also holding lanterns.

  because they are going to walk in the lantern parade. 

My class has done a parade for the last two years. 

One year we did a dragon dance {of sorts}.

I used my template from our dragon hats to make a 

BiG dragon head and tail.

I held the head and the kids followed behind me.

Each child held red sheets of construction paper

 with their New Year’s goals.

The red sheets made up the dragon’s body.

One of my students wore the tail on the back of his shirt.

We were a very cute dragon

This year I used the head and tail to make our ABC ORDER Dragon.

Our school colors are red and black… Hence my color choices.


This year we planned to walk with the lanterns we made and

have our own First Grade Lantern Parade.

I even downloaded new music.

But then it was raining,
then it was hailing,
and at one point I think it might have snowed…

I don’t really know what snow is…outside of a ski slope…

(So. California Girl)

It was soft and white and did not bounce off the ground….

Is that snow????

Anyway, the parade was cancelled due to crazy weather.

So we hung our lanterns instead. 


To do your own lantern parade...

Attach your lantern to a pencil using yarn.

 Walk around your campus with Chinese music playing on your phone.


Instant Lantern Parade.

Panda bears can only be found in China.

This makes them a natural fit for Chinese New Year.

My students loved reading about pandas and making them for art.

Of course, you know how I feel about art…. “gotta make it smart”….

So we wrote all over the bellies and backs of these little babies.

Here is our fluency and tomorrow’s alliteration lesson.

IMG_9306      42    

We read a book all about Chinese New Year.


Then we took two tests.

Science-Panda Bears

Social Studies- Chinese New Year


What fun day in first grade could be complete without food????



I went to to the local Golden Chopsticks (at lunch) and picked up two

orders of Orange Chicken. You can also buy it frozen, ask a

room- momma to cook it, and bring it in for the class.

I bring in my rice cooker from home. This rice is the best to make

Tradional “sticky rice”.

Rinse it first.
Dump about 2 cups into cooker.
Cover 1 inch over the top of the rice with water.
Hit cook!
EaSy !

Some of my chopsticks experts enjoyed showing their friends

how to eat with them.

“Put your fingers here,” she kept saying…

I think he ended up eating with his fingers…. after stabbing his food.

But he NeVeR asked for a fork.

Because in first grade we "Never give up" What a trooper!


So do they LoVe rice???? Was there really any doubt???


I like that this graphing activity asks them to

“think and articulate”

what the graph is telling them. This is a deeper form of data analysis.

I really love Chinese New Year!

Can you tell ? ? ?

I want you to enjoy this day with your class, that’s why I compiled the

goodies you see here (and even more) into a unit for sale on TpT.

Chinese New Year Cover

Wow- Fuzzy picture! Is blogger ever the most unpredictable program ever? The picture should look great...

If you would like to check it out…. click {here}.

Happy New Year to you all.

May this year be blessed!



  1. Love your unit! We made lanterns yesterday and I read them a book about Chinese New Year. One of the teachers also showed a powerpoint about it! It was a busy and fun day!

  2. What a WONDERFUL cross-cultural unit! I really like the rice graphing and food tasting!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe
    Join my 100 Follower Ultimate Giveaway: Skype Author Visit!

  3. I LOVE teaching about Chinese New Year. I own 4 out of the 6 books you recommend :) Today I read-Celebrating Chinese New Year and we did a main idea and details chart. The students then wrote about what they had learned about Chinese New Year. For art we did a dragon mask. The kids had so much fun and the best part is that since Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days I have planned more activities for next week! Thanks for the awesome packet it is a great addition to my teaching unit.

  4. I am glad you all love Chinese New Year too! It is some serious fun and you can sneak in some hard common core teaching while having a GrEaT time.

  5. Your Chinese New Year looks awesome! This was my first year learning about it and doing some teaching. I'll have to remember your ideas for next year!

    Extra Special Teaching

  6. This looks wonderful! I love all the cultural aspects the students get to experience!

    Amanda Bryant
    A Traveled Teacher

  7. Love your Chinese New Year post!!! How cool you have done a dragon dance with your kids in the past :) We practice all of the traditions you mentioned w/ the exception of opening up windows at midnight. Brrrrrr!!!

  8. This is a great idea! I am amazed that you have time to plan and implement so many fun seasonal/holiday activities. I always want to do fun things like this, but don't feel like I have the time with all the deadlines. I really should try to do more though cause the kids love it.

    Compassionate Teacher

  9. Those are some great ideas! My school does a whole school Lunar New Year parade and each class also has their own luncheon. I like the idea of bringing my rice cooker to school. Never thought of that one, but I'll definitely do it next year! By the way, I am hosting a Chinese/Lunar New Year idea linky party on my blog. I've linked up on your blog. I would love it if you would link up and spread the word! :)

    Diary of a First Grade Teacher

    P.S. I am your newest follower. :)

  10. Love this new feature! We're loving your Chinese New Year unit in our classroom. Thanks for all hte bonus ideas!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  11. I want to be in your class! That was an amazing unit that you did with the kids!

  12. I loved using your unit in my classroom this week. I teach preschool, so some of it had to be modified to suit their age, but I owe the success of my Chinese New Year celebration mostly to all of your hard work! Thank you so much!!
    I put a link to the unit and your blog on my blog spot.


  13. Teach with Me is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing such cool ideas for the Chinese New Year!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  14. Thanks for the neat ideas! I am a music teacher and a few years ago I ran into this song
    Gung Hay Fat Choy
    it is a free download, I made up a simple fan dance to it for my girl scout troop for Thinking Day & I did it w/my primary kids too! Using butcher paper, I made a template for a GIANT fan the kids could hide behind,(Students needed 2 hands to hold it! They were proud of their fans and used them very majestically! I made a sheet with different Chinese symbols (Luck, peace, family,year of the snake etc..) the students picked ONE out and using a pencil drew it on their fan as BIG as they could. Then using black tempera they traced over it. Later, I would fold the fans & we added them to our dance. It was alot of fun, they especially liked hiding behind the fan and peeking out to the music on the chorus section! :)

  15. Such a wonderful post about Chinese new year! The photos and the moments captured on those images are pretty nice. My best chinese new year greetings to you.

    Gong Xi Fa Cai

    Liezel xxxxx

  16. Cute stuff! There is a new CNY book out: Goldy and the Three Pandas (fractured Goldilocks) that is pretty cute!
    Glad I came across your site to explore!!


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