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Chinese New Year Activities

A cross-curricular approach to Chinese New Year

In 2018, the official Chinese New Year celebrations will commence on 16 February and continue through to 2 March. Many festivals and events will take place throughout this time to mark the beginning of the Year of the Dog. Opening students’ eyes to celebrations and traditions around the world is a powerful way to build their cultural understanding and develop their respect for others.

Celebrate Chinese New Year in your classroom with these cross-curricular activities

English

  • Read texts explaining the history of the Chinese New Year celebrations and how it is celebrated in modern times, or watch the video at <https://tinyurl.com/zjlzx72>.
  • Compose a narrative set during the Chinese New Year celebrations or write a recipe for making a traditional Chinese dish.

Mathematics

  • In Chinese astrology, a zodiac animal is associated with each lunar year. 2018 is the eleventh year in the 12-year cycle and is represented by the Dog. Research then draw the twelve zodiac animals in order.
  • Create a time line showing the zodiac animals associated with each lunar year from 2008 to 2019 inclusive, or for a longer period of time.
  • Use a calendar to show the duration of the Chinese New Year celebrations, and the events that may occur on each day. See <https://chinesenewyear2018.com/calendar/> for an example.

History

  • Discuss how other countries celebrate the arrival of the new year and compare the similarities and differences to Chinese New Year.
  • Encourage students, families and community members to share stories about Chinese New Year celebrations they have attended or other cultural celebrations and traditions they have.
  • During Chinese New Year, conducting certain activities are taboo at certain times of the celebrations. Discuss the beliefs behind the taboo activities listed at <https://chinesenewyear2018.com/taboos/>.

Geography

  • Chinese New Year celebrations are held around the world. Locate the countries that celebrate a Lunar New Year using Google™ maps or an atlas. These include: mainland China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Arts

  • During Chinese New Year, red lanterns adorn houses, businesses and streets to bring joy and good fortune. Create red hanging lanterns to bring joy and good fortune to your classroom. The lantern festival is then held 15 days after New Years Day and marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Cooking

  • Chinese New Year is a time for sharing traditional dishes with family and friends. Conduct a cooking lesson or bring in traditional Chinese food such as dumplings, sweet rice balls or spring rolls for students to share.

Resources to help assist you with teaching Chinese New Year.

 Australian Curriculum ChinaAustralian Curriculum ChinaAustralian Curriculum History

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