I usually start out by providing this math challenge for Morning work. I give them a handout of all the zodiac animals.
Here is one.
I then ask the following question. This is the year of the snake. If the animals repeat every 12 years, when is the next year we will see the year of the snake
They love to look and see the animal for their year of birth, and their siblings year of birth as well.
I then read this book.
It is a sweet story about a little boy who eventually decides to spend his new years money on the less fortunate.
We also usually do some sort of art project. Chinese lanterns are simple, fun and easy for the kids. I found this picture on pinterest, but it looks like the teacher had the kids write math facts on the sides as well. Cool!
You can google chinese lantern patterns and find directions. But I've also done that for you!
I also am really super stoked to use this new unit from Teacher to the Core.
This unit looks absolutely amazing! Check it out by clicking the picture. With this unit I can extend my chinese new year theme all week if I want.
I am especially excited to add more social studies into the unit with her interactive informational book.
Finally we end the day with oranges (symbolizing good luck and prosperity) and Fortune cookies! Last year I went to my local Chinese restaurant told them I was a teacher and asked if I could buy some fortune cookies. The sold me a bag of 50 for just a couple bucks. The kids loved it of course.
Did I convince you to celebrate the Chinese new year in you classroom? Maybe? Let me know if you have any other activities I really must try this year with my class in the comments!