Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Celebrate Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year is one of my favorite holidays as it’s very close to my heart and reminds me so much of my family and culture. As a Vietnamese-American, I’ve been blessed to celebrate both the New Year in January and Chinese New Year, or more commonly known as Tet in Vietnam, at the end of January or February every year.  This year, it falls on Thursday, February 19th.

To celebrate Tet, my family cleans and decorates our house with yellow and pink spring flowers, prepares our ancestors’ altars by offering fresh fruits and traditional cakes, dresses up in our traditional long dresses, attends mass at our Catholic church to pray for a good and prosperous year, and watches dragon dances. Plus, children receive lucky money as they wish their elders ‘Happy New Year.'

Getting lucky money from my parents and elders at church was always my favorite!  How can a kid say no to her loved ones giving her money, right?!  Now as a mom, I do my best to pass along the same traditions and great memories to my son.  I love seeing him captivated by the loud sounds, music, and sights of celebrating such a fun and wonderful holiday.

As teacher, I love to incorporate and teach about different cultures and traditions into my classroom, especially when it comes to Chinese New Year. I love sharing personal stories and memories of the holiday while also encouraging my students to celebrate and learn more about Asian cultures. 

Here are some ideas to celebrate Chinese New Year with your students:

-Read Sam's Lucky Money and other Chinese-themed Children's books (Ruby's Wish)

-Read nonfiction text on the holiday 
-Write facts using different graphic organizers
-Make paper dragons and parade around the classroom

-Help students identify their Chinese Zodiac
-Make paper lanterns to decorate the classroom
-Create Lucky Money envelops 

-Watch dragon dances videos from YouTube

I love having my students parade around the classroom with their paper dragons!  It really is the most favorite of theirs as well.  They giggle, dance, and have just about the best time! But what really make them so excited is when I show them a mini-dragon.  I love seeing them so excited and fascinated!

If you are celebrating Chinese New Year in your classroom, come check out my Chinese New Year Packet! With printables, vocabulary cards, colorful signs, graphic organizers, a Chinese Zodiac Calendar and bookmarks, and an interactive game with game mats and dice templates, students will be greatly informed and thoroughly engaged the entire unit! See the video below on how to play the Zodiac game with your students! 

And as Vietnamese people wish each other Happy New Year, Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

Hi there!  My name is Ha, and I am first grade teacher from Texas.  This is my eighth year of teaching and seventh year teaching in first grade.  I am married to my high school sweetheart and together, we have a two-year old son and a new baby on the way.  This is my first entry for Who's Who, and I am thrilled to be part of this wonderful collaborative blog.  Thank you so much for reading!  I can't wait to hear from our awesome readers and fellow bloggers! :)


Post a Comment