Many countries celebrate the Lunar New Year, including China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, and Tibet. Lunar New Year celebrations also take place in the United States and around the world, held by people with heritage from these countries. This year, the Lunar New Year takes place on Saturday, January 25. How can you celebrate with students?
Here are some ideas to help you and your students get involved with reading and writing about the Chinese and Lunar New Year. Additional ideas can be found in our Chinese and Lunar New Year Book and Resource Guide.
Social Studies: Many video clips of Chinese and Lunar New Year parades are available online. One example is from the History Channel. If possible, let students view one or more of these to see a real parade. Have students describe the excitement, preparation, and festivities of the parade.
Science: The Lunar New Year is based on the lunar calendar as opposed to the solar calendar. Have students investigate the two calendars and compare them using a Venn diagram. Why does the Lunar New Year fall on a different date each year?
Writing: Encourage students to describe a New Year’s celebration that they spent with their families. What kind of activities took place? How did they celebrate?
Writing: Have students write an original story about a holiday they celebrate.
Books for Chinese and Lunar New Year
Every Month Is a New Year: Celebrations Around the World written by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Susan L. Roth
Every month of the year, somewhere in the world people celebrate with joy and good wishes for a happy new year. Acclaimed poet Marilyn Singer has created a lively poetry collection that highlights sixteen of these fascinating festivities, some well-known and some less familiar.
Golden Dragon Parade written by Anastasia Suen, illustrated by Priscilla Garcia Burris
Chinese New Year is here. Come along to the Golden Dragon Parade. Available in Spanish.
Sam and the Lucky Money written by Karen Chinn, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu
Sam can hardly wait to go shopping with his mom. It’s Chinese New Year’s day and his grandparents have given him the traditional gift of lucky money. Yet, Sam discovers that sometimes the best gifts come from the heart. Available in Spanish and Chinese.
The Wishing Tree written by Roseanne Tong, illustrated by Connie McLennan
Every Lunar New Year, Ming and his grandmother visited the Wishing Tree. Grandmother warned him to wish carefully, and sure enough, Ming’s wishes always seemed to come true. But one year— when Ming made the most important wish of his life—the tree let him down.
The titles listed above tell stories centered on the Chinese/Lunar New Year but many other cultures and communities celebrate the Lunar New Year. The complete book collection includes books for students to learn more about these cultures, communities, traditions, and people.
For more activities, book recommendations, and resources, check out our complete printable Chinese and Lunar New Year Celebration Resource Guide.