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lunar new year dragon

January 19, 2024

Celebrating Lunar New Year with Students

Lunar New Year, based on the moon's 13 phases during a leap year, is celebrated in Asian cultures across the world. Try these lessons and activities to ring in the Year of the Dragon (2024).

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Lunar New Year, sometimes also called Chinese New Year, is a holiday widely celebrated in Asian cultures across the world to honor the lunisolar calendar, based on the 13 cycles of the moon during a leap year. This holiday features many traditions, including festive food, parades, gifts and clothing. For 2024, Feb. 10 marks the start of Lunar New Year, with many celebrations continuing until Feb. 24. The Chinese New Year also marks the transition of zodiac signs: 2024 is the Year of the Dragon. 

5 Teaching Resources for Your Consideration

Lion Dance Puppet

Lion Dance Puppet

During the Chinese New Year, lion dancer troupes from martial art schools or Chinese associations visit houses and shops to perform the lion dance. This dance is thought to scare away evil spirits and bring good luck. They are often accompanied by drums, gongs and bells. The most common colors for the lion dance are red to represent bravery, green for friendship, and gold to represent liveliness. Use this resource from the Children’s Museum of Houston to construct a lion puppet to use in a lion dance in celebration of the new year.

Access this Lunar New Year lesson plan here.
cute dragon

Chinese New Year Printable Collection

From ABCMouse, these easy-to-print greeting cards and illustrations feature dragons, lanterns and a dancing lion. It’s a fun way for developing young students’ artistic vision and fine motor skills, and for sharing greetings with friends. For older students, check out this art lesson on sumi-e painting from SML member samwelli

Access this Lunar New Year lesson plan here.
Lotus & Feather read by Michelle Yeoh

Lotus & Feather read by Michelle Yeoh

A story of a little girl recovering from a winter illness who cares for an injured crane, this video book reading and teachers guide from Storyline Online features timely social and emotional learning themes that students will relate to, with beautiful watercolor illustrations by Julie Downing—all inspired by the true story of a crane that rescued a Chinese village.

Access this Lunar New Year lesson plan here.
Children’s Books that Celebrate New Year’s Around the World

Children’s Books that Celebrate New Year’s Around the World

Helpful for putting new year celebrations in context, check out this expansive booklist from KidLitTV. Beyond the traditional New Year’s on Dec. 31, here is a list of children’s books that look at other celebrations around the world. Learn how people celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year; Seollal, the Korean New Year; Lunar New Year; Diwali, India’s Festival of Lights, and more.

Access this Lunar New Year lesson plan here.
chinese new year money envelopes

Chinese New Year Money Envelope Craft

Having trouble making your own lucky envelopes? Or do you have a class of elementary kids in need of a craft for the Lunar New Year? Create adorable Chinese New Year money envelopes with the Chinese New Year Red Envelope Craft via Twinkl USA

Access this Lunar New Year lesson plan here.

Additional Lunar New Year Resources

Find more resources to help you celebrate the Lunar New Year in your classroom with this curated list.

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Susan Youssofi

Share My Lesson's Marketing LeadSusan Goldstein Youssofi, a native of the Washington, DC metro area, has been working on the Share My Lesson team since spring of 2013.

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