Chinese New Year Lesson Plans


The Chinese New Year is almost upon us, so why not get the children to take part in the celebrations? Each year is related to a Chinese animal sign from a 12-year cycle. We have come up with a few lesson plans for primary school ages. 

How do they celebrate the Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is known as a festival for family, it is a time where people enjoy family time. A New Year’s Eve dinner is called “reunion dinner” and is the most important meal of the year. Houses and buildings are decorated with lucky red items. There are many different cultural activities to welcome in the New Year, small towns set off fireworks, ancestor worship and dragon dances. Larger cities have traditional dragon and lion dances, with Chinese snacks that are rarely seen in the rest of the year. Children are given red envelopes with money in them for good luck from their elders.

Children explore their Chinese Zodiac signs 

Most children in the same school year will be in the same zodiac year. They could also learn about all different Chinese animals and what they all mean. This could be a starter and doesn’t have to last the whole lesson.

Maths Colouring in

To make Mathematics fun why not try this colouring in sheet or find one similar that is the animal of the Chinese New Year? 

Arts and Crafts

To get the students to be more creative try some of the arts and crafts ideas listed below:

Chinese Fans

You can create paper fans easily and simply with a paper plate and a lollypop stick. Get the children to decorate the paper plate with tissue paper, paint and anything else you can find. Paint the lollypop stick a simple colour and stick to the back of the paper plate.

Paper Lanterns

An easy arts and crafts idea is to make paper lanterns. Get an A4 piece of paper, fold it in half and draw evenly spaced lines from the fold to just over half, then cut along the lines. Unfold the piece of paper and tape each side together and add a handle either out of paper or string. 

Dragon Puppet

For older children, click here for a more complex craft idea of making a dragon puppet. These can be used to create their own small dragon show. To make each dragon stand out, why not recycle and use magazine paper?