Make Chinese lanterns from red construction paper. Fold the paper like a hotdog…lengthwise…and draw straight lines an inch apart starting at the fold of the paper but ending an inch below edge of paper. Children will cut on the lines. Unfold paper and turn it as if to fold hamburger style but roll like a burrito instead. Attach at the top, middle, and bottom with dots of glue. Make a handle and hang around the room for lots of good luck. You can add white hearts if it is close to Valentine’s, too.
By this time of the year I always have a few students who are copying letters of the alphabet. I like to point out that some of the Chinese writing is written different from ours and read different. So in the writing center a sample of Gung Hay Fat Choy is put so that the children can copy this to write their own New Year cards. I provide red and white paper and black markers. They think they are so smart because they have written something in another language!
We are talking about Asia and Asian Americans during January (prior to Chinese New Years on Feb 5) I brought in chopsticks and after demonstrating and talking about them, I put them on a tray with two bowls – one with small red cotton pompom balls. The children can get out this “shelf work” at our preschool and try to transfer the balls to the other bowl with the chopsticks. Many have been successful, although some do it with one chopstick in each hand!
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