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Chinese New Year Presentation

Posted by Tommy Lu on January 24, 2009

Follwoing is the story how Bill present Chinese New Year to his children’s classes.

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Dear Teachers,

First, I would like to wish everybody a early Happy Chinese New Year!

As Chinese educators, I know we are all very passionate about the Chinese culture, so I want to share something that we do in our kids’ (Katelyn and Brandon) classrooms that you may find interesting.

Each year around this time, we would book a short period of time (usually around 30 minutes) in each of our children’s class to talk about Chinese New Year. This can be done during “mystery reader”, “special guest”, or any other time slots reserved for outside visitors.

As preparation, we order a few small items from Oriental Trading that includes a red envelope and a couple of small Chinese toys for each student in Brandon and Katelyn’s classrooms. We would translate each student’s English name into Chinese and use a PowerPoint template (attached, PowerPoint 2007) to print out a customized Chinese New Year pamphlet for each student. The pamphlets would go into the red envelopes. We also buy big bags of individually wrapped fortune cookies from Chinatown. Our budget is approximately $1.50 for each student (2 classes, 50 students & teachers = $50-70 a year, but you can of course scale up or down as you wish).

For the visit, I use a display board to discuss various aspects  of Chinese New Year: traditions, food, firecrackers, lion and dragon dance, special clothing, and of course red envelopes. We would take questions and facilitate discussions about similarities and differences between Chinese New Year and other western holidays. After that we hand the gifts (red envelope with their Chinese name, the Chinese toys, and a fortune cookie) to each student. If time permits, I would show a short, 5-minute video of Lion Dance by our CSD students.

We have been doing this for the past 4 years, and the reception has been phenomenal. Students, from 3 to 9 years old, were very interested in all areas of Chinese culture and we had some very lively discussions. They also loved their Chinese names and other gifts. Each year we get numerous thank-you notes and class projects thanking us for the wonderful experience. We even had a parent telling us that her daughter slept with her red envelope and the toys at night for a week!

I encourage you to get engaged in this type of activities. If you are interested to learn more, please let me know. I posted a few pictures at the following gallery:

 http://www.billtsaiphoto.com/gallery/7173208_aocQv

Chinese New Year template

 Bill

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