Chinese New Year, as we call it in the west, is a 15 day celebration called Spring Festival. It starts on the first new moon of the lunar year and ends on the first full moon. At the end of the 15 days there is a lantern festival. For these 15 days we will be studying Chinese New Year, China, customs, traditions, geography and will make a few things too. We have accomplished days 1 and 2 of our "unit".
Read of the history of Chinese New Year with these sites:
- http://www.history.com/minisites/chinesenewyear/ (this has a 4 minute video)
- http://www.gio.gov.tw/info/festival_c/spring_e/spring.htm (several clickable links)
- http://www.tooter4kids.com/china/holidays.htm (has summary of other festivals too)
- Took turns reading the Legend of the Animals aloud--talked about the characteristics of each animal. Compared the characteristics to our family members.
Some traditions we practiced:
- Made Spring Couplets and hung them around our door.
- Fu is the word for Luck. Printed it in Chinese Caligraphy and hung it upside down on all three of our outside doors.
- Made Mandarin Orange Muffins (oranges bring luck)
- Ate Noodle Soup and Orange Slices for long life and good luck (http://homefrontcooking.blogspot.com/2009/02/chinese-noodle-soup.html)
The Chinese use the Lunar Calendar for determining when holidays will be. We learned about the lunar cycle with these websites:
- http://www.gio.gov.tw/info/festival_c/html_e/moon.htm http://www.chineseparade.com/stories.asp?story=lunar_calendar
- filled out phases of the moon with this worksheet
- watched these videos about the moon and moon cycles from United Streaming:
- Phases of the Moon
- A Closer Look at the Moon
- The Moon (Bill Nye)
- Demonstrated Moon Phases using Oreos
- Made Chinese number mobile
- Practiced writing Chinese numbers
- Learned that since Chinese numbers are easy to forge a harder version is used on banknotes.
- Looked up banknotes and figured out what numbers were what with our chart.
- Learned to count the "Ancient Chinese Way"
- Practiced counting in orally in Chinese
- Practiced Chinese number sign language
- made tangrams
- Filled out worksheet
- Watched Cyber Chase Problem Solving in Shangri-la from United Streaming
- Played Tangram Game
- Writing Math Chinese New Year (I had Chip do this because he likes writing Chinese characters)
- read the history of the abacus
- practiced using an online abacus
- made own abacus and practiced using it while checking answers with online abacus
- Practiced addition using Cannon Math and Lunar Landing (Sweet)
- Time Warp Trio Wushu Were Here from United Streaming
- Journals Through History ancient China from United Streaming
- Time Warp Trio: Sam Samari from United Streaming
- Time Warp Trio: (can't remember the name) from United Streaming
- Buster's Lucky Year from United Streaming
- Made Chinese Zodiac books (idea from this site)
- Chip made a Chinese Zodiac chart
- Looked at some Chinese art. Talked about symmetry. Printed out some pictures, folded them in half and drew the missing half.
- viewed different forms of Chinese calligraphy as an art
- This is sort of a math poject too-made geometrical dragon using construction paper (Dill)
- Viewed pictures of traditional paper cutting (using google images). Made own paper cutting project. (Chip made his own pattern. Dill and Sweet took patterns off google images)
Computer and Research Skills:
- Ancient China webquest. Not all the links work but research is good for the soul. Made a power point presentation. (Chip and Dill) I do not worry about the grade levels for these webquests. I truly believe that the child will absorb the information at their own level. (made powerpoint)
- Komodo Dragon webquest. Not all links worked but did research. (Dill) (made powerpoint)
- Kite research. Made powerpoint. (Sweet)
- read Chinese myths
- wrote own myths using Chinese Proverbs
- read history of Chinese Writing
- practiced the 8 forms of Chinese calligraphy
- Read the information at this site aloud. Looked at the maps and discussed them.
- Drew personal, color coded maps of China
Books Read--I had a hard time finding books to read that showed life in China as our library was flooded last year. I didn't want boring stuff so I picked three books that looked fun for the picklets to read to themselves. I have one read aloud included also.
- Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick (Chip and Dill)
- Happy New Year, Julie by Megan McDonald (Chip and Dill)
- Homesick by Jean Fritz (Sweet)
- Grandfather Tang's Story by Ann Tompert (read aloud)
Interesting websites I found but did not utilize:
© 2009 Wicked Pickles-Homefront Lines