Thursday, January 15, 2009

Classroom Presentation for Chinese New Year?

How many of y'all make some kind of presentation about Chinese New Year in your child's classroom? I've been doing it since Zoe was 3 and in preschool. In fact, the picture above is the dragon the students made when Zoe was in the 3 to 5-year-old class. We were really lucky to have a great teacher who embraced the opportunity to teach the kids about another culture!

I keep expecting Zoe to say she doesn't want me to do it anymore, but so far she really wants me to -- she actually suggested it this year, and insisted I talk to her teacher about doing it. Maya is also looking forward to having me come to her class (same school as Zoe's preschool, but unfortunately the dragon disappeared when Zoe's teacher left for another school).

If you do something for your child's class, what do you do? I'm trying to come up with some new ideas for Zoe's class, since we did something for all the first grade classes last year, and most of them will be hearing about it for the second time this year.
Our usual routine is to take the kids through some of the traditions of Chinese New Year, like cleaning house -- I give out a few feather dusters, and some kids "clean" the classroom. We talk about wearing new clothes, and I bring silk pajamas and qi paos in larger sizes, and kids take turns slipping them on over their regular clothes. We talk about the special foods for CNY, and then we bring chopsticks and teach the kids how to use them (popcorn isn't Chinese, but it's a great thing to practice picking up with the chopsticks!) These days, since I am sans dragon, we use our a loong stuffed snake-like dragon (bought at IKEA!), and the kids take turns parading around with it, while other kids make loud noises on drums, etc., to chase away evil spirits. We talk about the Chinese zodiac and figure out what year each child was born in (not too hard since you've got only a couple of years in any given class!). And of course we give out lucky red envelopes -- we give one to each child, with chocolate coins inside.
So please share what you do -- I need new ideas!


Michele R Huff said...

We serve round foods as oranges and almond cookies (if no allergeries in the class) with long-life noodles which the kids love especially when I tell them they MUST slurp them up without breaking them for a long life. Eating the noodles with chopsticks makes for tons of fun and lots of great photo ops. We read a couple of books, jump on bubble wrap (for the loud firecraker noise)and do a small craft.
Happy Year of the OX!

malinda said...

I LOVE the bubble wrap idea! Now where did I put all that bubble wrap we acquired with Christmas shipping . . . .