Teacher Resources for Introducing the Chinese New Year to Students!

As a teacher in the New Haven Public Schools, you are often tasked with introducing students to new ideas that will expand their compassion, curiosity, and understanding of the world. The Chinese New Year—a time for family reunions, wishes of prosperity, and above all, great fun and food—is a perfect moment to explore China’s culture in all its ancient and modern aspects.

We design Lunarfest as an opportunity for families and children to experience Chinese culture both in the classroom and in our community. We would love to help encourage fun and educational exploration with your students and their families.

Below you will find some ideas and resources that the Yale-China Fellows and staff have compiled to make it easy to integrate the Chinese New Year into your classroom and tie into New Haven’s own Lunarfest!

This year’s festival theme is People-to-People to inspire curiosity, understanding and cross-cultural dialogue between American and Chinese cultures. People-to-People reminds us of the commonality of all people and the aspects of the human experience that connect all of us around the world--humor, food, art, music, literature—and dogs! This year’s festival focuses on what brings us together—people-to-people. We’d love for you and your students to be a part of this experience.

Materials to Download

<— Introduction to Spring Festival
This PDF, created by Yale-China Fellow Jane Tang at John C. Daniels School in New Haven, introduces the legends, customs, current celebrations of the Spring Festival.

Red Envelope Lesson (Older Students) —>
This PDF, created by Yale-China Fellow Abby Zhang at Educational Center for the Arts, describes the custom of giving out Red Envelopes with monetary gifts for the Chinese New Year and how that custom has been changed by technology.

<— Papercutting Templates (For Print)
Papercutting is an easy and fun craft to help decorate for the New Year. Use this PDF to print various templates. Just fold in half and cut on the solid lines. For templates with dotted lines, fold on the dotted lines and cut on the solid lines.

Lunarfest Flyer —>
Encourage students and families to take advantage of all the free arts and culture events during our Lunarfest celebration on Saturday, February 17. Feel free to display this poster in your classroom and/or distribute to the students and their families.

Other Resources

ChinaHighlights.com: Easy-to-follow description of Chinese New Year Customs and New Activities

ChinaHighlights.com: Lucky Foods of the New Year

BBC Documentary “Chinese New Year: The Biggest Celebration on Earth”
Episode 2: Reunion
Episode 3: Celebration

Lantern-making Instructions
Make a lanterns with your class and we’ll come pick them up and display them at Lunarfest! Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you’re interested!

Complete a decoration to decorate Lunarfest

Check out activities that would be fun to complete with a class of young students (lantern-making, papercutting, coloring, etc.) that help kids get excited about the holiday and Lunarfest. Complete decoration activities by February 9, 2018, and we will be happy to pick them up and use them in decorating our building at 442 Temple Street or some of the businesses along our parade route for the day of Lunarfest. Students who attend the parade will see their artwork at Lunarfest. Please reach out if you would like us to provide activities.

From your classroom to Lunarfest!

Lunarfest is in its 7th year and has become a New Haven tradition. The day is jam-packed with activities that students of all ages can enjoy—a parade, arts and crafts, dance, martial arts, painting, calligraphy, food tastings and more! We are happy to provide flyers or posters either digitally or in print form at your request by email to Program Officer .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Promoting this event to your students and your families would go a long way to build cross-cultural understanding.

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