Display and Resources
This year (2013), Chinese New Year is Sunday 10th February, although celebrations will take place for the entire weekend. I will be teaching the children about Chinese New Year the week commencing 11th February.
I do enjoy sharing Chinese New Year with the children in school. They have already explored Christmas and New Year a month before so are open to understanding that in China they celebrate New Year at a different time.
Chinese New Year is an excellent way to explore new cultures and talk about different ways of life. There are so many different resources and learning opportunities, there is even a story!
This is the Chinese New Year display in my classroom, it’s almost taking over one wall!
I am very fortunate to have a mother-in-law who can send me beautiful Chinese artefacts to show the children but there are a number of shops in my area which can supply easy to find resources.
You can also find resources for Chinese New Year from learning libraries.
I bought a number of the resources I use in my classroom from the China town in Birmingham.
I’m going to talk about the resources I have in my classroom based on the best of my ability, however if I say anything wrong, please leave a comment and let me know!
There are a variety of different elements to my display.
This display of the little girl carrying a lotus flower lantern and the boy carrying a fish lantern is a lucky image meant to encourage happy life and good fortune. They would normally be hung around the house..
The Chinese title reads Gung See Fah Sigh (or gōng xǐ fā cái in Romanised Chinese) which loosely translates to "Congratulations and be prosperous". This is how you write Happy Chinese New Year in Chinese:
You can copy and paste these characters into word but you will need to download the SimHei font to see these words properly.
I picked up this decorative bowl, spoons and chopsticks from the Chinese supermarket in Birmingham for a relatively affordable price.
I picked up these two items from TaiJi Quan, a shop in the Chinese Quarter in Birmingham. Very affordable and with lots of distinctive resources, TaiJi is a really good place to visit if you’re local to the West Midlands.
The drum is called a Rattle Drum and is a traditional Chinese percussion instrument. It was used in musical performances as well as by merchants trying to drum up business.
The dancing dragon is a traditional lucky symbol during Chinese New Year.
As part of fine motor skill activity and pre-writing, I asked some of my higher attainders to have a go at writing some Chinese words. Dragon 龍 and pig 豬 were printed on paper for the children to copy (and I’ve just realised I gave them the traditional Chinese characters, not the simple ones!). I’m really pleased that the children had a good try!
This Chinese dressed teddy was given to me by a pupil’s parent one Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, so it just goes to show you can collect resources from anywhere!
And these much loved Chinese characters from a Korean cartoon were given to me on my birthday by a friend. I have a collection of Pucca cartoons which draw on Chinese culture, and the strong female character models good behaviour for the children.
I’ve attached these hanging decorations to the ceiling to give my display a 3D feel. Going left to right, the traditional lantern style hanger is lucky, as is the lotus flower hanger. The lotus flower represents re-birth and new growth which is why it’s depicted with girls.
The children have worked together to write the Chinese New Year story which I have mounted and put on the wall, but they have the children’s names on so I couldn’t share those. I’ve also taken photographs of children making Chinese New Year decorations and wearing the costumes and put those up on the wall.
I let the children access the display and they are responsible for making sure all the resources return to the display table when they are finished with it. (I check!)
I will do more posts on Chinese new year, I just wanted to share with you some ideas for display.
Coming up: lesson ideas for Chinese New Year.