Lunar New Year Lanterns

Sunday, January 22, 2023
Is there anything that you STILL remember from your elementary school days? For me, that special memory is something my school called MINI COURSES that happened towards that end of the school year, you could choose a special course (mine was cake decorating) to learn a special skill. The BEST part of it all was that we went to different classes for this event.

Well, my teammates and I tried to pull off something special so we decided to do something special for Lunar New Year! The three of us each focused on a special component of Lunar New Year. We focused in on Chinese Lunar New Year. Take a look at what my class and groups did. My group focused on the Lantern Festival that takes place at the culmination of the 15 day Lunar New year celebration. 

We learned about Lunar New Year using some kid friendly news sites.  We used National Geographic Kids to learn about the Lunar New Year animals! We used a doodle coloring page of the rabbit from The Imagination Box to doodle and write facts about the Year of the Rabbit!

While listening to music from an authentic Chinese Lantern garden, students listened to me talk about the legend of the lanterns. 
The Legend of the Lantern
Emperor Jade was extremely devastated when someone in the town stole his goose. 
He was so upset and distraught, he did not know what to do. He decided to seek revenge 
on the town. As the town heard about the Emperor's plan, the townspeople decided to 
try and trick the Emperor. They decided to make lanterns that would light up the town and set off fireworks.  When the Emperor tried to sneak up on the town at night, he was confused by all the 
light and assumed the town was on fire. He left thinking the town was already destroyed. 
The people celebrated and each year, they continued the tradition of hanging lanterns around 
the town that symbolized 3 things. They symbolized peace, forgiveness and reconciliation! 

Also, traditionally, people would write riddles on the lanterns, and if someone could solve them, they would get a gift. Here are some riddles from Squarespace
We learned to write happy new year in Chinese! The students loved this. Students used their chrome books to find out how to write happy new year, their name, and their favorite animal. We used Google Translate for the translations and this form to record their work!

Then we made the lanterns! On one side, students decorated cherry blossom trees with tissue paper and dots(using any media you have on hand.) On the other side, students summarized the story of the legend, chose their favorite riddle (although some wrote their own.)

Overall, we had fun! The students took their lanterns home to see if their family could answer their riddle. 


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