Happy Chinese New Year to all my friends! This is the first year we have partaken in a celebration of this festive holiday and boy have we been missing out...Some of the fun activities we did in preparation of today have been to read the colorful fairytale by author Grace Lin entitled, "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon".
This book was suggested to me by my friend Carrie of The Parenting Passageway when I was planning our Grade 2 year. She sang its praises and tossed the idea around of doing a whole block on it. One of the elements of our school is to read a special novel each month, carefully chosen to reflect the season, holiday or celebration. I decided to place this book in our January block so we would have a whole month to savor it before celebrating our first Chinese New Year. Well, lo and behold, the book was so fabulous and such a quick read that we ended up devouring it instead and changed gears and ended up doing a whole block on it as a vehicle, instead of more fables! Carrie has more wonderful book suggestions on her blog. For Grade 2, a link to some gems she recommends can be found here.
In continuation of our Chinese appreciation studies, since we flew through Grace Lin's wonderful book, we followed up with a familiar tale that now ties into our math block in February. It's by Helena Clare Pittman and is entitled, "A Grain of Rice". It explores the power of multiplication and is a wonderful read aloud for living math studies.
As an aside, if you are focusing on India, the talented author Demi has also penned a similar story set in India that we have also read called, "One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale". The illustrations in this book (as in all of Demi's books) are simply to die for!
Demi also has a book on celebrating Chinese New Year called, "Happy, Happy Chinese New Year!"
In preparation for today, the girls and I found some crafts that we altered a bit to fit our needs. We had a lot of fun creating Chinese firecracker decorations out of construction paper, glue, glitter, and yarn.
1. First fold red construction paper into fourths and cut.
This print out came with the craft so we used these letters to model our letters.
4. After it dries, you can wrap one end to the other so it forms a tube and glue it together. Let dry.
Another fun craft is making lanterns. The tutorial, along with other fun tutorials (including felt fortune cookies, dragons, felt dumplings, etc) can be found for these here.