Sunday, 7 February 2016

Learning from Chinese New Year

NY day in Shanghai - tourists line up to take photos of...
tourists - my blonde children
There are, I guess, plenty of learning opportunities around the festivities I'd like to share - and any you have, please add.

#1 Visit China!

An expensive option, but here's our kids having their photos taken by strangers on the Bund in Shanghai on new years day two years ago. Schools wouldn't approve time off school, but I'm not going to bother listing the learning on that holiday.
Day In, Birmingham

#2 Go shopping. 

A little cheaper than the all out visit to China, but Birmingham, like I guess many cities, has a lively 'chinatown' - and even just a shop specialising in chinese goods of some kind could be a treasure trove of discovery - items and stories that could also be used back in school for creative writing or other.

#2 Do a dragon dance 

We've done this two years in a row at woodcraft - great for team building, and also developing leadership, particularly leading the dance.

#3 Exchange envelopes 

Cardboard dragon dancing, Woodcraft folk
Traditionally this would be with money in them, but can equally be a nice message, piece of artwork or something else.

#4 Introduce a bit of chinese storytelling or philosophy

Personally I've not got much further than the story of the 12 animals, which I think has limited learning potential. Thanks @abowden for suggesting the story of Nian the monster. I'd like to try something with Taoist or Confuscian stories - maybe something like Lao Tzu's butterfly dream@learntschool ? Any ideas, examples, please post.


  1. They do very weird things on their new year. luton car parking

  2. I am surprised that people born in monkey year are considered as unlucky one. The weirdest concept it was.
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  3. Chinese new year festivals is a real fascination for me as i love to explore different cultures around the world.
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