Some of the ways Chinese New Year is celebrated include cleaning, dinner with family, and repaying debts. Games are played, special foods are consumed and children are given red envelopes filled with money. I have enjoyed a variety of activities with my Montessori students for Chinese New Year; we have made red envelopes and decorations, cleaned the classroom and read books and stories about Chinese New Year.
Journaling is an activity that can build language and literacy skills while incorporating all areas of your Montessori curriculum. Students are also encouraged to draw in their journals. Montessori teachers can begin or end the day with students’ journal writing, or allow journals to be used throughout the day, or encourage students to work on their journals at home. Making resolutions and creating goals is a worthwhile endeavor to undertake with your students, and even if you did it at the beginning of the academic year, it is important to revisit these throughout the year. Since many of us were not in school for our New Year, why not utilize the Chinese New Year as an opportunity to create or revisit your Montessori students’ individual goals and resolutions, and incorporate these into their journals?
Chinese New Year in the Montessori Classroom: Activities for Making Journals and Resolutions
Montessori students of any age can enjoy making books. From a simple fold and staple method to a more complex stitching and binding method, there are a range of options that cover a range of skills. Your Montessori students’ books can be filled with plain paper, lined paper or pages filled with a template of your design. If you are incorporating your bookmaking into your Montessori classroom study of Chinese New Year, students could create their books out of red, black and gold materials. Another option is to encourage students to create a small book about Chinese New Year and repeat this activity with other topics that your Montessori students study. At the end of the year, they will have their own set of “encyclopedias.”
Ideas for Student Journal Writing
- Begin the day by writing about what you plan to accomplish and how you would like your day to go.
- Write a letter to Confucius (or someone relating to another area of study)/the President/the director or principal of the school/yourself in twenty years.
- Reflect on your day. How will tomorrow be different?
- What were your three favorite things about today’s field trip?
- Celebrating Chinese New Year: An Activity Book, by Hingman Chan
- Chinese New Year for Kids, by Cindy Roberts
- Lanterns and Firecrackers: A Chinese New Year Story, by Jonny Zucker
- Celebrating Chinese New Year, by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
- The Dancing Dragon, by Marcia K. Vaughan
- Happy, Happy Chinese New Year! by Demi
- Chinese New Year Activities for the Montessori Classroom
- Celebrating Chinese New Year in the Montessori Classroom
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, February 5, 2010.