It can be difficult to find a good Chinese New Year lesson plan for middle school students. I see a lot of crafts and picture books when I search for lessons.
Chinese New Year Background Information
Chinese New Year (also called Lunar New Year) is an important holiday for many people around the world. This is also known as the Spring Festival in China. It is celebrated by one sixth of the world’s population. Celebrations take place in most East Asian and Southeast Asian countries as well as other places around the world such as Vancouver and New York. It is celebrated for fifteen days sometime in January or February depending on the moon.
In my classroom, I try to ensure that celebrate and/or acknowledge a variety of global holidays and celebrations. It is important that we do not only focus on North American holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.
In middle school, we celebrate holidays by learning about their historical significance. This Chinese New Year Lesson Plan I created is focused on a non-fiction article. Students learn about the history of Chinese New Year as well as important foods and traditions.
I use non-fiction articles every week in my classroom to help students build background knowledge about the world. I use the Article of the Week format to work with these weekly non-fiction articles.
In this lesson plan students work on their pre and post-reading strategies by using graphic organizers and comprehension questions.
Chinese New Year Lesson Plan
- Have students complete a K-W-L graphic organizer about this holiday.
- Watch a background information video on the Chinese New Year. This will help students who struggle with reading comprehension activate their prior knowledge. Here are some video suggestions: Lunar New Year for Kids | Educational Video and How different cultures celebrate the New Year.
- Read the Chinese New Year comprehension article.
- Complete the comprehension questions.
- Complete the multiple-choice standardized test prep format questions (paper or self-grading Google Form options).
- Have students return to their K-W-L graphic organizer and complete the last column.
- In the next class period, have students complete a follow-up writing assignment. Depending on the grade level you may ask students to write a paragraph or an essay.
- If time permits, have students read over this article Nike’s Chinese New Year 2023 Collection Will Include A Colorful, Rabbit-Adorned Dunk Low. You can edit this article by using the Google Extension Print Friend and PDF. You can learn more about that in this blog post Support Digital Learning with Print Friendly and PDF.
Want to purchase this lesson plan ready to print and go?
Chinese New Year Non-Fiction Article: This resource contains 1 non-fiction article and 3 reading activities to assist with reading comprehension, standardized test prep (EQAO), and cross-curricular learning. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
- Teacher lesson plan
- Pre-reading K-W-L chart
- Non-fiction article (with and without photos)
- 3 Post-reading activities: comprehension questions, grammar questions (2 options: paper and self-grading Google Forms), long answer writing response
- Individual PDFs of student pages to assist with online learning i.e. Google Classroom
- Google Slides formatted lessons for 1:1 schools
Teacher Learning Resources
- Lunar New Year is celebrated across Asian communities, but each has their own traditions
- Should it be called ‘Lunar New Year’ or ‘Chinese New Year’?
More ELA Resources
- 10 Tips for Making English Class Fun
- 10 Tips For Teaching Middle School Students
- January Lesson Plans for Middle School ELA