One of the best ways to learn about the history and culture of a country is by connecting the students with a country’s fun traditions and celebrations while they also learn about the cultural elements.
In January, The Special Education 6th Grade class at Mesa View Elementary were introduced to the Chinese Lunar New Year and to this year’s zodiac year, tiger. They read and learned about the history behind the Lantern Festival, race of the zodiac animals, how long Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated, Chinese customs and traditions during this special time of the year, the Chinese dragon dance, and how to make glutinous rice balls.
The class compared and contrasted how the Chinese and Americans celebrated New Year and used their designed Chinese lanterns as substitute to Venn Diagram. They also put in writing all the Chinese traditions they learned and posted them on tiger print background.
As a class project, they collaborated to create and design a Chinese dragon out cardboards, papers, hula-hoops, and meter sticks. This project demonstrated their skills, creativity, and their ability to work with each other. It took weeks though before they finished it. And one of the fun things some of them did is trying the dragon dance.