Happy New Year!
On February 19th, Chinese everywhere celebrate the New Year. The Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. We spent time exploring how the New Year is celebrated in China and why it is celebrated in February. For our creations, students explored the wonderful world of the Chinese Zodiac. Students began by finding the animal that represented their year of birth. We then studied the folk tale that explained how the animals got their place on the Zodiac calendar.
Artwork by 4F
Students could choose their birth year’s zodiac animal (the Rooster or Monkey) or this year’s animal, the Ram, as the subject matter for their artwork. They used contour lines to create their animal’s shape and form. Patterns were then used to decorate and stylize their animal. After going over their lines with a sharpie marker, students added color through the use of metallic and glitter liquid watercolor. Final touches were added with metallic markers. We used the color red as it symbolizes good luck, fortune, and joy in the Chinese culture.
Artwork by 4We
This lesson was inspired by a Chinese Zodiac Workshop I took when I attended the AENJ “Make your Mark” conference back in October. I loved the lesson so much, I couldn’t wait to share it with my 4th graders.