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Chinese New Year and the Super Bowl

So in the classic American form, we decided to merge two very distinctive traditions together---Chinese New Year and the Super Bowl.  Students came dressed in red (for good luck) or their favorite team jersey.  Initially, I was going to wear my Chinese silk pajamas...but since the Bronco's are in the Super Bowel I obviously had to wear my jersey.  My Tim Tebow---what an amazing philanthropist, former Bronco's QB, current ESPN sportscaster (crossing my fingers-future husband) jersey.  

My students were created at the door "Ne-How" (hello in Chinese) and we went straight to work. I used the Chinese Pack I had made and we had an entire days worth of activities.  I kept Pandora's Chinese Instrumental playing all day in the background--which was super soothing.  

We started off the morning with our fabulous art teacher coming in to be our resident Bob Ross .  She had the kids use bamboo brushes and taught them how to paint bamboo trees, koi fish, cherry blossom trees, and waterfalls.  We had them practice on sketch paper and then gave them thicker water color paper so that they could make book marks and cards. 

I read "The Runaway Wok" which is a Chinese New Year tale about this poor family getting ready for the festival but not having enough food and supplies.  A chance trade for rusty, talking wok, and their lives changed.  We brainstormed metaphors for the different elements of the story, as well as listed the strong action verbs the author uses.

To introduce Chinese New Year we watched this video.    One of my students is also learning Mandarin Chinese and so he gave us a mini-language lesson.  

For the next 1.5 hours we had a gallery walk in which my students were completely independent.  I set up 7 stations around the room and had students in groups of approx. 3. I created cards with QR codes and website links that correlated with Chinese New Year and had students complete a mini-booklet that housed their responses to each station.  I just monitored a bit, but really was able to just sit with them and hear about what they were learning.  

Station 1: QR code on the iPads to Timefor Kids: China 
Station 2:  2 Laptops  NationalGeographic: China
Station 3:  2 Laptops and Chinese Symbol cards Write your name in Chinese
Station 4:  Tennessee Electronic Library- World Book-Kids--Compare Countries--China
Station 5:  Classroom Computers- Ancient China for Kids
Station 6:  Finding Chinese New Year Animal-- quick sketch, writing about how they are the same/different as their animal
Station 7: Read D is for Dancing Dragon

I had students at each station for 8 minutes.  I had a classroom timer that went off every 8 minutes and they rotate automatically.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE gallery walks because students do them by themselves, they learn without me saying a word, and they have AMAZING collaborative conversations in the meantime.

We came back to the carpet and reflected on what they had learned.  They then did a quick write about the Chinese New Year in their writing journals.
I did not get to all of the math activities, creating a fortune cookie, 
 I have who has, and telling stories with yarn (to represent the never ending noodle), and writing a note in the red envelope... those will be squeezed in next week at some point. 

At the end of the day, we had popcorn and some Chinese Treats and watched about 10 minutes of this gem after they packed up.  My original idea was to have popcorn and pop rocks (to replicate the fireworks) but could not find any at the local grocery store this morning (procrastination station).

Hope you are able to eat some dumplings and get a stellar fortune in your cookie! 
!!!!Go BRONCOS!!!!! 

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