This Chinese folktale adaptation explaining the origins of the twelve zodiac animals works well during the spring to coincide with Chinese New Year. Stage decorations can be found at Asian markets during this time. Simple costumes can add a special touch.
This is a successful integrated unit:
• Social Studies: What countries celebrate Chinese/Lunar New Year?
What are the traditions associated with Chinese New Year?
Who celebrates Chinese New Year in the United States?
• Geography: Where are the countries located that celebrate Chinese New Year?
• Music: Teach songs associated with Chinese New Year.
Teach about the pentatonic 5-note scale versus the Western 7-note scale.
Teach instrumental music or have students improvise on the pentatonic scale.
• Math: Discuss the 12 months of the year.
Determine which animal each child is “born under” depending on year and month of birth.
• Drama: Children experience being on stage being a character or speaking in a dramatic style with voice projection and stage presence.