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Chinese New Year Reader's Theater

Grade Levels
4th - 7th
Formats Included
  • Zip
7 pages
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Also included in

  1. This Chinese New Year Research Unit includes detailed instructions, a 5-day lesson plan, four editable research guides, two reader's theater scripts, a crossword puzzle, and an editable 54-slide PowerPoint trivia game. All answer keys provided.This unit includes:prep instructions (PDF and PowerPoint
    Save $1.90


No prep necessary! This Chinese New Year Reader's Theater script tells the mythological story of "The Race for the Zodiac." It's fun and easy way to introduce middle grade students to an important Chinese New Year legend. Just print and go!

As an American expat living in Shanghai, I love Chinese New Year and have really enjoyed creating activities to go with this granddaddy of all Chinese holidays. "The Race for the Zodiac" story is famous here in China because it tells the story of how certain animals were selected to represent the Chinese zodiac and why they appear in a particular order.

NEEDED TO OPEN: PDF reader (such as Adobe)


  • 5 printable pages
  • PDF
  • not editable


  • It's original. I added humorous lines and personality to each animal character. The zodiac animals have specific personalities in Chinese mythology, and the dialogue for each animal reflects its unique personality.
  • I recommend Grades 4-7. It will take about 15-25 minutes to perform the script.
  • Text is broken up by illustrations of each of the 12 zodiac animals as they appear. This will give students visual cues of when each animal will appear and help them see when their lines are coming up.
  • 16 speaking parts give lots of students a chance to perform.
  • I've also included a few basic facts about Chinese New Year that will help students understand a bit more about the celebrations before reading the script.
  • No prep needed! Everything is ready to go--just print and staple!

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Total Pages
7 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.


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