Chinese New Year and Chinese Zodiac Writing and Reading Activities

The ESL Nexus
Grade Levels
3rd - 6th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
30 pages
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The ESL Nexus

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  1. This bundle includes 2 China resources that you can use for reading and writing practice or review: Chinese New Year Writing Activities, which has reading and writing tasks about the Chinese New Year holiday, and Chinese New Year ELA Task Cards for Mechanics and Grammar, a set of task cards with pic
    Save $1.30
  2. Help your students develop their reading and writing skills as they learn about Chinese history and society from ancient times to the modern era with the 4 resources included in this bundle:* Students read about Chinese dynasties, famous emperors and philosophers; about Chinese history, geography, a
    Save $3.75
  3. This big bundle includes 6 resources altogether: 4 resources about China that introduce your students to Chinese culture, geography, and history while giving them reading, writing, and grammar tasks to do, 1 resource with Chinese zodiac clipart, and 1 resource with Chinese zodiac word search puzzles
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Here are 3 language arts tasks to introduce your students to Chinese New Year and the Chinese zodiac. You can also use these activities anytime you are teaching about China. There are 2 reading passages which are print-and-go activities and the writing activity requires only minimal preparation. A bonus poster of the animals of the Chinese zodiac is also included in this resource.

You can use this resource remotely in 2 ways:

a) When teaching synchronously or asynchronously online, display and/or read aloud the reading passages. Then display the comprehension questions and have students write/type the answers. Share answers with your class. Explain the writing task and display the model paragraphs. Send students the appropriate page for doing the opinion task and tell them what to do. Have students send you their completed paragraphs and use the rubric to assess them.

b) For students to do on their own: Photocopy all the student pages plus answer keys and send the material home. If you don’t want students to check the answers for the reading passages themselves, have them send their work back to you and you can correct it yourself. Have students send you their completed paragraphs and use the rubric to correct them.

✓ Please Note:

* This product is included in a Big Bundle with 5 resources about China and is available HERE.

* It is also available in a small Culture Bundle of 2 resources, which you can find HERE.

* You can also find it in the Ancient & Modern China Reading & Writing Bundle, with 4 resources, available HERE.

Let your students practice opinion writing with the Chinese zodiac activity. For each of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, there is one page with a photograph of the animal and a short description of the characteristics of people born during that animal year. Every page also lists the years that each animal rules so you can easily find what animal year your students were born in. The task for your students, which is given on all the pages, is to write a paragraph stating whether they agree or disagree that the characteristics accurately describe them. Three model paragraphs at different levels of writing are included as guides for students. A rubric is provided so you can easily assess their students' work. The amount of time needed to do the activities varies, depending on how they are implemented in the class.

Two additional reading and writing activities are included in this product. There is a short information text about the Chinese zodiac that can be read aloud to students or which they can read themselves, depending on their reading level. Comprehension questions accompany the text on a separate page and can used for discussion or as a writing task. There is also a three-paragraph information text about the Chinese New Year holiday, with accompanying questions. Both texts have answer keys to the comprehension questions.

The last part of this Chinese New Year product is a mini-poster that shows all 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. It can be displayed on a bulletin board or be used as a cover page for this packet of activities. The photographs of the 12 animals were taken by me and come from an artifact I purchased in Xi'an, China, when I taught in China. The animals were created by a local artisan in a style of folk art from that region of China.

What educators who have used this resource say about it:

♥ "Our class always celebrate the Chinese New Year. I particularly loved the sample writing levels in which I could guide the students towards better their writing skills when they wrote about their zodiac sign. It was a wonderful resource for teachers even with a rubric. This was the best purchase, hands down!" -- JoAnne H.

♥ "Excellent ESL resource!!! :) My student's loved the activities!" -- A Buyer.

Although intended for upper elementary and younger middle school students who are English Language Learners and native English speakers, these reading and writing activities have also been used successfully with older students in 7th and 8th grade.


What you get in this product:

★ A Table of Contents for easy reference (2 pages)

★ A Notes to the Teacher section with background information (2 pages)

★ A list of ELA Common Core standards addressed (1 page)

★ A mini poster showing all 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac (1 page)

★ An information text about the Chinese zodiac, with comprehension questions and an answer key (3 pages)

★ An information text about the Chinese New Year, with comprehension questions and an answer key (3 pages)

★ Three differentiated model paragraphs for the opinion writing task (3 pages)

★ Student pages for an opinion writing task about the Chinese zodiac, including a blank lined page if more space for writing is needed (13 pages)

★ An evaluation rubric for the opinion writing task (1 page)

Please click on the Preview button to see all the pages included in this product.


You may also like these products about China:

Chinese New Year Word Search Puzzles about the Zodiac

C is for China: An ABC Book with Facts & Photos about Chinese Culture, Geography & History

Chinese Dynasties, Emperors & Philosophers: Charts, Task Cards & Puzzles

Chinese Zodiac Animals Clipart Based on Photographs

Chinese New Year ELA Task Cards for Mechanics and Grammar

Or buy a small bundle:

China Bundle: Culture (includes the Chinese Zodiac Clipart and C is for China products)

China Bundle: Writing (includes the Chinese New Year Writing Activities and ELA Task Cards products)

Or buy the big bundle with 5 resources:

China Big Bundle of Writing, Reading, Grammar, Wordsearch Activities & Clipart (includes the C is for China ABC Book, Chinese Zodiac Animals Clipart, Chinese New Year Writing and Reading Activities, Chinese New Year ELA Task Cards and Chinese New Year Word Search Puzzles products)


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Thank you and happy teaching!

Common Core Standards © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved. Any claims of correlation or alignment to the CCSS Standards or WIDA ELD standards are solely those of The ESL Nexus and have not been evaluated or endorsed by the NGA. The ESL Nexus is the sole creator of this product and does not claim endorsement or association with the creators of the CCSS or WIDA standards.


Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).
Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
Provide a concluding statement or section.


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