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 Gung Hay Fat Choy - Happy Chinese New Year - Year of the Rooster
 The Chinese New Year 4073 is February 9 this year. It is the year of the rooster. The chinese calendar runs in a twelve year cycle each one being named after an animal. It is said that when Buddah was leaving this world he called the animals to him and only twelve showed up and he named the years after them in the order they showed up- (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.)People born in a given year are supposed to have some of the characteristics of that years animal. -Rabbit--gentle-Dragon--successful, bold-Snake--elegant, sensible-Horse--popular, clever, capable-Sheep(ram)--sincere, sensible, artistic-Monkey--original, talented-Rooster--dependable, adventurous, forgiving-Dog--responsible, gracious-Pig(boar)--trustworthy, loyal-Rat(mouse)--loving, keeper of secrets, charming, hard-working-Ox--patient, easy-going, slow to anger-Tiger--courageous, proud, cautiousIn China and around the world there are lots of celebrations and parades celebrating the Chinese New Year.They feature the Dragon and Lion Dances and the Lantern Festival.
 Writing- Find a picture of a pagoda and ask the children to write how it is different than their houses. Math- You can practice adddition and subtraction using the chinese calendar year and our calendar years. (ex- chinese year is 4073 and our year is 2005, how many years different is that? ans. 2068)You can practice multiplication 12's using the chinese cycles (ex- How many years in three chinese cycles? ans- 36)Make a math game with chinese zodiac animal symbols as the pieces.you make the board from a page from an old calendar the first day of the month is the start and the last day is the finish. You write the math problems on the days along with pitfalls and rewards (ex-go back 3 spaces, go ahead 2 spaces). You can use a die or a spinner to tell how many spaces to move. If they get the problem right they get an extra turn.Science-  Explain that the Chinese invented gunpowder and made the first fireworks. Games/Exercise- Dragon Dance - dragon mask and about 10 kids. Make a dragon mask out of a paper plate and craft stick and have the children line up and to put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. The first person holds the mask and trys to catch the last person of the chain(the tail) without breaking the chain. If the chain is broken the head becomes the tail and the game starts over.
 Another way to do the dragon dance is make the firecrackers out of toilet paper rolls and dried beans or rice. (instr- on the craft page) Have the dragons head and a couple of kids be the body. Give the firecrackers to some of the other children. Tell the kids being the dragon that they have to stop when the music stops and they are only to start moving again when the children shake the firecrackers at them. Explain this is the way it is done in the parades. The legend is that four dragons brought water to the people of China when their crops were dead and they were starving. Now they dress in the dragon costumes and throw the firecrackers to keep the dragons awake so they can bring the rain for the crops.Match the animal- Take pictures of the chinese zodiac animals and place them in a paper mache bowl painted with chinese designs or a red box painted with symbols. Have the children pick one of the animals out and you can either play charades with the children acting out each character or if you studied the characteristics of the animals have the children describe their animal and use the characteristics for that animal. The child that gets it right gets to go next.