Ask children, “When you hear the word dragon, what comes to mind?”
Did anyone say “a great dancer?” Explain in Chinese Culture, dragons are important symbols, and as part of the Chinese New Year celebration, there is something called a dragon dance. The dragon dance requires a team of people. One person holds up the head and many other dancers holding up poles to control the long body of the dragon. Some dragons are as long as 200ft! Most dragons today are made with lightweight paper, plastic, and aluminum. There are many awesome free videos of dragon dances on Youtube. Bookmark some to share with students.
Dragons come in a variety of colors. Some of the most popular colors are green (for a great harvest), gold or silver (Prosperity–a healthy life and good luck), and red (excitement). Share with students that on their worksheet they will find some common colors along with their meaning. Tell students they are also free to invent their own colors and meanings if there is something they hope for that is not listed.
Have children design a mask to be used as a dragon head for an upcoming Chinese New Year celebration. Some questions to ask:
- Look at the colors on the worksheet and what they mean. What are you hoping for? Use those colors to decorate your dragon.
- Have students share their masks with one another. Ask students to explain their color choices and what they mean.
- If you have time, you could also attach streamers and have a dance party.