Last week and this week we are celebrating Chinese New Year in the media center. Some year I am going to get brave enough and attempt to make a dragon head - but not this year! This year we are reading two books, Grace Lin's Bringing In The New Year and Janet Wong's This Next New Year. after we read the books we are making Chinese lanterns. I have done this before with kindergarten and first grade, but for some reason I didn't remember the kids having as much trouble following the directions as they have this year. I do think art projects like this are great lessons in following directions. My teachers really appreciate it when I do things like this, to reinforce the skills they are trying to teach in their classrooms.
To make the lanterns I printed out this template, I cut off the directions part of the template and enlarged just the template onto an 8-1/2x11 piece of red paper. I hand these out to the kids and they follow me step by step as we create the lantern. I think with my kindergarten students it is the following directions part that is making it difficult. My first and second graders are having a much better time creating the lanterns.
According to Grace Lin, this year, the year of the rabbit "should be a should be a gentler and smoother one" - I sure hope Grace is right!