Have you ever heard of Skype-a-Thons? A second-grade teacher from North Carolina helped her students make virtual visits and new friends from around the world, all in 24 hours. Along the way, they learned about issues and problems that their peers around the world face. For instance, El Niño is causing alligators to roam uncomfortably close to houses in Venezuela. Just imagine the research projects and "real world" learning possibilities.
This article discusses why students must learn about other cultures around the world. Sustainable development, human rights, and the responsibilities of global citizenship will require young people who are curious about, and tolerant of, cultures that might be very different from their own. The article gives eight suggestions for ways to encourage a global citizenship mindset in your classroom.
I love this! It's a free, printable set of Chinese zodiac bookmarks with cute images of each animal, along with good and bad characteristics. For example, "Are you a typical monkey?” “Good Characteristics: Monkeys are clever and innovative.” “Bad Characteristics: Monkeys can be boastful." You could laminate these bookmarks, or not. On my printer, they all printed correctly.
This book would be a great read-aloud for your elementary classroom. Sam is very excited about the Chinese new year money he has received as a gift from his grandparents. He can't wait to go to Chinatown to spend his four dollars on anything he wants. Along the way, he meets a homeless man, and instead of spending his money on toys or candy, buys a pair of socks for the man.
Grace Lin is an award-winning children's author whose books reflect her Chinese heritage. On this page of her website, she has shared instructions for four different Chinese New Year-themed crafts. I really like the "Make a (Safe) Chinese New Year Firecracker." The list of supplies for this craft is simple and easily obtainable. The Chinese New Year Banner looks fun and simple, as well.
Your students will have fun looking up their Chinese zodiac animal and reading each animal's characteristics. The large characters for ox, horse, monkey, and the other animals would be simple for your students to copy and practice. The reading level should be fine for third grades and up, and for above grade-level first or second graders, as well.