Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chinese New Year Dragon Puppets

This is, by far, one of the top three most asked-about projects by my students. Even my first graders beg me for this project, and they don't do it till fourth grade! These are Chinese Dragon Puppets. And they are really, really exciting, people--any 10-year-old in Dillsburg will tell ya. When I announce the start of these project, the children burst into applause and cheer!

Don't let this unimpressive picture fool you--this is a fab project.

I show the kiddos pictures of the Chinese New Year celebrations in China and some of the Chinatowns across the United States. The "oooo's" and "ahhh's" that these pictures get is so good for the ego, let me tell you what. It's like you are teaching them THE MOST WONDERFUL THING THAT THEY'VE EVER LEARNED! Go on and brush your shoulders off!

I have head and tail templates that I made up for everyone to use. Everyone must draw their head and tail twice, facing opposite directions. That's probably the hardest part of the whole project. Oy.

 Then comes the designing...

... and the coloring. I have learned to put strict limits on the amount of time I allow the kids to plan out and design their dragons. Same goes for coloring--I have to push them every moment of every class to get them going (while staying neat). If I don't, the dragons end up being a love affair that lasts far too long. Too much of a good thing, ya know?

Next, we cut 'em out and subsequently assemble our pieces. We're not there yet. I'll post again when that happens, hopefully before the Chinese New Year, which is celebrated on February 10th of this year. Get me a fortune cookie!

Also, I do not recall my original source of inspiration for this project. I think I had accidentally stumbled upon this in some corner of the Internet some years ago. If you invented the original project that led to our dragons, then please let me know so I can give you credit. Also, may God bless you many times over--you have made me so very cool amongst fourth graders. And isn't that what life is all about?

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