Funky Chicken: Chinese New Year iPad Lesson Ideas

On Saturday 28th January 2017, the Chinese New Year – The Year of the Rooster, begins. We’ve put together some information on the background of the animals and some Chinese New Year iPad lesson ideas.

The background:

The new year, also known as the Spring Festival, has any legends surrounding it. Each new year is symbolised by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac, and each animal is said to represent certain characteristics. People born in the year of the rooster are said to be trustworthy with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility. The Rooster is the tenth of the zodiac animals.

The order of the 12 animals (which starts with Rat and ends with Pig), is borne from legend. It is said that the animals took part in a great swimming race to reach the Jade Emperor, and the place in which they finished the race determined their position in the Chinese Zodiac.

It is also said that 13 animals started the race, but Rat pushed Cat into the water (they were being given a ride by the Ox) and so he did not finish the race, and therefore the Cat does not have a year named after him. Legend has it that this is why cats will forever hunt rats.

The Rooster worked with the Monkey and the goat to finish the race. The Rooster found a raft, and the Monkey and the Goat cleared the weeds, and tugged and pulled, and brought the raft to shore. By working together, the three animals arrived in 8th, 9th and 10th position.

In Buddhism it is said that Buddha summoned the animals of the earth to come to him before his departure from this earth, but only 12 animals came; and so he named the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac after them. The position on the zodiac calendar was determined by the order in which they arrived.

The order of the Chinese Zodiac is:

Rat; Ox; Tiger; Rabbit; Dragon; Snake; Horse; Goat; Monkey; Rooster; Dog; Pig.

Lesson ideas:

Create an eBook:

Using Book Creator the children can create a book about the story of the great race. This could include:

A Green Screen Video:

Split the class into small groups. Make masks to represent the Rooster, the Goat and the Monkey. Using Do Ink Green Screen have the children act out the story of the animals working together on the raft, and reaching the Jade Emperor.

An animation:

Using iMotion stop motion, an animation using soft toys animals could be made of the great race, with each animal reaching the Jade Emperor in order.

Using Puppet Pals Director’s Pass, the children can draw the animals; take photos and then cut them out in the app, to create an animation of the great race.

We hope you’ve found this lesson idea useful. Keep posted for more upcoming lesson ideas!

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