A Lesson about Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

A fun lesson for ESL students to learn vocabulary and expressions to talk about Chinese New Year. Watch the ESL video about Chinese New Year, and use the ESL storytelling flashcards to retell the story and practice using new vocabulary and expressions.

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Warm Up Questions about Chinese New Year

  1. What do you like about the New Year?
  2. What do you know about Chinese New Year?
  3. What activities or events are celebrated on or around New Year in your country?  
  4. What traditional foods do you eat during your New Year celebration?

Vocabulary Check

envelope, ancient, confusing,
(n)charm, legend, lantern, throughout,
(n)relative, while, calendar

ESL Video on Chinese New Year

Watch the YouTube video and answer the following questions.

ESL Listening Questions on Chinese New Year

  1. In what countries do people have parties and stay up until midnight?
  2. How long is the Chinese New Year celebration?
  3. When did the Chinese New Year start this year (2019)?
  4. What do people sell on the streets during the Chinese New Year?
  5. What colors are considered good luck?
  6. What noisy items can you hear at nearly all Chinese New Year celebrations?
  7. What are towns and markets decorated with?
  8. What do children receive during Chinese New Year?
  9. Who gives children these special gifts?
  10. Why is it better for children to have more relatives on Chinese New Year?

New Year Festival

Matching Vocabulary on Chinese New Year

Match the words on the left with words or expressions on the right that are closest in meaning.

1. legend
2. while
3. calendar
4. confusing
5. envelope
6. (n)relative
7. ancient
8. throughout
9. (n)charm
10. lantern
A. used to hold or send a letter, document or money
B. an object to ward off evil or bring good luck
C. something complex and very difficult to understand
D. a person connected by blood or marriage
E. a chart or series of pages showing the days, weeks and months of a year
F. a conjunction indicating a contrast; whereas
G. a popular traditional story, usually not true
H. a lamp with a transparent case with a candle or electric light inside
I. from beginning to end of an event or time period
J. having been in existence for a very long time

Discussion Questions on Chinese New Year’s

  1. Do you like to stay up late on New Year’s Eve?
  2. What do people in your family do on New Year’s Day?
  3. What are some customs that people have in other countries for New Year’s? 
  4. Have you ever had a fifteen day holiday?  How long is your New Year holiday?
  5. Do you like firecrackers? Fireworks?
  6. Do you like dragons?
Learn English Culture

Words in Context – Fill-in-the-blanks

Use the words from the vocabulary box to complete the following sentences. You may need to modify the tense or word form.

  1. At Christmas time, a lot children like to talk about the _________ of Santa Claus and how he flies around the world on Christmas Eve.
  2. A four leaf clover is believed to be a good luck __________ for the person who finds one.
  3. The traditional Japanese restaurant lit up the entrance with several big paper ________ with candles inside.
  4. People came to see the new restaurant ______________ the day.  Visitors came from early morning until closing time late that evening.
  5. I’m sorry I’m late. There are so many side streets and alleyways in this town! It is really ________ trying to find your house!
  6. There were many of my aunts and uncles and cousins at my birthday party.  My grandparents were there as well.  I had more ________ than friends as guests!
  7. This is a very __________ forest.  Most of the trees here are over 500 years old!
  8. If you want to mail that letter you first have to seal it in an __________, then write the mailing address on the outside.
  9. Happy New Year! I need to go get a big _________ to put on my wall so I don’t forget my daily schedule!
  10. My sister likes to ride her bike to school _________ I prefer to walk.
Chinese New Year

ESL Conversation about Chinese New Year

Fill-in-the-blanks – Watch the video and complete the sentences.

Chinese New Year

Did you have a good New Year celebration? If you live in the U.S. you may have celebrated the new year by throwing a ______ with friends and staying up to watch the count down to midnight. 

However, in China there is still a big _________ coming up. On the traditional Chinese calendar the new year begins sometime between January and February, and in some places is celebrated for 15 days. This year, the new year starts on___________ 5th.

So how does one celebrate the Chinese New Year? Well, because China is so big, there are many different ways to celebrate. So to make it less ________, let’s just learn the basics. 

Unlike in the U.S. and many other western countries where ringing in the new year is mostly celebrated by adults, Chinese people gather their ________ families to celebrate. Many different kinds of food is served and the streets are turned into open-air markets selling street foods and good luck charms. The colors red and ______ are seen everywhere, as it is thought to bring good luck. 

Throughout the day, you can hear firecrackers go off and see smoke rising into the air. Firecrackers are an important part of the celebration, because of the _______ Chinese legend in which a monster named Nian was scared away using firecrackers and red paper. 

Towns and markets are ________ with paper lanterns. Some are the simple oval kind, while others are in the shape of animals and people. 

Children have something special to look forward to as well.  Red envelopes! On Chinese New Year, it’s tradition for children to be given red envelopes with _________ inside from their parents, grandparents, and other married relatives. So, if you’re a child, the more _________ members you have the better. 

Chinese New Year

Questions? info@pocketpassport.com

Reference: WE8


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