I start this activity with a read aloud. The Cat and the Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac by Ed Young is my favorite introduction to the story of the Chinese Zodiac. It has a wonderful narrative and the pictures are stunning!
The emperor of China hosts a race, where the first twelve animals to cross the finish line will earn a place in the zodiac calendar. The trickery between the Rat and the Cat keep them engaged, and it helps students understand the relevance of each animal in the Chinese Zodiac.
After the story, I have students examine each of the twelve characters in the chart below, and how their characteristics are applied to people born in their year. You can get this *FREEBIE* by clicking [HERE] or on the image below.
My students LOVE comparing themselves to the description, as well as everyone else they know! To help channel that enthusiasm, I include the following recording sheet! You can grab it for FREE by clicking [HERE] or on the image below.
I hope you and your students enjoy Chinese New Year! Thanks for stopping by!