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Sparkling Dragon

Celebrate Chinese New Year with a magnificent dragon parade! Or design this accordion-fold mythical creature to reenact fantasies.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to search for information and stories about dragons and their role in ancient Chinese culture. Find out which traditions are still celebrated today. When is Chinese New Year celebrated next? What year of the Zodiac is it?
    2. Working in collaborative groups, students will need at least four pieces of construction paper to create a giant dragon.
    3. Draw a huge dragon’s head with Crayola® Twistables™. Fill the paper with its eyes, nose, horns, fire, and other features. If Twistables are not available, Crayola Construction Paper Crayons can be substituted.
    4. With additional paper, students draw the dragon’s immense body. Create colorful scales with Twistables™.
    5. Create a unique dragon tail on still more paper. Will its tail be long, curled, and pointy, or wide and flat?
    6. Design legs and/or wings for the dragon on another sheet.
    7. Cut out all the dragon pieces with Crayola® Scissors. Attach pieces together with Crayola® Glue Sticks.
    8. With Crayola® Ultra-Clean Markers and Crayola® Glitter Glue, accent the dragon’s look. Will it be flashy and friendly or fierce and fiery? Air-dry the glitter glue.
    9. Starting at the tail, fold the dragon back and forth like an accordion. The class is now ready to celebrate Chinese New Year or tell stories of mythical creatures.
  • Standards

    LA: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Obtain information that animals have structures that allow them to respond to stimuli through instinct or memory.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Give examples and describe the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Year of the Snake: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin; A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story by Li Quong Yo; Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Chinese New Year: With Fireworks, Dragons, and Lanterns by Carolyn Otto

    Encourage students to investigate other symbols that are commonly seen during the Chinese New Years' holiday. Design representations of these to display during the classroom Chinese New Year study.

    Students learn about the origins of dragons, what they symbolize, and in what cultures they continue to be heralded.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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