Kindergarteners have been learning about Chinese dragons and their significance in Chinese culture and New Year's celebrations. First, we discussed dragons' "bad reputation." In American and European fairy tales and movies, dragons are usually mean, ferocious monsters who kidnap princesses and destroy villages with one terrible fiery breath. However, in the Chinese tradition, the dragon is a symbol of strength and good luck. At the end of a Chinese New Year's parade, there is a large dragon puppet that walks the streets amidst the excited crowds.
We read My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz and Red is a Dragon by Roseanne Thong. We discussed some of the similarities between Chinese New Year celebrations and Rosh Hashanah, such as eating traditional foods and spending time with family.
When the kindergarteners saw pictures of Chinese dragons, they couldn't believe that they were goingto be drawing them! But then, we took a closer look and they realized that every part of the dragon was made with a line or a shape that they could draw- it was just a matter of learning how to put it all together to make a dragon! Together, we drew the dragon. Then, kindergarteners traced their pencil lines in sharpie and colored the dragons in with colored pencil.
Enjoy the beautiful dragons!