Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, students explore BrainPOP Jr. resources to learn about the Lunar New Year–what it is and how different cultures around the world celebrate. Then, in the tradition of the holiday, students will write and exchange wishes or riddles.


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm what they know or think they know about the Lunar New Year.
  2. Watch a BrainPOP movie about the Lunar New Year.
  3. Write and exchange wishes or riddles.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Images of Lunar New Year from the Internet, magazines, etc.


  • Preview the BrainPOP Jr. movie Lunar New Year to plan for any adaptations. 
  • Display images of Lunar New Year celebrations around the classroom

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Open the lesson by telling students that today they will learn all about the Lunar New Year, a holiday celebrated in many parts of Asia and around the world that is based on the lunar calendar. Explain that the lunar calendar is based on the phases of the Moon.
  2. Ask students how they celebrate the new year on January 1. Jot their ideas on the board. Then point out that there are specific traditions for celebrating the Lunar New Year--some similar to January 1 celebrations, and some different. If you have students in your class who celebrate the Lunar New Year, encourage them to describe their traditions.
  3. OPTIONAL STEP: If you’ve collected images about the Lunar New Year, allow time for students to explore them. Then bring students together again, to discuss what they saw. You can preview a few examples they will learn about in the movie, such as dragon dances, cleaning homes, and eating dumplings.
  4. Show the BrainPOP movie Lunar New Year on an interactive whiteboard for the whole class. Pause as needed to reinforce student understanding of key concepts and vocabulary. You may also turn on closed captions for students to read along.
  5. After the movie, open Make-a-Map and create a spider map with the words Lunar New Year Traditions in the center. Prompt students to share some of the traditions they learned about in the movie. If necessary, help them get started by sharing one or two, such as lion and dragon dances. Click images in the Make-a-Map menu on the left side of the screen for hints. 
  6. Tell students that one Lunar New Year tradition is to share wishes or riddles with children. Divide the class into pairs. Distribute paper and pencils or markers. Invite students to write either a wish for their partner OR a riddle to solve. Encourage them to decorate their wishes or riddles.
  7. Finally, have partners exchange their wishes or riddles. If you are planning a Lunar New Year celebration in your classroom, they can exchange their envelopes at that time. After students exchange and read their wishes and riddles, bring the class together to share with the class.