Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the New Year’s Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic New Year’s, and supports the standard of understanding diverse cultures and customs practiced throughout the world. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


Ask students: 

  • What is a favorite holiday you celebrate? What traditions are related to this holiday?
  • How do your family and friends celebrate the New Year?


  • Read aloud the description below the New Year’s Topic Page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Laws and Customs” or “Around the World”. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY
Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Choose one region or culture described in the movie and create a mini-documentary about how New Year’s is celebrated in that community. 
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map comparing and contrasting the ways people celebrate New Year’s throughout the world. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a meme expressing why New Year’s is important to you. 


Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about New Year’s. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • What are some common themes of New Year’s celebrations throughout the world?
  • Why don’t all New Year’s celebrations take place on January 1st?

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the New Year’s Challenge

Step 5: Extend Learning

Examine and analyze a Victorian New Year’s postcard in this Primary Source Activity.

Continue to build understanding around cultures and traditions with BrainPOP’s Culture topics, games, and teacher resources. 

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments