Arts of Asia in Reach
Chinese New Year: Lai-See Envelopes Lesson Plan
1. Lesson Overview

A Lesson for Eastwood Elementary, Kindergarten Students Ages 4-6
Time Frame: 2-3 workshops approximately 25 minutes each
Designed by Loren Fawcett, Education Assistant, Allen Memorial Art Museum


Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday celebrated among Chinese people. It is often referred to as the spring festival because it signals the beginning of spring. It is a time when families and friends get together to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new. It originally lasted for about 4 weeks, but now only lasts for 3-5 days. On a lunar calendar, the new year begins the first night of the new moon after the sun enters Aquarius. This date is anywhere between January 20 and February 19 (on a solar calendar). Chinese years are grouped in sets of 12 with each year being represented by an animal (zodiac sign). It is said that a person displays the characteristics of the animal of the year in which they were born.

During Chinese New Year, a Lai-See envelope is typically given by the grown-ups and seniors (usually the married) to the visiting children and juniors. It is bestowed on the days of New Year, where the recipient says something auspicious on taking the red envelope.

  1. Students will become familiar with the celebrations and traditions of Chinese New Year.
  2. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the concept of tradition.
  3. Students will recognize that different groups of people celebrate holidays unique to them.
  4. Students will listen and read along with Power Point presentation.
  5. Students will improve cutting skills with practice.
  6. Students will learn about another culture.
  7. Students will learn to ink and use rubber stamps.
  8. Students will practice coloring skills with crayons and colored pencils.
  9. Students will practice following directions.

Academic Content Standards

  1. Visual Arts
    • NVA 1.4: Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner
    • NVA 2.3: Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas
    • NVA 3.2: Students select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning
    • NVA 4.1: Students know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationships to various cultures

  2. Social Studies
    • NSS-USH.K-4.4 The History of Peoples of Many Cultures Around the World: Understand selected attributes and historical developments of societies in Asia

Ohio State Standards
  1. Visual Arts
    • OVA 1-B.4.2 : Identify art forms, visual ideas and artistic styles and describe how they are influenced by time and culture; Compare and contrast art forms from different cultures and their own cultures.

  2. Social Studies
    • Skills and Methods Obtaining Information Benchmark A1: Obtain information from oral, visual, and print sources.


Chinese New Year
the first day of the lunar new year; the biggest holiday celebrated among Chinese people; often referred to as the spring festival as it signifies the beginning of spring.

FU (foo)
good luck

Gong Hay Fat Choy! ; Xin Nian Hao! ; Guo Nian Hao!
Happy New Year!

Lai-see envelopes
red envelopes containing money that are given to children during Chinese New Year

of or relating to the moon; measured by the moon's revolution

the handing down of beliefs, legends, and customs from generation to generation

Continue to: 2. Lesson Materials