Arts of Asia in Reach
Chinese New Year: Paper Lanterns Lesson Plan
3. Strategies & Procedures

Engage (Motivation)

Students will view Power Point presentation on Chinese New Year and Chinese Lantern Festival.


Students will be encouraged to ask questions during and after the presentation.
Students may visit their school or local libraries to further research Chinese New Year and or the culture of China.


Each student will create his or her own paper lantern from construction paper using scissors, markers, and glue. First, students will decorate large colored sheet of construction paper with markers. Students may draw Chinese symbols, characters, or other scenes relevant to the Chinese New Year celebration. After decorating, paper will be folded in half lengthwise ("hot-dog-style") so that rectangle measures 4.5" x 12". Students will then measure and mark equal distances of 1/2" from fold to one black edge. Beginning from folded edge, students will use scissors to make cuts along measured lines, being careful to cut up only up to the edge of the black strip and not beyond. (Students can unfold paper once all cuts have been made.) Students will then bend short edges (9" edges) together to form a cylinder and glue together. Once edges are dry, students will spread the slits at the fold and create the "lantern effect." A final black 12" x 1/2" strip is bent and attached with glue at top of the lantern to form the handle. If desired, students may add crumpled orange and yellow tissue paper to the inside of their lanterns to resemble the candle flame. When all lanterns are dry, students can string lanterns along black yarn and hang around the classroom.

Student Procedures:
  1. Decorate 9" x 12" rectangular colored construction paper with markers.
  2. Glue one 12" x 1/2" black strip along each long (12") edge of the rectangular paper. Let dry.
  3. Fold paper lengthwise ("hot dog style") with the decorations on the outside (so that folded rectangle measures 4.5" x 12").
  4. Starting from the folded edge, make cuts about 1/2" apart, cutting up to the black edge, but not beyond.
  5. Unfold.
  6. Glue one of the short sides to the other, creating a cylinder. Let dry.
  7. Spread the slits at the fold, creating a lantern effect.
  8. Bend last black strip of construction paper to form a handle, attaching to lantern with glue. Let dry.
  9. String lanterns onto cord and hang around classroom.
  10. Optional: for added "light" effect, crumple orange and yellow tissue paper and insert inside lantern.

Continue to: 4. Assessment & Closure