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Chinese New Year
By: Third Grade Teachers Lynn Frankenberger and Kristie Kerber
Xin nian kuai le! Happy New Year from the third grade class! Every year, Rossman third graders are immersed in the Chinese culture. This third grade class tradition was started 13 years ago after telling the story of how Mrs. Frankenberger escaped Vietnam on a fishing boat. Sharing this journey with the students peaked their interests in the learning of the Chinese culture.
During the week leading up to Chinese New year, the students learn about Chinese traditions that include: cleaning the house to sweep away all the bad luck, giving children money in red envelopes for good luck, eating a New Year’s Eve dinner with family that includes eight to nine different dishes, and watching the Dragon Dance performed to scare away evil spirits. We also taught the students how to use chopsticks so they could use them to eat their feast on New Year’s Day. The students practiced by using chopsticks to pick up mini marshmallows.
According to the Chinese, this is the year of the dog. You are considered a “dog,” if you were born in the year 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, or 2018. As a “dog,” the Chinese believe that you are born loyal, honest, good natured and always ready to help others.
Our New Year’s celebration began with students walking in dressed in red to represent good luck/fortune and happiness/abundance. Since food is an important part of celebrating Chinese New Year, the students were taught how to make crab rangoon that they shared with teachers, staff and the upper school students. It was such a fun experience for the children to make the crab rangoon. For some, it was their first experience with making an asian dish. Afterward, the completed crab rangoons were shipped to the kitchen and deep fried.
While we waited for the crab rangoon to be cooked, the children were back in the classroom decorating Chinese lanterns to hang up at home, painting Chinese scrolls using special brush strokes, and making origami. Our celebration ended with sharing a delicious, authentic meal of sweet and sour chicken, orange chicken, vegetable lo mein, beef and broccoli, chicken fried rice, and egg rolls.
Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in Creve Coeur, is an independent preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills. Request a free Rossman School brochure here.