New Year Celebrations Around the World
People around the world celebrate the start of a new year in different ways.
Begin this lesson by asking students to share how they and their families celebrated the New Year. Then, before reading, ask students to agree or disagree with each of the statements below.
Introduce these words from the News Word box on the students' printable page:
The moon progresses through its four phases -- new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter -- during each cycle. In places where people follow the lunar calendar, a new month starts with each new moon; so, a new month starts every 29 or 30 days. With the calendar most students know (the Gregorian calendar), a new month starts every 30 or 31 days, with the exception of February. With the Gregorian calendar, the new year always starts on January 1; with the lunar calendar -- because its months start on the day of the new moon -- the start of the new year changes from year to year.
Read the News
Click for a printable version of this week's news story New Year Celebrations Around the World.
More Facts to Share
You might share these additional New Year traditions with students after they have read this week's news story.
Revisit the Anticipation Guide at the top of this lesson; ask students to respond again to the statements in it.
You might follow-up that activity by asking some of these questions:
Think About the News
Discuss the Think About the News questions that appear on the students' news page.
Geography and cultures. Have students use library books and Internet sources such as FatherTime.net's New Year's Traditions to learn about when and how people in different cultures celebrate the start of a new year. You might pass index cards to students and assign each student a country on the list. Ask students to write on their index cards a couple facts they learn about when and how a traditional new year is celebrated in their assigned country. Post students' index cards around a world map on a bulletin board and have each student string a piece of yarn from her/his card to the location on the map of the country/culture s/he researched. An alternative to a bulletin board display: have each student write a page for a class book about "New Year's Celebrations Around the World."
Science. Be sure students understand why on January 1 people in the Southern Hemisphere are experiencing summer while it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The How Things Work Web site offers a simple explanation.
Foreign Language. Set up an activity in your classroom computer center in which students match the names of ten countries to the expression used in each country to mean "Happy New Year." Have students use FatherTime.net's "How 'Happy New Year' Is Said Around the World" to complete the matching activity.
Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page or in the Comprehension Check section.
Lesson Plan Source
GRADES K - 4
NS.K-4.2 Physical Science
NS.K-4.4 Earth and Space Science
GRADES 5 - 8
NS.5-8.2 Physical Science
NS.5-8.4 Earth and Space Science
GRADES 9 - 12
NS.9-12.2 Physical Science
NS.9-12.4 Earth and Space Science
SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
GRADES K - 12
NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms
See recent news stories in Education World's News Story of the Week Archive.
Article by Gary Hopkins
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