Lesson Plan

Counting Money for Red Envelopes: A Chinese New Year Tradition

“Gong Xi Fa Cai, Hong Bao Na Lai!” This means "Happy New Year, Give me my red envelope!" Students will count coins and write the value all while learning about the Chinese New Year tradition of handing out red envelopes filled with money.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to count coins and write the total value using the cents sign.


(5 minutes)
  • Greet students by saying, “Gong Xi Fa Cai, Hong Bao Na Lai!” (Pronunciation tip: "Gong Zee Fah Chai, Hong Bao Na Lai")
  • Explain to students that this means, “Happy New Year, Give me my red envelope!” in Mandarin.
  • Tell students that Chinese celebrate their New Year on the new moon between January 21 and February 20.
  • Explain to students that one of the many traditions of the Chinese New Year is for adults to give children hong bao, which translates to “red envelopes" that have money in them.
  • Teach students that in the Chinese culture these red envelopes grant good luck and happiness.
  • Tell students that during our math lesson today we will be creating our very own hong bao filled with pretend money.

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first grade
Subject Math