Monthly Archives: November 2016

Tales from the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Dog

Tales from the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Dog
Characters from the Year of the Dog

Characters from the Year of the Dog

THE YEAR OF THE DOG

Chin, Oliver. The Year of the Dog, Tales of the Chinese Zodiac. San Francisco, CA: Immedium, 2006

Daniel was born on New Year’s Day. Shortly after his birth, Lin, his family’s neighbor, came to visit. Lin and Daniel became best friends and loved to explore their neighborhood and the countryside.

Daniel’s parents reminded him that as a dog, it was his duty to protect Lin from strangers especially during their adventures.

One day, Lin and her parents and Daniel and his parents went on a picnic in the forest. Lin wandered off and Daniel went to look for her.

Daniel found Lin just as a tiger loomed in front of her. Frightened, the animal roared and scared Daniel and Lin. But Daniel remembered his duty as a dog and barked loudly at the tiger.

Their parents herd Daniel and came running and shouting. Their noise frightened the tiger who ran way. Everyone praised Daniel for his bravery.

Lin hugged Daniel. “You are my best friend!”

Shadow Puppets:

Daniel the dog

Lin, a girl

Lin’s parents

Daniel’s parents

tiger

Act out The Year of the Dog for family and friends. What other situations and people can Daniel help with his barking?

Shadow Theatre

Shadow Theater made of recycled materials

 

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Tales of the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Pig

Tales of the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Pig
Characters from the Year of the Pig

Characters from the Year of the Pig

THE YEAR OF THE PIG

Chin, Oliver. The Year of the Pig, Tales of the Chinese Zodiac. San Francisco, CA: Immedium, 2006.

Mama and Papa Pig just had a baby. They named her Patricia or Patty for short.

Patty was small and soft. All the neighbors admired her.

Patty was a fast learner. She learned where Farmer Wu’s family and the other animals lived, their names and their duties on the farm. But it was hard to teach her manners especially to understand the manners of the other animals that had their own habits.

One day, Farmer Wu lost his jade ring. Cousin Dog couldn’t find it. Farmer Wu searched the fields, riding Auntie Horse. Farmer Wu’s wife searched the stream, riding Uncle Ox. Their son combed Auntie Sheep’s wool looking for the ring.

Mama and Papa Pig encouraged Patty to look for it. She came up with a plan. One night, she tiptoed to the pigpen’s gate, rolled on the ground and covered herself with mud. She squeezed and slithered until she slipped under the gate’s bottom rail.

Patty picked up and sniffed Farmer Wu’s dropped gloves. She noticed a strange smell and followed its scent. The scent led to the compost heap behind the barn. Patty dug through the vegetables piled high on the mound. She kept digging and digging through the food until she found the jade ring!

She squealed.  Everyone rushed to the compost heap, surprised that Patty had found the ring. Farmer Wu rewarded her by letting her out of the pig pen when she wanted!

Shadow Puppets:

Patty, the pig

Cousin Dog

Mama Pig

Papa Pig

Farmer Wu

Auntie Sheep

Uncle Ox

Act out The Year of the Pig. What other objects can Patty look for?

Shadow Theatre

Shadow Theater made of recycled materials

 

 

 

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Tales of the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Rat

Tales of the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Rat
Characters from the Year of the Rat

Characters from the Year of the Rat

THE YEAR OF THE RAT

Chin, Oliver. The Year of the Rat, Tales of the Chinese Zodiac. San Francisco, CA: Immedium, 2007.

Ralph, the baby rat, let out a “Squeak!” when he was born.

When Bing heard the news, he ran up to the attic to visit the newborn. He offered Ralph a piece of cheese and the two became friends.

Ralph was a free spirit who was always getting into trouble. When he got caught, he always promised to behave.

On the day of Bing’s birthday party, Bing’s parents ordered him to put Ralph in his cage. Bing promised Ralph to let him out when the party was over.

Ralph could see the decorations hanging outside and smell the food cooking. Presents and balloons arrived, too. Bing reached for the balloons but their knot came loose. Bing grabbed the strings but all of a sudden the balloon pulled him up, up and away.

Ralph looked out the window from his cage. He found a pin in his pocket and used it to open the lock on the cage door. Then he ran to the ladder that led to the hayloft. He jumped out and luckily landed on top of the balloons.

Ralph had an idea. He slid down the balloon’s strings and bit through several of them. One by one they flew away and Bing and Ralph descended closer to earth.

Slowly, they landed on an ox who promised to take them home. Everyone was happy to see them and every one forgave Ralph, the prankster!

Shadow puppets:

Ralph, the rat

Bing, a boy

Bing’s parents

Act out The Year of the Rat!  Add your own ending to the story!

Shadow Theatre

Shadow Theater made of recycled materials

 

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Tales from the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Monkey

Tales from the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Monkey
Characters from the Year of the Monkey

Characters from the Year of the Monkey

THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY

Chin, Oliver. The Year of the Monkey, Tales from the Chinese Zodiac. San Francisco, CA: Immedium, 2016.

The Jade Emperor sat on his cloud and observed the Monkey King and Queen’s new baby, Max.

“If this child follows in his parents’ footsteps, heaven below had better take notice,” the Jade Emperor said.

Max was a rambunctious monkey both in and out of school. He often reported to the principal’s office to answer for one prank or another.

He became friends with Kai. One day, their teacher introduced them to the game of shuttlecock or jianzi. Max and Kai showed talent for the sport and the friends practiced hard.

Max’s family heard about a shuttlecock tournament and encouraged Max and Kai to enter it. The friends had to make the team roster first so Max and Kai continued to practice. They learned many moves including the “Leopard Head” and Standing Crane.”

Max and Kai became one of the county’s best teams but they barely qualified for the tournament tryout.  But Max’s dad had a thought about how to improve his son’s game. He taught Max a new move.

When the contest began, Max and Kai made it through the first two rounds. They beat the Snake, a formidable opponent, in the semifinals and squeaked to the finals.

In the finals, they came face to face with Tiger and Dragon. Tiger and Dragon won the first set but Max and Kai hung on in the second. Max and Kai earned a match point.

Max served a hard shot but Dragon leashed a hard return. This was the moment.

Max leaped high and smashed through Tiger and Dragon’s defense utilizing the “Monkey Spike” move his dad taught him. This was the deciding move! Max and Kai won the contest.

“This upset shows us that magic can still surprise us all,” the Jade Emperor said.

Shadow Puppets:

Max the monkey

Kai, a friend

The Jade Emperor

Tiger

Dragon

Monkey Queen

Monkey King

Act out The Year of the Monkey. Show Max and Kai competing and wining in other sports, too.

Shadow Theatre

Shadow Theater made of recycled materials

 

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El Dia de los Muertos Banner Design

El Dia de los Muertos Banner Design
El Dia de los Muertos Banner

El Dia de los Muertos Banner

 

Materials:

Felt in various colors

Puffy paint in bright and metallic colors

Pencil/eraser

Scissors

Glitter glue (optional)

Hole punch

Paper in various colors (optional)

Scraps of material (optional)

Decorative gems (optional)

String

Cardboard

White glue

 

Project:              

  1. Select a piece of felt for the background of the banner. Place the design vertically or horizontally.
  2. Using different colors of the felt and using the letter stencils, trace and cut three Es; one A; two L; one D; one I; two O; two S; one T; one U; and one R.
  3. Arrange the letters on the felt background. Glue. Allow to dry.
  4. Some objects associated with the Day of the Dead are skeletons, marigolds and skulls. Draw and cut flowers, skulls and skeletons out of the remaining felt or use paper or another material. Glue and let dry.
  5. Add sequins, glitter, beads, etc. to the overall design or add a starburst, the sun or other symbols appropriate for the holiday. Let dry.
  6. Punch holes in the top corners of the felt. Pass a piece of string longer than the length of the banner through one hole, tie a knot and then pass it through the second hole. Glue a strip of cardboard that fits between the holes and glue it to the back of the banner at the top. Let dry and hang up. Celebrate El Dia de los Muertos!
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