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Level: Primary, Junior, Middle School
Grades: K - 8 | Age: 5-14yrs | Written by: Ilona Lelli
[Ilona is a teacher at Salt Book/ Allen W. Roberts in New Providence.]

Students will discover the world of the Chinese dragon by creating their own festive dragon.


Students will use texture, line, shape, pattern and color when creating their dragons.

What You Need:
What You Do:

DAY ONE (40 mins)

  1. Briefly discuss the characteristics of a dragon and list ideas on board.
  2. Then have students look through books containing pictures of dragons and ask them to find as many characteristics as listed on the board.
  3. Next give the students a piece of white drawing paper and pencil and have them create an original dragon. (this may be difficult for some so i suggest they try to copy a dragon they like best in the book, this will spark imagination then the idea takes off into a dragon of their own)
  4. When their dragon is complete they trace over the lines with a black permanent marker, draw a horizon line and sign their name on the bottom.

DAY TWO (40min)

  1. Students use watercolors to paint their dragons being careful not to use too much paint as it will flow into unwanted areas. Paint entire paper and lay to dry.
  2. Mount on black paper and display.

Note: students may practice writing Chinese characters if available. Here is a link for Chinese character cards:

Recommended Books/Products:

The Chinese New Year Dragon
by Judith M. Austin, Jan Madruga
Emily and Clio visit Mei Ling in China to celebrate Chinese New Year! The GlobalFriends explore the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Ming's Tombs...but is that a mysterious dragon following them?

The Dancing Dragon
The Chinese New Year is about to begin. There's lots to do--tie strings of firecrackers outside, hang up red scrolls, bake special cakes, and sing New Year's songs. And when family and friends are gathered together, it's time for the parade to begin. This book folds out to reveal all the color and excitement of a traditional Chinese New Year celebration, complete with dancing dragon! Full color.

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