It’s the Year of the Ox

The festivities are beginning for Chinese New Year! This is the year of the ox! Why not celebrate with your students by using this simple chant/song!

During the pandemic, many students have not been allowed to sing. So enjoy these lyrics as a chant.

It’s The Year by Kathy Kampa

Part A:

It’s the year of the ox,

It’s the year of the ox,

It’s the year of the ox,

It’s 2021!

Part B:

o-x  ox!

o-x  ox!

o-x  ox!

It’s the year of the ox!

Try some of these movement suggestions. My students like making the animal shapes for each year of the Chinese calendar. I ask my students for their ideas. To make the shape of an ox, many of the students made horns with their fingers.

How can your students show the year 2021? My students liked to “draw” the numbers in the air. Some of them made numbers with their fingers. A few of them just decided to jump up into the air to celebrate!

My students really love making these letter shapes! If your students aren’t used to making letter shapes, you can model this activity. Students make letters with their fingers, their arms, or even their whole bodies!

Let’s make the letter o with our fingers. Can you make it bigger? Try using your hands? Can you make the letter o even bigger? Wow! You can make it with your whole body! Now let’s try making the letter x in the same way.

Put these all together into a chant. Add instruments if you like to really make it festive!

If you’re interested in a melody to sing this, check out my simple video here. I’ve combined two familiar songs to create this new song.

Check out Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays for songs to celebrate your child’s special days–Valentine’s Day, Easter, a birthday, or even a loose tooth!

Children’s songs for special events for pre-school, kindergarten, and elementary students

Let’s Celebrate Girls’ Day! It’s Time for Hina Matsuri!

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Girls’ Day is celebrated on March 3rd in Japan. It’s called “Hina Matsuri”.  Beautiful dolls called “Hinaningyo” are displayed on red stairs.

Here is a photo of the beautiful dolls from our kindergarten at Seisen International School. Starting at the top, you can see the emperor and empress dressed in traditional clothing of the Heian period. On the lower steps, you can see the attendants and musicians.  Miniature furniture is also displayed.

These dolls are displayed for Hina Matsuri.

These dolls are displayed at my school for Hina Matsuri/ Girls’ Day.

At this time of year, we can find displays of these beautiful dolls in many public places. This set was on display at a local onsen.

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Since we’ve been living in Japan for over 25 years, I wanted to write a song in English to help my students talk about the celebration.  It’s written to the tune “Kaeru no Uta.” The melody goes up and down, just like the stairs for the dolls.  My students really love it!

I’d like to gift you with this free professional recording of “We Love Hina Matsuri” for Girls’ Day on March 3rd! Scroll to the end of the post below.

Here are some notes to dance along with it.

We Love Hina Matsuri

Words by Kathleen Kampa, Music: Kaeru no Uta

We love Hina Matsuri

Students cross hands over heart. Lean side to side (R/L/R/L)

Pretty dolls for us to see

Girls: Bend knees side to side four times.  Boys: Pretend to look at the dolls

Girls’ Day! Girls’ Day!

Girls: Curtsy to right, then to left. Boys: Bow two times.

Hina Matsuri is Girls’ Day.

Stand tall              clap  clap   clap

Students sing this song all together twice.

Then, divide students into two groups.

The first group starts singing We love Hina Matsuri, and continues to sing to the end of the song.

When the first group gets to the second line, Pretty dolls . . .  the second group begins singing We love Hina Matsuri.  

Continue in the same way. This is called a canon.

We end by singing the song all together again.

Now you can even divide into four groups!   Each group begins at a new line.

Art Projects:

After you’ve finished singing, try some origami.

Our students enjoy making origami dolls. We usually make two dolls representing the emperor and the empress.

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For more ideas, check out this site.  www.origami-club.com/hina/     When you click the left oval (おりかた), you can see how to make it the origami. When you click the right oval (あにめ), you can easily understand how to fold.  Thanks to Yoko Matsui for sharing this site filled with lots of great ideas.

For something simpler, try these coloring activities.

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These songs “grow” in my classroom. We Love Hinamatsuri is one of 15 great songs for kids on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays.

There are also 23 great songs for kids on Kathy Kampa’s Jump Jump Everyone. This album is filled with movement songs, classroom management/transitional songs, and CLIL/content songs. They’ve grown in my young learner classroom.

These two CDs each include a handy attached booklet with lyrics, and are available for teachers in Japan at ETJ Book Service.

For teachers residing outside of Japan, the songs are available for download through iTunes.

 

Children's songs for special events for pre-school, kindergarten, and elementary students

Children’s songs for special events for pre-school, kindergarten, and elementary students

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Lots of great movement songs, transitional songs, and CLIL/content songs!