The Chinese New Year is one of the many colourful events celebrated in our multicultural calendar.

Gail Ellis

Each year in the Chinese calendar is named after an animal, and in this lesson learners will listen to the story of how the order of the animals was decided. They will join in with the story and retell it, then do some follow-up work practising saying years, using ‘will’ for future predictions or making a craft.


  • To introduce or revise the vocabulary for the Chinese New Year animals
  • To practise listening skills
  • To develop speaking and storytelling skills
  • To practise saying years
  • To practise the use of ‘will’ for future predictions

Age group

CEFR level A1/A2

60 minutes

The lesson plan can be downloaded in PDF format below. In addition, you will need:

  • world map
  • flashcards for each of the animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog and pig) and a flashcard of a king and a princess
  • props for retelling the story, e.g. blue paper for the river, card and string to make masks, etc.
  • materials to make the crafts here – optional:
  • circles and slips of paper to make the fortune cookie (one per learner) – optional
Language level
Language Level: 
Level 2