Chinese Dragons


I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving break! I have done great about posting once a week so I wanted to keep up the routine even while on vacation!

This was a really fun project. The kids and teachers loved every step of it.

The students had asked to do a project that featured fireworks. I have seen many great fireworks projects but they have always been a little easy on the skill side and I really wanted to keep pushing the fourth graders to try more difficult techniques so I combined their interest in fireworks with some bright colorful Chinese Dragons!

We started by watching this video that explains the history of the Chinese New Year.

The students took notes of important information while watching and after we discussed some of the key points. We talked briefly about the celebrations around the world for the Chinese New Year and what they look like. I would have loved to spend a little more time on this but they were very eager to get started. I did play them this short clip just because it was a lot of fun but I think a video of different celebrations would be a great addition to this lesson.

I really wanted the students to focus on using the colors in order to create gradual fades between colors in their dragon so for this project I let them begin the drawing by tracing some dragon faces I found on various free printable coloring sites. I did tell the students they could change the shapes and features how they wanted but many were so ready to go that they left the dragon heads as is.


If you would prefer drawing your own dragon heads I have shown these from Paintbrush Rocket to my students before and they made a great jumping off point for the students to create their own.

Once their dragons were traced they added a body coming from one side of the page and drew in the scales. Then we got out the oil pastels and got to work.

When the dragons were finished students added the fireworks to the background and then painted the rest of the background blue with tempera cakes. They are very impressed with the finished product and so are the other grades. I have had students from all grades begging to make these next.

Click on “Continue Reading” to see the results!

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