Bringing In the New Year

Tips for "Bringing In the New Year"

As You Read:

Talk to your child about this family's traditions as they prepare for the New Year. For example, when Jie-Jie is sweeping the old year out of the house, ask "Why do you think they do that? What are they trying to sweep out?" Encourage your child to ask questions and if you don't know the answer about a specific tradition, look it up together!


Extending the Story:

Test out some of these awesome Chinese New Year traditions for yourself and if you want, celebrate it the next time it rolls around! Grace Lin offers up some great ideas like making a New Year banner or making a safe Chinese New Year firecracker.

If you want to learn more about where some of these traditions and the history behind the holiday, read up on it here!

Other Useful Tips

Before You Begin Reading, Preview the Story and Discuss

Take a moment to explore the cover and illustrations and give your child a chance to make observations and predictions before beginning the read-through. Throughout this guide, there are several questions and prompts that you can use as you read, so feel free to spread them out across multiple readings. Use prompts and questions like:

  • What is happening on the cover?

  • What do you think the story will be about based on the title and the cover?

  • {Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture?


As You Read, Explore New Vocabulary

Whether you're reading the story or your child is reading it him/herself, take time to stop whenever s/he comes across a new word. Read the word slowly several times as you underline the word with your finger. Then, ask your child what s/he thinks the word might mean. Instruct him/her to use the words and illustrations surrounding it to try and glean the meaning. Work together to discover the word's meaning, and then try to integrate it into your daily conversation to help reinforce these new vocabulary words. 


After Reading, Make Connections

To ensure comprehension, ask your child about what happened in the book. Who were the main characters, and where were the primary settings? What happened and why did those things happen in the story? Ask your child the following questions to further explore his/her understanding of the book:

  • Did you like that story? What was your favorite part? Why?

  • What lesson do you think the main character(s) learned?

  • What does {vocabulary word} mean?

  • {Discuss alternatives to the storyline} What would have happened if...?

  • I wonder why...