Lesson plan

Chinese New Year’s Great Money Count

During the Chinese New Year, giving red envelopes full of money is a custom that symbolizes good luck. Use this lesson to teach your students about holiday traditions as they practise counting money.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Students will be able to count money to determine a given amount.

(15 minutes)
  • Ask students how they celebrate the New Year in their culture. Explain to students that each culture has different traditions.
  • Call students together and read Sam and the Lucky Money.
  • Ask comprehension questions during the read aloud to engage students:

    • Who did Sam meet during the celebration?
    • What did Sam learn during the festivities?
    • How do you think the main character changed during the story?
  • Ask students to think about times when kids receive money and what they do when they get it.
  • Record answers on a t-chart for students to see.
  • Tell students that today they are going to practise counting money, which is something people often do when they receive money as a gift or if they earn it from doing chores or jobs.
(10 minutes)
  • Review the Value, or how much it adds up to, of the Dollar, Quarter, Dime, Nickel, Penny, and each type of coin by drawing them on the board. Write the name of each next to it.
  • Display a (red) envelope full of money manipulatives.
  • Explain to students that this was the red envelope you received for the Chinese New Year and that you would like to count your money to determine how much you received. Just like Sam in the book you read to the class, you are excited about the gift.
  • Model counting up the coins in your envelope. Display the coins on the document camera or draw the coins on the board for students to see.
  • Write the value of each piece of money and model adding it up. Be sure to include the dollar sign, and think aloud about the correct way to write the value of the money.
(15 minutes)
  • Divide students into small groups, and have an envelope full of money manipulatives at each station. Each envelope should have a different amount.
  • Send each group to a station. Give students time to count the value of the money in the envelope.
  • Have students record their answers on notebook paper or in their maths Journals.
  • Rotate the groups through the stations to count the money in each envelope.
  • Come back together as a class and have each group share the value of the money in their original envelope.
  • Offer feedback to the groups and prompt students to talk about their mathematical process of adding the values of the money.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out the Counting Money: Chinese New Year worksheet to each student.
  • Explain to students that they should write their answers using the cents symbol.
  • Ask if students have any questions, and remind them of any rules that apply for independent work times.
  • While students are working, teacher should be circulating, prompting students to explain strategies, answering questions, and observing student work.
  • If students finish quickly, encourage them to change the value they had written with the cent symbol to a value with the dollar sign symbol.

Support:Reduce the amount of problems. Also, allow the students to use the money manipulatives as they work on the worksheet.

Enrichment:Have students write money word problems about the Chinese New Year on the back of the worksheet.

(5 minutes)
  • Collect the worksheets to check for understanding.
  • Ask students to draw a specific amount (ie: $1.32) as a quick check to see if they understand the value of the money.
  • Observe students as they work to count the value of money to determine who needs enrichment or remediation.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students do a Think-Pair-Share about what they learned about the Chinese New Year and counting money:
    • First, students will take time to think to themselves.
    • Then, they will pair with a partner sitting near them to discuss what each of them learned.
    • Last, as a class, have students share out about what they learned.

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