Chinese Zodiac: What’s Your Animal?

Laurel Oak and Post Oak classes are learning the animals of the Chinese zodiac, finding out which animal correspond to their birth year, and the characteristics of the animal.  In this process, they learn about the twelve animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.  The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar (moon) cycle and the first day of the new year is in January or February.  If one’s birthday is in January or February, they have to look closely to decide which year they were born.

Knowing their birth year or with some help, students determine what animal year they were born in (ex. Hilary: 1987, rabbit).  Then they find the corresponding animal card and read the characteristics. (ex. rabbit: loving, welcoming, polite, talented, kind).  They choose a few of the adjectives and write it on their sheet of paper.  Some students ask their friends and even teachers to learn about their birth years and animal signs.  They work on the academics of numbers, animals, adjectives and working on social skills of asking questions.

Many of the students have been really excited about learning which animal they are!  A. Heroes, “Alright, I’m a s-s-snake.”  D. Fireflies, “Yes, I’m a horse! (running playfully around room)”  There are a few students who are sad that they are not the animal they wanted to be.  However, after they learn the characteristics of the animal and with some peer enthusiasm for their animal, they accept it.  Great social skills in complementing friends and saying nice things about each other.  For many of the students, this activity boosts their self-esteem in learning about the positive aspects of themselves.  Each student shares with the class what animal they are and some characteristics of it.  In doing so, many of them learn that several of them are the same animal.

Here is a short list of the positive characteristic of each animal that I compiled for students:

Rat: clever, smart, engaging, talkative, ambitious
Ox: persistent, hard-working, reliable, protective, patient
Tiger: go-getter, competitive, optimistic, brave, aggressive
Rabbit: loving, welcoming, polite, talented, kind
Dragon: energetic, lucky, natural-born leaders, confident, imaginative
Snake: charming, detailed, smart, wise, handsome
Horse: athletic, honest, independent, friendly, outspoken
Sheep: creative, artistic, sensitive, kind, shy
Monkey: smart, influential, creative, imaginative, playful
Rooster: honest, neat, hard-working, courageous, loving
Dog: loyal, faithful, honest, reliable, sensitive
Pig: hopeful, genuine, true, active, friendly

It is fun to find out the animals of each elementary class and how they relate to their Chinese zodiac animal.  Here is a break-down of all Parish classes:

Seals:
Pig (2/18/07-2/6/08): hopeful, genuine, true, active, friendly
Rat (2/7/08-1/26/09): clever, smart, engaging, talkative, ambitious

Ducks:
Pig (2/18/07-2/6/08): hopeful, genuine, true, active, friendly
Rat (2/7/08-1/26/09): clever, smart, engaging, talkative, ambitious

Bears:
Dog (1/29/06-2/17/07): loyal, faithful, honest, reliable, sensitive
Pig (2/18/07-2/6/08): hopeful, genuine, true, active, friendly
Rat (2/7/08-1/26/09): clever, smart, engaging, talkative, ambitious

Elephants:
Dog (1/29/06-2/17/07): loyal, faithful, honest, reliable, sensitive
Pig (2/18/07-2/6/08): hopeful, genuine, true, active, friendly
Rat (2/7/08-1/26/09): clever, smart, engaging, talkative, ambitious

Kangaroos:
Rooster (2/9/05-1/28/06): honest, neat, hard-working, courageous, loving
Dog (1/29/06-2/17/07): loyal, faithful, honest, reliable, sensitive
Pig (2/18/07-2/6/08): hopeful, genuine, true, active, friendly

All-Stars:
Monkey (2/22/04-2/8/05): smart, influential, creative, imaginative, playful
Rooster (2/9/05-1/28/06): honest, neat, hard-working, courageous, loving
Dog (1/29/06-2/17/07): loyal, faithful, honest, reliable, sensitive
Pig (2/18/07-2/6/08): hopeful, genuine, true, active, friendly

Dragonflies:
Rooster (2/9/05-1/28/06): honest, neat, hard-working, courageous, loving
Dog (1/29/06-2/17/07):loyal, faithful, honest, reliable, sensitive
Pig (2/18/07-2/6/08): hopeful, genuine, true, active, friendly

Busy-Bees:
Monkey (2/22/04-2/8/05): smart, influential, creative, imaginative, playful
Rooster (2/9/05-1/28/06): honest, neat, hard-working, courageous, loving
Dog (1/29/06-2/17/07): loyal, faithful, honest, reliable, sensitive

Wranglers:
Sheep (2/1/03-1/21/04):  creative, artistic, sensitive, kind, shy
Monkey (1/22/04-2/8/05): smart, influential, creative, imaginative, playful
Rooster (2/9/05-1/28/06): honest, neat, hard-working, courageous, loving
Dog (1/29/06-2/17/07): loyal, faithful, honest, reliable, sensitive

Ants:
Sheep (2/1/03-1/21/04):  creative, artistic, sensitive, kind, shy
Monkey (1/22/04-2/8/05): smart, influential, creative, imaginative, playful
Rooster (2/9/05-1/28/06): honest, neat, hard-working, courageous, loving
Dog (1/29/06-2/17/07): loyal, faithful, honest, reliable, sensitive

Fireflies:
Sheep (2/1/03-1/21/04):  creative, artistic, sensitive, kind, shy
Monkey (1/22/04-2/8/05): smart, influential, creative, imaginative, playful
Rooster (2/9/05-1/28/06): honest, neat, hard-working, courageous, loving
Dog (1/29/06-2/17/07): loyal, faithful, honest, reliable, sensitive

Owls:
Snake (1/24/01-2/11/02): charming, detailed, smart, wise, handsome
Horse (2/12/02-1/31/03): athletic, honest, independent, friendly, outspoken
Sheep (2/1/03-1/21/04):  creative, artistic, sensitive, kind, shy
Monkey (1/22/04-2/8/05): smart, influential, creative, imaginative, playful

Labs:
Rabbit (2/16/99-2/4/00): loving, welcoming, polite, talented, kind
Dragon (2/5/00-1/23/01): energetic, lucky, natural-born leaders, confident, imaginative
Snake (1/24/01-2/11/02): charming, detailed, smart, wise, handsome
Horse (2/12/02-1/31/03): athletic, honest, independent, friendly, outspoken
Sheep (2/1/03-1/21/04): creative, artistic, sensitive, kind, shy
Monkey (1/22/04-2/8/05): smart, influential, creative, imaginative, playful

Mustangs:
Dragon (2/5/00-1/23/01): energetic, lucky, natural-born leaders, confident, imaginative
Snake (1/24/01-2/11/02): charming, detailed, smart, wise, handsome
Horse (2/12/02-1/31/03): athletic, honest, independent, friendly, outspoken
Sheep (2/1/03-1/21/04):  creative, artistic, sensitive, kind, shy
Monkey (1/22/04-2/8/05): smart, influential, creative, imaginative, playful

Heroes:
Tiger (1/28/98-2/15/99): go-getter, competitive, optimistic, brave, aggressive
Rabbit (2/16/99-2/4/00): loving, welcoming, polite, talented, kind
Dragon (2/5/00-1/23/01): energetic, lucky, natural-born leaders, confident, imaginative
Snake (1/24/01-2/11/02): charming, detailed, smart, wise, handsome
Horse (2/12/02-2/1/03): athletic, honest, independent, friendly, outspoken

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About Hilary Yip

Music Therapy. Martial Arts. Rowing/Coxswain. Creative Movement.
This entry was posted in All-Stars 11-12, Ants 11-12, Bears 11-12, Busy-Bees 11-12, Chinese, Chinese Zodiac, Dragonflies 11-12, Ducks 11-12, Elephants 11-12, Fireflies 11-12, Heroes 11-12, Kangaroos 11-12, Labs 11-12, Mustangs 11-12, Owls 11-12, Seals 11-12, Wranglers 11-12 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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