One Book, Many Lessons – The Runaway Wok: a Chinese New Year tale


The Runaway Wok: a Chinese New Year tale
By: Ying Chang Compestine


Sam’s friend Mary Ann helps him make a special valentine for Tiffany, but when Tiffany does not even notice it, Sam realizes who is really special. Includes facts about the history of Valentine’s Day.



Counting: If you are reading this story to a younger group, counting is an excellent activity. The illustrations on each page have many repetitive items, such as Chinese lanterns, animals, people, plants, vases and more. These make for a great find and count game.


Sequence of Events: Pick several students to play the role of the poor family, the rich family, and the old man. Have a wok on hand so that the students can recreate the sequence of events in the story by moving the wok back and forth among the people it visits in the story. 


Creative Writing: The Chinese New Year holiday emphasizes sharing. Have students compare the traditions of how Americans celebrate New Year and the Chinese New Year. Then, ask students to create their own special New Year and write about what their special New Year will be named, what types of celebrations, foods, and what makes their New Year so special.


Social Studies & Technology: Teach students how to find reliable websites for accurate information as they find 10 amazing facts about China. Students can work in pairs, groups, or individually.

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