Chinese New Year comes to Soaring Wings |

Chinese New Year comes to Soaring Wings

Students at Soaring Wings Montessori School culminated a geography studies unit about Asia with a Chinese Lion Dance.

Some say dragons don’t exist, but Soaring Wings Montessori School had one dancing in its hallways last Wednesday.

To culminate a geography studies unit about Asia, the school hosted a Chinese Lion Dance performed by the Sil Lum Kung Fu Club.

The group was brought in by Michael and Jill McLaughlin, who have adopted three children from China. Rose, 5, Ginger, 3, and Michael, 3, are familiar with Chinese New Year traditions and their parents wanted to share them with the rest of the school.

"It celebrates diverse points of view," Jill McLaughlin said of the event.

Some students also wore traditional Chinese dress and brought Chinese food. School director Duna Strachan said as part of the unit, students also learn Chinese calligraphy, sing songs in Chinese, and learn Japanese flower arranging and origami. She said the lesson plans tried to engage the five senses.

"Every Wednesday, we talk about the people, the culture and the plants," said Lisa King, a teacher of early childhood classes at the school.

Students giggled and shrieked when the Chinese dragon came nose to nose with them, and many danced to the beat of the drum. Some were visibly frightened, but not Liza Greene.

"I like that it was really funny," she said, mentioning one of her favorite parts was when the dragon jumped off the stage in the Santy Auditorium.

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