Mysterious Unicorns Review the definition of a magical creature with students.
Share with the class some background information about the history of unicorns: Greek historian Ctesias in BCE, was the first to mention unicorns. He recorded travelers' descriptions of these magical creatures in India. A unicorn looks like a white horse, but it has a little white beard and a long, white horn in the middle of its forehead. The horn is where the unicorn's magic lies. Some stories note that if a pool of water is muddy and tastes bad, the unicorn can dip its horn in the water to make it clear and sweet-tasting again.
Other stories claim that a special powder made from the horn of a unicorn could heal sick people. This made people want to catch the unicorn and take its horn. One story tells of a beautiful young woman who could tame a unicorn by sitting quietly in a meadow where it was eating grass. If the unicorn came over and put its head in her lap, she would stroke the unicorn's mane gently until it fell asleep.
Then the hunters would come and catch the unicorn and take off its horn. Luckily, unicorns had the power to grow new horns. In the west, stories about the unicorn showed it as wild, but eastern stories claimed the unicorn was a peaceful creature that offered good luck. Ask students what they notice about the animal in the picture.
Let them know that this famous picture was created years ago in the Netherlands and is called "The Unicorn in Captivity.
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How is the unicorn in the story like the one that you just saw in the picture "Unicorn in Captivity"? How is it different? What special powers does the unicorn in this story have? Was the unicorn in this story friendly or unfriendly? If you were a unicorn, what kinds of things would you do? Would you like to be a unicorn? Why or why not? Activity 4. Powerful Dragons At the start of this activity, ask students to describe dragons and whether they know of any stories that have dragons in them.
Share with the class some background information about dragons. In tales that feature dragons, the dragon usually has a green, black, gold, or red body and can breathe fire. Different stories explained that dragons might have one or more heads. People believed that the bodies of dragons had special powers. For example, some stories told of a powder made from the eyes of a dragon that could make bad dreams stop. Other stories explained that if you planted the teeth of a dragon, they would grow overnight into an army of men.
Some dragons are friendly to human beings. In China, for example, people used to believe that dragons sent the rain each spring so people's crops would grow and they would have food to eat. Other dragons were mean and greedy. Some of them slept on big piles of gold with one eye open so they can catch anyone who tries to steal their treasure.
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People who took the dragons' gold would actually turn into dragons themselves. Western cultures described dragons with wings for flight; eastern cultures described dragons with no wings and the ability to fly in more magical ways. Roll the cursor over the image and select a highlighted area to learn more about each part of the dragon. Read a story about a dragon to students. See Resource List at the end of the lesson for suggested titles.
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After listening to the story, present the following questions and read them aloud. What does the dragon in the story have in common with the one you saw in the picture? Why might some things about this dragon be different? What special powers does the dragon in the story have? Was the dragon in this story friendly or unfriendly? If you were a dragon, what powers would you have? Would you rather have a unicorn or a dragon as a friend? Activity 5. Yours will too. They always had a take home project, too. Maybe the take home project could be Chinese inspired relief prints? Head images and tail images should be mirror images.
Student could plan on scrap paper, then cut their best out and trace as a pattern. In Chinese mythology there are Nine Major types of dragon:. Horned Dragon lung most powerful generalized type of Chinese dragon, which can produce rain and is totally deaf. Winged Dragon. Celestial Dragon which supports and protects the mansions of the gods. Spiritual Dragon generates wind and rain for the benefit of mankind. Dragon of Hidden Treasures which keeps guard over concealed wealth.
The Coiling Dragon which lives in water. The Yellow Dragon which once emerged from water and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Shi with the elements of writing. Homeless Dragon Ii that lives in the ocean and another type chiao that is scale-covered and usually inhabits marshes but also keeps dens in the mountains. Dragon King, which actually consists of four separate dragons, each of which rules over one of the four seas, those of the east, south, west, and north.
How can you adapt this dragon puppet lesson to teach a little Chinese Mythology? There is also the Imperial Dragon. We also used onion skin paper, or what was once called onion skin, its very close to vellum for all the younger teachers out there. I like the transparency of the medium.
Over the years I changed and added a few elements. And where they show the poles to hold the puppet, we use to cut up discarded or unused parts of Mat board. Then the kids would glue the two ends of the dragons body.
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Staple the head and tail. We also added feet with tag board -- and the legs and tail and head would have brads so they could be posed in different situations.
Also add triangles to the top of the dragons back, and streamer paper to have fire, this also looks nice with crinkle crepe paper. After we made the project, I would have a lamp set up for the kids to use the puppets as shadow puppets. Of course it was a puppet unit. From Judy - Monkey Marionettes -" Year of the Monkey" revise for other animals These are very easy ones made from heavy paper or card stock maybe even free corrugated cardboard and hooked together on the back side with string and tape.
There is a how to online. The site gives you patterns - but it would be so much more fun for the kids to make their own monkeys. Puppets are big in China. There are many ideas out there that you can do with simple materials - that won't take much time. Ideas are "out there" for monkey masks, paper bag puppets -and so many more easy projects that could be done in just one day. The newspaper cam from a Chinese grocery store. Click image for larger view. Log In Join Us. View Wish List View Cart.
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Grades PreK. Other Not Grade Specific.