Count the Stars

Count the Stars lesson plan

Practice counting in Chinese using a comet counting tool designed with Chinese numerals.

  • 1.

    Why learn Chinese? In the world's population, three times as many people speak Chinese as speak English. In the United States, more than 2 million people speak Chinese. Find out which people in your school or community speak Chinese or one of its dialects.

  • 2.

    Counting to 10 is a basic skill in any language. Written symbols are the same in Mandarin (putonghua, or common language), Cantonese (spoken in Hong Kong), and other Chinese dialects, although the pronunciation may vary. Research how to write and say the Chinese characters for the numerals from 1 to 10.

  • 3.

    Use Crayola® Scissors to cut cardboard into a Chinese design such as a dragon boat or a starry pattern such as the whoosh made by a comet's tail. Punch 10 holes in the cardboard from which to hang stars.

  • 4.

    Dip tissue paper in Crayola School Glue thinned with water. Attach in layers on both sides of the cardboard base. Dry.

  • 5.

    Use Crayola Model Magic to form 10 large stars, one for each numeral from 1 to 10. While the Model Magic is moist, use the pointed end of a Crayola Paint Brush to etch the Chinese characters for each numeral, one per star. You may wish to etch English or

  • 6.

    Cover a table with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Tempera to paint your stars, the characters, and any designs, characters, or words on your cardboard base. Dry.

  • 7.

    Use yarn or string to tie the stars (in sequence) from the cardboard.


  • Students research information about China and its languages, including interviewing speakers of Chinese in the school or community.
  • Students identify Chinese characters for numerals from 1 to 10.
  • Students create a counting tool to learn Chinese numerals and represent Chinese culture.


  • Construct a similar learning tool for other Chinese characters. Make the cardboard support in the shape of the topic of your sentence, then hang the characters in correct order underneath it.
  • Research Chinese characters with which you can write a short poem. Illustrate it with Crayola® Markers on a scroll in a style similar to ancient Chinese scroll painting.
  • Gather information about Chinese history, culture, family names, cities, time zones, music, and/or art. Compare the geography and climate of China to the area where you live.