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The Year of The Dragon

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Happy New Year!

This year, the Chinese New Year celebrations begins Saturday, February 10th, welcoming in the Year of the Dragon. In China, celebrations of the New Year last for fifteen days and it is one of the biggest holidays of the year.

For the past decade, we at Villari's Martial Arts of Mansfield have been donating our time to visit hundreds of local classrooms to share the Legend of the Chinese New Year and the lessons we can learn from it about developing strong character.


We offer this presentation both in-person and digitally (through the videos below).

This presentation includes:

  • the legend of the race between the 12 Zodiac Animals

  • simple exercises for maintaining focus in the classroom

  • stress management techniques appropriate for all ages

  • positive character traits for each of the Zodiac Animals

  • ideas for students on how to demonstrate strong character in the Year of the Dragon

As Shaolin martial artists, we share some Chinese traditions and culture. Shaolin Five Animal Kung Fu and the Chinese Zodiac have some animals in common. In the martial arts, these animals teach us movements and mindsets that help us successfully navigate everyday life.

Already heard the story in your classroom?

Jump right to the Red Envelope Gifts!


Would you like one of our presenters to visit your classroom?
Email us at to request a 30-minute presentation.

How to Use this Presentation:

  • Play the video below, which includes an introduction, the story of the race, and classroom focus exercises

  • Use the discussion guide during or after the video for more character lessons from the animals

  • Play the Year of the Dragon video for more details on this year's animal sign

  • Print the additional resources for take-home materials and classroom follow-up

  • If desired, contact us at and we can drop off or mail complimentary Year of the Dragon PowerCards for your class.

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 The Legend of 

 The Chinese New Year 

Additional Resources

Discussion Questions

Use these questions to help facilitate discussion during or after the story. The answers given are not the only answers, they are just a starting point!

Video: About the Year of the Dragon

Printable Materials

What We Learned Today


This handout is designed to be sent home with students so they can share what they have learned with their parents. It includes character traits of all the animals as well as how to do the exercises so they can use them at home.

Teacher's Guide


The Teacher's Guide reviews the Red Envelop gifts (which are great as in class activities). It also has some basic Chinese words students can learn.

Red Envelope Gifts


This activity flips the Chinese New Year tradition of adults giving gifts to children and encourages students to give positive action gifts to adults in their lives.


Year of the Dragon PowerCards

PowerCards are martial arts trading cards we use in our dojo to promote practicing strong character. They are the size of baseball cards and give students of all ages tangible reminders of the lessons they learn about respect, self-control, and self-discipline.

If you would like Year of the Dragon PowerCards for your classroom, please message us at and we will drop off or mail a set to your school.

Enjoy the Year of the Dragon!

Thank You!

To our local Teachers and Homeschooling Parents:

Thank you for choosing to play such an important role in the personal growth and development of our community’s youth.  Like you, we at Villari's of Mansfield are committed to doing everything we can to help children make the challenging transition from student to responsible adult.  As both community members and professional martial artists, we believe it is imperative that we do our part to positively impact as many lives as possible.

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