An Atwater Elementary School class brought in the year of shé, better known as snake, Friday, marking the beginning of the Chinese New Year.
Dan Zimmerman's second grade class learned about the cultural celebration and the origins of the Chinese zodiac.
"They experienced firsthand the cultural celebration that was new to them," he said. "We have five Chinese families and one Korean in my class of 24 (not to mention an Iranian and two Russian). Since we are currently learning about the continents and people of those continents, it was a natural fit."
The celebration is the largest and most important in Chinese culture, running for 15 days. The Chinese New Year is thought to be a way to begin anew with a clean slate. It started Sunday.
In Zimmerman's class Chinese students gave a presentation about Chinese New Year, and another student taught about the legend behind the Chinese Zodiac.
The class also sampled some Chinese and Korean food and saw a slide show of pictures of their classmates taken in their hometowns.