The Year of the Earth-Pig

Chinese New Year in 2019 (5 February) welcomes in the year of the Earth-Pig. In Chinese Mythology, each year has a Zodiac which comprises of an animal and an element. When will the next Earth-Pig year be? What was the Chinese Zodiac of the year of your birth? Celebrate Chinese New Year by using maths to answer these questions.

Equipment needed

Optional spreadsheet activity.

Curriculum Topics Covered

Remainders (Modular Arithmetic), Multiples, Lowest Common Multiples, Using a Spreadsheet. 

More information 

The zip file contains a worksheet activity, and a spreadsheet activity, and solutions. 

In the worksheet activity, students have to find remainders to work out what Chinese Zodiac (animal and element) particular years have. Students then need to make predictions about how often the Chinese Zodiacs will repeat themselves, which links to lowest common multiples. 

The spreadsheet activity follows the worksheet.  Here students write formulae to automate the process of finding the animal/element for each year and check their predictions. 

The maths of remainders/modular arithmetic and the¬†spreadsheet skills required are similar to those needed in our last resources ‘New Year Calendar Resources’, so you could link these tasks.