Good Luck in a Red Envelope

Good Luck in a Red Envelope lesson plan

Ang-baos are very popular in Malaysia for birthdays. Giving red packets is also a Chinese New Year tradition. Create stunning red paper envelopes to wish good luck to people you know.

  • 1.

    How do children around the world celebrate their birthdays? In Malaysia, they eat wonderful foods. Friends and relatives may bring presents or an ang-bao. This is a small red (for good luck) packet filled with money. Chinese people give similar envelopes to each other at the new year. Here is one way to make red envelopes for the special people you know.

  • 2.

    <STRONG>Fold the envelope</STRONG>. Hold a half sheet of white paper vertically. Fold the bottom up, stopping at least a finger width from the top of the paper. Crease well. Unfold. Cover the inside of both edges of the bottom part with a Crayola® Glue Stick. Refold and seal the sides.

  • 3.

    <STRONG>Decorate the ang-bao.</STRONG> Draw your design or write words with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils. Just erase if you change your mind. Color the ang-bao bright red with Crayola Washable Markers. Accent it with Crayola Glitter Glue. Air-dry the ang-bao.

  • 4.

    <STRONG>Write your wishes!</STRONG> Fill your ang-bao with your birthday or new year wishes--a poem, note, or a drawing, perhaps.


  • Students find out about international traditions using red envelopes.
  • Children learn that ang-baos are a popular gift for a birthday celebrations in Malaysia.
  • Students design and create their own Malaysian ang-bao to give as a gift filled with birthday wishes or for Chinese New Year.


  • How are these red envelopes similar to holiday cards? To birthday and new year traditions in other parts of the world?
  • Find out why the color red signifies good luck or fortune in Asian cultures. What is your lucky color?
  • Younger children and those with special needs could decorate ready-made envelopes rather than folding their own paper.
  • Assessment: Note how curious children are about international birthday traditions, how detailed their designs are, and the completeness of their written birthday wishes.