Chinese Zodiac Lesson for Kids: Story & Signs

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

Have you ever heard of the Chinese zodiac? What about the year of the rat or the year of the ox? This lesson will teach you the story behind the Chinese zodiac and give descriptions of each of the signs of the zodiac.

What Is the Chinese Zodiac?

In Chinese mythology, there is a story that tells all about animals that had a race. Mythology is a collection of myths, or folk tales, that belong to a group or a culture. In this Chinese myth, there are many different versions, but this is one of the most well-known ones.

Long ago, many animals had a race to see which twelve animals would make it onto the calendar and in which order they would appear on the calendar. The ox almost won the race, but at the last minute, the rat jumped over ox's head to win the race. Because the rat won, the Emperor told the rat that he would be first on the Chinese calendar.


A zodiac sign in the Chinese calendar is an animal that represents each year in a 12-year cycle. After 12 years, the cycle begins again with the year of the rat. Many people believe that you have the character traits, or parts of your personality, that go with your year in the zodiac. Keep reading to see if your zodiac sign is true for you!

Birth Years And Signs

Use this table to see what your zodiac sign is!

Chinese Zodiac
Chinese Zodiac


People with the rat sign are thought to be curious and interested in challenges and learning new things! Rats are also funny, smart, and protective of their friends.


Oxen are perfectionists that like to make sure they do things correctly the first time. They can be shy at first, but they care about other people and you can always count on them!


Tigers have great leadership skills and like to be in charge. They always stand up for what they believe in and fight for those things!


Everybody likes rabbits and they usually have lots of close family members and friends. This might be because they don't like to fight and instead make sure they get along with everyone.


People born in 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, or 2012 are dragons.

Dragons are very friendly so they get along with everyone, and they are great friends to all! Their friends are always coming to them to ask for advice.

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Chinese Zodiac Lesson for Kids: Story & Signs Quiz

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