By Signing up, you agree to our privacy policy. We’ve made it through the sneak peek, Thanksgiving break, and resettled students as they came back from break. Guess the Holiday. Here are some easy and engaging activities that can help you teach your students about holidays around the world. One of the best ways to create an inclusive holiday celebration is to avoid the pitfalls of stereotypical foods and Santa hats by using the season as a time of giving. (BAM! In many schools, […] This annual celebration highlights the need to protect our nation’s birds, … Kids will love creating a wreath to hang in the classroom. Make a face that looks like a cartoon Santa using fruits. In December, students are excited to get time off school and, in some cases, to celebrate their special traditions. Read on to learn how to create an inclusive holiday celebration in your classroom. At the beginning of each school year, make a list of the holidays you want to celebrate and discuss in the classroom. Rewriting "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and The Polar Express Ranell Cox, a teacher in Ponte Vedra, Florida, challenges her class to develop a new theme and lyrics for the familiar carol "The Twelve Days of … When talking about whether or not to celebrate holidays in the classroom, you may have heard about something called “the December dilemma.” According to Diversity Best Practices , the December dilemma refers to “that time of year where multiple holidays collide and people with good intentions can find themselves in the middle of potentially toxic misunderstandings.” Services, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. State testing is on the horizon but so is Spring Break. “Christmas is the reason for the season,” he said. Students can be split into groups and learn about a holiday: its origin, traditions and how it is celebrated around the world. (Gettyimages.com: Discan/softluka) Having elementary school students write letters to Santa may meet school guidelines, but such an assignment isn’t celebrating holidays inclusively. Balancing the Holidays in Your Classroom Each year at this time, teachers are faced with a dilemma: How to balance the holidays to create the most inclusive environment? In May, I teach the children English Morris dances, which date back to springtime planting celebrations of more than a thousand years ago. As Hanukkah comes to a close and Christmas approaches, many teachers will decorate with candy canes, glittered Christmas trees and construction-papered dreidels. Celebrating holidays in the classroom inclusively is an opportunity for educators to teach students about different belief systems, including atheism. Whatever is done for one should be done for the others so that certain holidays don't come across as unusual or exotic. If that is the case in your classroom, offer an alternate activity or focus on a service project, as suggested above. Including diverse holidays. One can teach about the holidays from October all the way through May, beginning with the harvest and the holidays of Halloween and Diwali and ending with the rituals of … Technicians will be restoring service as quickly as possible. Those don't often make the best combinations in the classroom. The holidays are the perfect time to engage your students with seasonal-themed activities. Not only does it work well as a holiday party craft idea, but it can also be used as a winter decoration. See more ideas about school holidays, teaching holidays, christmas classroom. Older students can use this as a time for research. For some reason, the month of December has phenomenal feeling about it. I'm super fortunate that my classroom has always been incredibly diverse. “It is no coincidence,” I tell students, “that holidays like Easter and Passover, representing life and freedom, happen around the same time as more ancient springtime holidays.”. Even the most well-intentioned teachers might accidentally stereotype certain religions or cultures. As we work to instill a strong sense of community and tolerance in our children, teaching the shared values of the holidays fits right in with our social and academic curricula. Be sure to celebrate holidays that are relevant to the children in your care. Holiday celebrations can be wonderful opportunities for children to learn about the traditions and values that are cherished parts of people's lives. Then you'll have an idea of when you can incorporate holidays into the classroom January through November. Read on for tips on creating an inclusive holiday celebration in your classroom. Ask them to write a recipe … It's important to create a classroom environment where all of your students feel welcome and represented. It is important to note that like the values we instill in our children at school, the holidays of many world religions share common themes, such as thankfulness, caring for others, peace, and forgiveness. logistical [ loh-jis-tik-al ] adj., Related to the process of planning or organizing pilgrimage [ pil-grə-mij ] noun, A journey to a holy or special place. It's important to create a classroom environment where all of your students feel welcome and represented. Every year I ask myself, what do these children understand about their relationship to their holidays? Students that are a bit older can take an information sheet home to ask their parents about their family traditions. We apologize - Miami is experiencing an unexpected disruption to services. What's New. Holidays & Special Days | Education World. Many holidays include the motif of light, which you can use to begin to discuss what they have in common: Teachers sometimes focus on the winter holidays just to provide cover for discussing Christmas. Holidays teach us history and the foundations of our society, deepening our understanding of ourselves and others. Unless you’re actually teaching a whole curriculum about religions, you’re going to end up with religious tourism at best. Then you can hang their pictures, and all of your students will be represented. I’m all about teaching kids about world religions. Enjoy these classroom activities that capture the holiday spirit and connect to the curriculum. Students can vote on ideas or potential charities and all get involved in giving back to their community. This time of year, students are excited about the holidays. Learn About Each Other Turn snack time into a healthy ho-ho-holiday activity! There is, however, the potential for problems when you discuss religious themes in a public school, like a parent complaining that you are preaching. Additionally, not every person who celebrates Christmas even has a tree. You can’t celebrate all holidays in a meaningful way in the classroom. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal This exposes students to different traditions even among the same religion. It is no mistake that winter was chosen to celebrate important events -- in a season of darkness, a savior, optimism, and knowledge are all symbolized by light amid the darkness. Don’t Try to Do It All During the Holiday Season Between Pinterest and what other teachers around you are doing you will feel like you need to be doing it too. However, you also don't want to make the mistake of assuming certain items will represent certain students' holidays (especially those you are less familiar with) and just include them haphazardly in your classroom. The holidays are a wonderful time to talk about winter events and traditions from other parts of the world that students may not have heard of before. Make a Wreath. From Christmas in America, Hanukkah, New Year's Eve, Thanks Giving, Valentine's Day, Kwanzaa, Ramadan/EID, Chinese New Year, and Diwali. Having taught about holidays for the better part of 15 years in four schools, I have rarely been questioned but know there’s always the potential concerned parent. We’ve established routines, assessed students, written report cards, and held parent conferences. No one knows the actual date of the story of Hanukkah or the birth of Jesus, but we do know that the tradition of lighting up an evergreen tree in the dead of winter predates Christianity and even Judaism. Teacher Essentials. ... Make Your Own Scrapbook: A classroom activity for students to share their own holiday traditions. Students can learn how each country celebrates their holiday, what they call it, their particular Santa, and traditions through an interactive table or chart. Service Disruption. Once this is complete, they can share with the classroom or pin their sheets up on a board. That’s why it’s interesting, even surprising, that nearly 100 percent of students say they celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Passover, and Halloween. For young students, you can ask parents to come into the classroom and talk about their family traditions and how they celebrate at this time of year. by TeachThought Staff. All rights reserved. Have the kids create snowflakes out of paper to hang from the ceiling. Use the Celebrate Winter Holidays multimedia activity to help your students learn about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other holidays around the world. It might not even occur to many people that a Christmas tree in the corner of the room excludes all the students that don't celebrate Christmas. While teaching a multicultural curriculum may not be too challenging most of the year, December brings the holidays, when one or two holidays are usually much more visible than the others. Holidays are important for many reasons, and children should be able to celebrate them in some way during school time. In addition to focusing on familial traditions, you can avoid clichés by following the guidelines below. But Hanukkah isn't considered a High Holiday for Jewish families. Read on to learn how to create an inclusive holiday celebration in your classroom. We also dance around the Maypole. Halloween, following the bounty of the harvest season, is the beginning of the dark time of the year, a scary period for early agrarian societies. Dec 31, 2020 - Teaching holidays to kindergarten, first grade, and second-grade students. Even if our holiday celebrations look different within our classroom there's no denying the whismy of the bright lights on people's homes and the songs we hear. Why do so many teachers find it hard to teach academically and meaningfully about all the holidays in a public school setting? Also, make sure that all holidays are treated the same. You can avoid controversial topics and still honor a diversity of holiday stories, characters, and rituals as symbols of positive values. To celebrate in the classroom, we make paper crowns, star boy hats, watch a clip of a real procession, and learn traditional Swedish folk dances. Teachers everywhere are counting down the days to the miraculous winter break. While teaching a multicultural curriculummay not be too challenging most of the year, December brings the holidays, when one or two holidays are usually much more visible than the others. “So why can’t you sing about Jesus?” Public school teachers know that the answer is tied up in the U.S. Constitution, but the question did prompt me to ask myself a question that I still ponder today. These are just a few of the tips I have learned in my long teaching career that has helped me survive the holiday season in my classroom. Even if all the students in your classroom are of the same religion and background, they each observe the holidays in their own way. Keene, New Hampshire, where I teach music today, is a relatively secular community. Parents seem to understand that teaching about the commonalities in holiday stories reinforces cultural understanding. GTBE publishes three Holiday Restoration Cards (booklets) to help teachers understand how the religious aspects of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter can be taught in the classroom. Bird Day. The Snowman Bath Bomb Activity is a fun and unique way to engage your students while learning. Ideas for Teaching Holidays Around the World. But sticking a menorah next to a big inflatable Santa doesn’t provide a whole lot of nuance. St. We also walk in a slow procession to the Santa Lucia Song, and read books about the holiday such as Hanna’s Christmas by Melissa Peterson. Use the holiday activities, ideas, resources shared in these articles to have rigorous and engaging activities for each major holiday and season that your students will love. How we teach about holidays is a reflection of how our community values expanding our knowledge about ourselves and our neighbors. However, St. Patrick's Day can add a bit of fun and whimsy into what can otherwise be a stressful month. The cards include legal documentation and lesson plan ideas that pass constitutional muster. Students will love entertaining their classroom guests and will also enjoy sampling the edible items! It happens every year. The holidays can be challenging for teachers whose many students celebrate many different holidays. Statistically speaking, it falls below the national average for religiosity, with just over 20 percent of the population officially affiliating with a specific church, temple, or mosque. Teachers sometimes focus on the winter holidays just to provide cover for discussing Christmas. It also takes the pressure off you, as you may be feeling concerned that you need to know everything about your students' observances. The holidays are such a magical time of year. The December Dilemma: Acknowledging Religious Holidays in the Classroom (Edutopia) Teaching the Holidays: The December Dilemma (Education Week) How Are You Approaching Holidays with Sensitivity in the Classroom? For more on how to plan Morning Meetings that will help with classroom management at this time of year, see Mike Anderson’s “Handling the Holidays” series from December 2009 on the Responsive blog.. It can be individual wreaths, that the kids then get to take home, or create one large wreath. Integrate STEM in your classroom and celebrate Christmas and other Winter Holidays! I avoid sacred topics but honor the stories, characters, and rituals of holidays as symbols of positive values. Again, the focus is on family traditions, and it's important that students aren't made to be the authority on an entire culture or religion. Anti-bias teaching requires critical thinking and problem solving by both children and adults.” To me, what that definition boils down to is that anti-bias teaching respects and embraces inclusion and the differences amongst all of us. Encourage students to bring in a dish related to a holiday they celebrate. Edutopia® and Lucas Education Research™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries. If you decide to send home an information sheet for students to complete about their family traditions, consider including the question of what holidays are most important and when they occur. Find teaching resources for a variety of holidays and special days. Jump to Navigation. Most religions and cultures celebrate holidays all 12 months of the year, not just in December. St. Nicholas Day is observed on December 6th. This is sponsored content from education.com.They only wanted to let you know about the free activities and downloads they have available on their Pinterest page and allowed us to create the content itself free from any influence. Most importantly, teaching children about the holidays guides them into lifelong learning and into thoughtfully and reflectively celebrating their own holidays within our diverse society. Search. The holidays are unavoidable, but you can be prepared to create an inclusive celebration in the classroom that goes beyond tacking up symbolic holiday images on your classroom bulletin board. Teacher Holiday Tips: Managing Holiday Stress in the Classroom; Teacher Holiday Tips: Managing Holiday Stress in the Classroom. Each student and their family will celebrate the holidays differently. We’ve made it through the beginning of another school year. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Biological and Biomedical Students can collect items for care packages for service members overseas, collect canned foods, draw pictures for nursing home residents or host a bake sale to raise money for a certain charity. secular [ se-kyə-lər ] adj.,Not religious or spiritual; controlled by the government rather than by the church Leave this field blank. 2. When I get more diverse classrooms, I do my best to celebrate more prominent holidays, learn about ones that would be new to most of my students, and at least share a quick video or do a small activity to acknowledge them. In this series, Mike focuses on how to use Morning Meeting to set a positive tone for the day during the build-up to winter holidays and school vacation. It will be a fun activity that will get your family in the holiday spirit, and spice up your snack time with healthy treats. accommodation [ ə-kä-mə dā-shən ] noun, An agreement that allows people, groups, etc., to work together. 12 Ideas For Holiday Activities In The Classroom. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. If the majority of your students are of one religion, it can be easy for classroom decorations to start leaning that way. Learn about how certain materials can create bath bombs when mixed together. Search. If done well, an inclusive holiday celebration can help students learn about diversity. When speaking about family traditions, have students draw a picture of something that represents their holiday. © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. Select holidays and religious celebrations based on your classroom representation. When beginning a lesson about the winter holidays right around Thanksgiving, I ask the question, “What is one thing many of the winter holiday traditions have in common?” Among many correct answers, the one I am looking for is “light.” The stories, traditions, and lore of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and even Chinese New Year contain things like stars, fireworks, lamps, candles, and fire. Making one religion or holiday seem exotic would have the opposite effect on the classroom dynamic. A collection of the best holiday activities, printables, and worksheets. Gateways to Better Education (GTBE) Phone: (800) 929-1163. They can present their findings to the classroom, and the ideas can be used to inspire a multicultural holiday celebration. Jul 21, 2020 - Explore Kelley Phillips's board "School: Holidays", followed by 481 people on Pinterest. It might be something that is exclusive to their family. Celebrate Winter Holidays Teaching Guide. 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Religions and cultures celebrate holidays that are cherished parts of people 's lives creating an inclusive holiday celebration your. Patrick 's Day can add a bit dicey expanding our knowledge about ourselves and our neighbors once this is,! Are of one religion or holiday seem exotic would have the opposite effect on the holidays. 31, 2020 - Explore Kelley Phillips 's board `` school: ''! 800 ) 929-1163 bit dicey commercial culture teaches them, students are of one religion, it also... Or registered trademarks of the holidays differently holidays is a reflection of how community... Calendar and mark October 31 split into groups and learn about diversity a healthy ho-ho-holiday activity party craft idea but.: its origin, traditions and how it is celebrated around the world Bath bombs when mixed together based your. And represented to Better Education ( GTBE ) Phone: ( 800 ) 929-1163 pictures, and children should done!