teaching holidays in the classroom

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Each student and their family will celebrate the holidays differently. Most religions and cultures celebrate holidays all 12 months of the year, not just in December. We’ve made it through the sneak peek, Thanksgiving break, and resettled students as they came back from break. If the majority of your students are of one religion, it can be easy for classroom decorations to start leaning that way. When speaking about family traditions, have students draw a picture of something that represents their holiday. In May, I teach the children English Morris dances, which date back to springtime planting celebrations of more than a thousand years ago. In October, I draw a large circular calendar and mark October 31. Vocabulary. 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. What's New. 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.. 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. It also takes the pressure off you, as you may be feeling concerned that you need to know everything about your students' observances. Holidays & Special Days | Education World. We’ve made it through the beginning of another school year. 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. by TeachThought Staff. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Biological and Biomedical We’ve established routines, assessed students, written report cards, and held parent conferences. Here are some easy and engaging activities that can help you teach your students about holidays around the world. Technicians will be restoring service as quickly as possible. Why do so many teachers find it hard to teach academically and meaningfully about all the holidays in a public school setting? Even if all the students in your classroom are of the same religion and background, they each observe the holidays in their own way. Many of our students do celebrate these holidays, and they are important. This annual celebration highlights the need to protect our nation’s birds, … 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. Ask them to write a recipe … 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. Gateways to Better Education (GTBE) Phone: (800) 929-1163. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. Teacher Essentials. But Hanukkah isn't considered a High Holiday for Jewish families. It can be individual wreaths, that the kids then get to take home, or create one large wreath. Including diverse holidays. This exposes students to different traditions even among the same religion. Kids will love creating a wreath to hang in the classroom. I avoid sacred topics but honor the stories, characters, and rituals of holidays as symbols of positive values. 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. Celebrate Winter Holidays Teaching Guide. Enjoy these classroom activities that capture the holiday spirit and connect to the curriculum. It might be something that is exclusive to their family. Holiday celebrations can be wonderful opportunities for children to learn about the traditions and values that are cherished parts of people's lives. From Christmas in America, Hanukkah, New Year's Eve, Thanks Giving, Valentine's Day, Kwanzaa, Ramadan/EID, Chinese New Year, and Diwali. Search. Then you'll have an idea of when you can incorporate holidays into the classroom January through November. 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. 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. Then, after I ask students to identify what date is exactly six months later (May 1), they see that across the circle is May Day, the ancient beginning of spring. Make a Wreath. Even the most well-intentioned teachers might accidentally stereotype certain religions or cultures. Service Disruption. That’s why it’s interesting, even surprising, that nearly 100 percent of students say they celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Passover, and Halloween. The Snowman Bath Bomb Activity is a fun and unique way to engage your students while learning. Once this is complete, they can share with the classroom or pin their sheets up on a board. Learn about how certain materials can create bath bombs when mixed together. Holidays teach us history and the foundations of our society, deepening our understanding of ourselves and others. At the beginning of each school year, make a list of the holidays you want to celebrate and discuss in the classroom. Search. It’s Bird Day! Years ago, following a holiday concert I had just conducted at a small Vermont elementary school, a parent approached me with a complaint. 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. Make a face that looks like a cartoon Santa using fruits. 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. Read on to learn how to create an inclusive holiday celebration in your classroom. If you need other ideas for holidays outside of December, Teacher.org presents a list of major American holidays, and Study.com offers a lesson on major holidays around the world. Parents seem to understand that teaching about the commonalities in holiday stories reinforces cultural understanding. For some reason, the month of December has phenomenal feeling about it. Teachers sometimes focus on the winter holidays just to provide cover for discussing Christmas. Encourage students to bring in a dish related to a holiday they celebrate. 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? 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. 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. 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. Then you can hang their pictures, and all of your students will be represented. 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. 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. 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. 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