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 … It's important to create a classroom environment where all of your students feel welcome and represented. 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. 2. In October, I draw a large circular calendar and mark October 31. What's New. The holidays can be used to explore how people of diverse backgrounds practice similar values. 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. Jump to Navigation. Technicians will be restoring service as quickly as possible. 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. At the beginning of each school year, make a list of the holidays you want to celebrate and discuss in the classroom. I’m all about teaching kids about world religions. In addition to focusing on familial traditions, you can avoid clichés by following the guidelines below. Just as your students get into a routine, the holidays descend. That’s why it’s interesting, even surprising, that nearly 100 percent of students say they celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Passover, and Halloween. But sticking a menorah next to a big inflatable Santa doesn’t provide a whole lot of nuance. Holiday celebrations can be wonderful opportunities for children to learn about the traditions and values that are cherished parts of people's lives. “Christmas is the reason for the season,” he said. 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. 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. The holidays can be challenging for teachers whose many students celebrate many different holidays. St. 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. At my school, this lines up with our “four pillars”: knowledge, community, effort, and kindness. Select holidays and religious celebrations based on your classroom representation. You can’t celebrate all holidays in a meaningful way in the classroom. Keep in mind that creating an inclusive classroom also means being respectful of students and families who do not participate in celebrations and holidays. 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. Every year I ask myself, what do these children understand about their relationship to their holidays? Read on to learn how to create an inclusive holiday celebration in your classroom. The cards include legal documentation and lesson plan ideas that pass constitutional muster. Even the most well-intentioned teachers might accidentally stereotype certain religions or cultures. I avoid sacred topics but honor the stories, characters, and rituals of holidays as symbols of positive values. Also, make sure that all holidays are treated the same. We also dance around the Maypole. 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. 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 Passover, Easter, and May Day. 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. You can avoid controversial topics and still honor a diversity of holiday stories, characters, and rituals as symbols of positive values. Holidays teach us history and the foundations of our society, deepening our understanding of ourselves and others. There is, however, the potential for problems when you discuss religious themes in a public school, like a parent complaining that you are preaching. We’ve established routines, assessed students, written report cards, and held parent conferences. St. Nicholas Day. And while Kwanzaa is important, so is Juneteenth, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Indigenous People's Day. Kids will love creating a wreath to hang in the classroom. Older students can use this as a time for research. Integrate STEM in your classroom and celebrate Christmas and other Winter Holidays! Keene, New Hampshire, where I teach music today, is a relatively secular community. It’s Bird Day! 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.. Turn snack time into a healthy ho-ho-holiday activity! Services, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. (BAM! This exposes students to different traditions even among the same religion. Make a face that looks like a cartoon Santa using fruits. They can present their findings to the classroom, and the ideas can be used to inspire a multicultural holiday celebration. Search. 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. Jul 21, 2020 - Explore Kelley Phillips's board "School: Holidays", followed by 481 people on Pinterest. All rights reserved. Teachers everywhere are counting down the days to the miraculous winter break. 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. accommodation [ ə-kä-mə dā-shən ] noun, An agreement that allows people, groups, etc., to work together. Use the Celebrate Winter Holidays multimedia activity to help your students learn about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other holidays around the world. By Signing up, you agree to our privacy policy. Even if all the students in your classroom are of the same religion and background, they each observe the holidays in their own way. 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. 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. 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. Celebrating holidays in the classroom inclusively is an opportunity for educators to teach students about different belief systems, including atheism. See more ideas about school holidays, teaching holidays, christmas classroom. Holidays are important for many reasons, and children should be able to celebrate them in some way during school time. 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. 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. “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.”. Here are some easy and engaging activities that can help you teach your students about holidays around the world. We’ve made it through the sneak peek, Thanksgiving break, and resettled students as they came back from break. It might be something that is exclusive to their family. 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. In May, I teach the children English Morris dances, which date back to springtime planting celebrations of more than a thousand years ago. Guess the Holiday. However, St. Patrick's Day can add a bit of fun and whimsy into what can otherwise be a stressful month. 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. 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. Years ago, following a holiday concert I had just conducted at a small Vermont elementary school, a parent approached me with a complaint. 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. Additionally, not every person who celebrates Christmas even has a tree. 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. If done well, an inclusive holiday celebration can help students learn about diversity. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal secular [ se-kyə-lər ] adj.,Not religious or spiritual; controlled by the government rather than by the church How we teach about holidays is a reflection of how our community values expanding our knowledge about ourselves and our neighbors. 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. Students can be split into groups and learn about a holiday: its origin, traditions and how it is celebrated around the world. It also takes the pressure off you, as you may be feeling concerned that you need to know everything about your students' observances. Gateways to Better Education (GTBE) Phone: (800) 929-1163. Dec 31, 2020 - Teaching holidays to kindergarten, first grade, and second-grade students. Making one religion or holiday seem exotic would have the opposite effect on the classroom dynamic. Leave this field blank. 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. 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. Learn About Each Other Including diverse holidays. Find teaching resources for a variety of holidays and special days. © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. Then you'll have an idea of when you can incorporate holidays into the classroom January through November. Ask them to write a recipe … Make a Wreath. Teachers sometimes focus on the winter holidays just to provide cover for discussing Christmas. Why do so many teachers find it hard to teach academically and meaningfully about all the holidays in a public school setting? This annual celebration highlights the need to protect our nation’s birds, … 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. If that is the case in your classroom, offer an alternate activity or focus on a service project, as suggested above. by TeachThought Staff. Learn about how certain materials can create bath bombs when mixed together. 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. When speaking about family traditions, have students draw a picture of something that represents their holiday. 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. 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? Edutopia® and Lucas Education Research™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. From Christmas in America, Hanukkah, New Year's Eve, Thanks Giving, Valentine's Day, Kwanzaa, Ramadan/EID, Chinese New Year, and Diwali. 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. “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. Bird Day. State testing is on the horizon but so is Spring Break. Encourage students to bring in a dish related to a holiday they celebrate. St. Nicholas Day is observed on December 6th. Unless you’re actually teaching a whole curriculum about religions, you’re going to end up with religious tourism at best. 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? 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