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Students create a chart comparing Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, and Ramadan. Student work sheet included.
Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Ramadan, December, holiday, candle, light, costume, song, research, multicultural, compare, contrast, comparison, chart, graphic organizer
In this lesson, students complete a chart comparing major multicultural December holiday celebrations. (Younger students complete the chart on Student work sheet 1; older students complete Student work sheet 1 and Student work sheet 2.) The charts provide spaces for students to make notes about different elements of five holiday celebrations -- Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, and Ramadan. If students or members of your community celebrate a different December holiday, you might replace one of the holidays on the work sheet with that one.
Provide students with the appropriate work sheet(s) and challenge them to use print resources (including encyclopedias, childrens books, and other sources) and Web sites (see list below) to learn about the major December holiday celebrations. Review with them the categories and the kinds of information they will be searching for, including the following.
Dates of each of this years celebrations
Countries where each celebration is the predominant one
Foods commonly associated with each holiday celebration
Symbols of each celebration
Key Words associated with each holiday
Decorations associated with each celebration
Songs that relate to each holiday
Gifts and the role gifts play in each celebration
Stories that might be told during each celebration period
Light/Candles and the role lights and/or candles play in each holiday festival
After students have had a class period or two to complete their research, hold a "sharing session in which students share their findings. As each students shares, encourage the others to learn and add information to their charts. This is also an opportunity to handle discrepancies in information, clear up misconceptions, and locate answers to questions that arise. (Older students might keep a bibliography and annotate each note so they will be able to associate each note with a source in the bibliography.)
Resources on the Web
Note: The resources under each category below are arranged in order of difficulty. Older students can use all resources to complete this activity; teachers might limit younger students to the first one or two resources.
Have students write a paragraph or a brief essay comparing
FINE ARTS: Music
GRADES K - 4
NA-M.K-4.9 Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-M.5-8.9 Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-M.9-12.9 Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture
LANGUAGE ARTS: English
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.5 Communication Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills
See more lessons and resources from Education World at our December Holidays Around the World Web page.
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