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Create a display of religious and cultural celebrations around the world.
(Included: Four possible display formats -- a timeline, a world map bulletin board, an ABC book, or a Web page.)
culture, celebrations, festivals, holidays, Christmas, December, religion, calendar, timeline, world, map, ABC book, research, brainstorm, think-pair-share, literature, geography
In this lesson, students use Internet and/or library resources to research ethnic and religious occasions/events celebrated by people around the world.
Begin the lesson by inviting students to brainstorm a list of celebrations they are familiar with. The celebrations might be ones students have experienced firsthand or celebrations students only have heard or read about. Write the celebrations on a chart as students call them out.
Instead of brainstorming with the entire class, you might use the think-pair-share method for this activity. Give students a few minutes to start their own lists; then arrange students in pairs and give each pair a few minutes to share their lists and add to them; next, combine pairs of students to create groups of four for more sharing and thinking. Eventually, bring all students together to create a class list of cultural celebrations.
Supplement the student-generated list of celebrations as needed with additional celebrations. Ethnic and Religious Cultural Holidays, Celebrations, and Festivals is an excellent source. Also, see Suggested Celebrations at the bottom of this lesson.
When the brainstorming session is over, assign each student one of the celebrations to research; you might assign the less well known celebrations to students who have the best researching skills. (Alternative: Write the names of the events on slips of paper and have each student draw the name of a celebration.)
As students research their celebrations, they should record the following information:
Have students create an "information card" that includes their research findings and a picture/illustration they have created and/or downloaded from a Web site.
Displaying Students' Work
You might display the students' work in one of the following ways:
As the date for each celebration arrives, expose students to more information about it or read a children's book related to the culture/country of the celebration. Spend some time talking about the geography (location, physical aspects, and so on) of countries as you discuss their celebrations.
Following are some additional resources students can use as they research their celebrations on the Internet.
Following are some celebrations students might research:
Did students include all the assigned information on their cards? Did they incorporate any images into their information cards?
Lesson Plan Source
FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
GRADES K - 4
NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.5-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.9-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
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-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.10 Applying Non-English Perspectives
NL-ENG.K-12.11 Participating in Society
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-MEA.3-5.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
NM-MEA.3-5.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-MEA.6-8.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
NM-MEA.6-8.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-MEA.9-12.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
NM-MEA.9-12.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
Don't miss dozens of additional activities for teaching about the December holidays on Education World's December Holidays archive page.
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