Grade Levels: 3 - 5Introduction
This lesson provides students with an opportunity to learn about the traditions of various winter holidays.Objectives
- Students will understand that most winter holidays are associated with an important object that gives light.
- Students will study the origin and customs of several winter holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the Winter Solstice.
- Students will create individual holidays that celebrate someone or something that is important to them.
- Copies of Winter Holidays Article, Vocabulary Worksheet, and Winter Holidays Chart
- Pictures of a menorah, kinara, Advent wreath, Christmas tree
- Pictures of winter and summer
- Introduce and define key vocabulary: heritage, anticipation, Menorah, Kinara, Advent wreath, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas.
- Have students read the Winter Holidays Article individually or in pairs. Have them fill in the Vocabulary Worksheet.
- Ask the students to think of various customs and traditions associated with
holidays throughout the year. Have them fill in the Winter Holidays Chart.
- Tell the students they are individually responsible for creating a new holiday
celebrating something or someone that is very important to them. Students may include illustrations if time permits, but they must include:
- Why their holiday is meaningful.
- What people can do to celebrate their holiday.
- Significant songs, games, or recipes that will be associated with their holiday.
- Why their holiday is meaningful.
- Display the students' holiday descriptions in the classroom.
Have students discuss the differences and similarities of the four winter holidays described in the article.
- Students should be able to define key vocabulary.
- Students should be able to fill in the Winter Holidays Chart using clues from the class discussion and Winter Holidays Article.
- Students should be able to identify the history and traditions of various holidays.
- Challenge students to create their own Holiday Chart with different column titles. Students can switch charts with a partner.
- Have students write in their journals about why respect for each other's beliefs is important. You may introduce the term divergent thinking.
Standards at McRel: http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/
- Knows the ways that families long ago expressed and transmitted their beliefs and values through oral tradition, literature, songs, art, religion, community celebrations, mementos, food, and language
- Knows how various American holidays reflect the shared values, principles, and beliefs of Americans
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