It’s Christmas time, and it’s so important to remember that not every family celebrates Christmas. There are many different winter holidays that your students may celebrate at home. For those who do celebrate Christmas, there are so many different traditions and ways to celebrate. When teaching about winter holidays and Christmas in your classroom, it’s important to be inclusive to all students. Looking at ways to study Christmas and winter holidays around the world will help your students explore cultures different from their own. Here are a few ways to get started!
Build background knowledge.
Before your students read about the holidays around the world, have them show what they know with a digital KWL chart to activate background knowledge, ask questions, and monitor understanding as they begin to read. These digital holiday resources are great to use for journaling about the holidays around the world! There is so much to learn!
Read about it!
Try some nonfiction reading comprehension passages about various winter holidays from around the world. These holiday around the world resources include passages about holidays such as St. Lucia Day, Las Posadas, La Befana, and more. It’s not just about traditional American Christmas in many parts of the world. There are students in your class that may celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other winter holidays. Reading about different holidays from around the globe will help your students share their own culture and learn about places and people outside their own experience. Use these passages as a start for conversations about other cultures and for your students to tell their own stories.
Eat your way around the world.
Whether it’s Karamu (Kwanzaa feast), potato latkes or brisket for Hanukkah, or Christmas favorites like sugar cutout cookies or ham, the winter holidays definitely can center around food! You may not be allowed to or comfortable creating a feast for your students, but you can definitely have them research foods that are appropriate for different winter holidays around the world. Ask your students about their own holiday food traditions. This is a great way to incorporate descriptive writing and imagery by having your learners write about food using their five senses.
Watch educational videos.
You know how much I love using digital resources in the classroom! That’s why I love that there are so many videos available to share with students about holidays around the world. In the holiday around the world digital resources, you’ll love being able to share multiple holidays and videos with your students via Google Slides. Load them on Google Classroom for a self-paced unit or to use in centers, or present them to the full class. Primary grade students love using these digital resources!
Learning about other cultures isn’t just fun, it’s necessary for our young learners. Experiencing different cultures through reading, videos, and exploring traditions of classmates will help your students become more empathetic and realize that it’s a big world with lots of different people that are amazing and unique! Try these ways to study Christmas and other winter holidays around the world this season!