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Explore Holiday Traditions

Students will conduct research to learn about a holiday and its traditions. They will draw or create something that embodies the meaning of their holiday. Then they will write a report or choose an appropriate mode of writing to tell what they learned about the holiday and its traditions.

PROCESS:

  1. Instruct students to select a holiday. It can be one they celebrate or one they've heard of and know little about. Give them five minutes to write what they know about the holiday. 
  2. Have students conduct research to learn more. Instruct them to discover how the holiday began and where, when, why and how it is celebrated. Tell them to identify its most important traditions. Challenge them to uncover ways the holiday has changed over time, including places where it is now celebrated that it wasn't in the past.
  3. Provide a variety of art supplies. Have students draw or create something that embodies the meaning of their holiday. Then have them write a report or choose an appropriate mode of writing-such as a poem, a song or a card-to tell what they learned about the holiday and its traditions.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their presentations with the class. Discuss how and why each holiday and its traditions have changed over time. Challenge students to identify similarities and differences among the holidays.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:     

Grades 3-4:
As a class, select a holiday to investigate. Then divide the class into small groups. Have each group conduct research and then write a brief report about the holiday and its traditions. Give each student a piece of plain white paper. Have each group member draw a picture that shows something important about the holiday and its traditions.

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to select a holiday to investigate. Then tell groups to conduct research to learn more about the holiday and its traditions. Have them write a brief report telling what they learned. Give each student a piece of plain white paper. Have each group member draw a picture that shows something different about the holiday and its traditions.

Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct each pair to select a holiday. Have partners conduct research to learn more about the holiday and its traditions. Provide access to art supplies. Instruct students to create a traditional object associated with the holiday. Then tell them to select the most appropriate way to write about the holiday and its traditions. Give pairs time to finish their presentations.

Grades 9-10:
Instruct each student to select a holiday. Have them conduct research to learn more about the holiday and its traditions. Provide access to art supplies. Instruct students to create a traditional object associated with the holiday. Then tell them to select the most appropriate way to write about the holiday and its traditions. Give students time to finish their presentations.