Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hanukkah & Kwanzaa Holiday Fun!

This week we learned about Hanukkah & Kwanzaa. The students had so much fun learning that there were other holidays besides Christmas.

I started the week teaching them about Hanukkah symbols & traditions. I read them several books and we watched a United Streaming movie about Hanukkah. We learned about the menorah and what the candles represent. We made our own Star of David by tracing triangles, cutting them out & pasting different shades of blue tissue to them. I hung those from the ceiling of our classroom and they were so proud to show them off. We learned how to play the Dreidel game & invited our principal in to play with us. The students taught her how to play and how to spin the Dreidel. They were actually very enthusiastic about learning the traditions and customs behind Hanukkah.

In the middle of the week I began teaching about the symbols & traditions of Kwanzaa. Our big book of the week was called The Marketplace. This book is set in Africa and shows what a typical outdoor marketplace would look like. It was a great set up to teaching about Kwanzaa, an African holiday. Again, we read several books and watched a United Streaming video about Kwanzaa. I taught them about the kinara and what the candles symbolize. We did a cut & paste Unity Cup craft. They turned out really nice and I hung them in the hallway.

On Friday we summed up our learning. I wasn't sure how many facts they had actually retained. I was extremely surprised at what they could tell me about both holidays. They could easily tell me the symbols that we learned about, but they were also telling me things like traditional foods for each holiday and reasons and customs behind each holiday. I was really impressed! They were even asking to learn about more kinds of holidays.

I will post the pictures of the projects later...


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