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November 2, 2020

Holiday Traditions in Ten Minutes a Day!

Let’s face it:  the holidays are BUSY.  So here is how you can easily teach Holiday Traditions Around the World in just ten minutes per day!  Yes, it is possible and it can even be meaningful to your students!  Of course, if you can give some lessons a few more minutes, that’s even better, but the fact is that you don’t really have to do anything elaborate to get your point across. And that will free up your time to do some of those other things that always seem to pop up during the holiday season!

The Basic Method

Plan on covering just ONE holiday per day.  Read a page about it from a Holiday Traditions Around the World book and look at the picture.  Then find that country on a map or on Google Earth.  Then we discuss it, comparing the holidays and letting the children ask questions or make comments… and that’s it!  The lesson is over.  If I want the lesson to last longer, I can let them color the coloring page if I want to, but we don’t have to!  I can have them write about it or make an art project related to it… but we don’t have to!  A discussion and looking at some pictures is really enough.  If you want to do a little more, find a YouTube video for kids about the holiday.

Choose Your Most Important Cultural Holiday Traditions and Do Those FIRST

Start by anticipating that you probably won’t be able to cover all of the different cultural celebrations that you would like, so pick the most important ones to YOU and cover them FIRST. That way, if you run out of time and have to skip something, hopefully it won’t matter so very much and you won’t have to feel guilty.  Of course, I use the Holiday Traditions Around the World book that I wrote and created myself (no surprise!) but you could probably do this same thing with many of the wonderful resources out there.  I was careful to choose the holidays around the world that I felt were the most important to include, (there are 15 in the book,) but I would definitely include any holidays that are celebrated by the children in my class in order to honor their families and help all of the children feel valued.

Give Just Three or Four Facts for Each Holiday

One reason that I wrote my Holiday Traditions Around the World book is because each time I found a book about a certain holiday, it was usually very long and gave so much information!  My book has just one short paragraph about each holiday to accommodate the short attention span of the average primary student.  But you could probably just TELL the children what you know about each holiday and show them a photo you may be able to find online, and proceed like this.  That’s the budget way!  

Combine Your Study of Holidays with Language Arts Instruction

This year, I have been trying to bring in our study of parts of speech into anything we are reading by having the children search for adjectives, verbs, nouns, etc. in the texts of whatever we are reading.  So I am planning on having the children find and highlight those parts of speech in the Holidays Around the World student booklet as we read.  I think that younger children could also look for sight words or even just the letter of the week in the passages they are reading!  It’s just a matter of stretching your mind to figure out how it could be done.

So just Keep It Simple, Sweetie!  That’s the key!  Then hopefully you will (all) ENJOY your holiday season!  Now if you are itching to do more, well, have we got some ideas for YOU!  Check them out!

Holiday Traditions Around the World and Critical Thinking

Teaching Holidays Around the World and Tips for Google Earth

An Elf on the Shelf Art Project- and a Round-Up of Holiday Freebies

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