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Kindergarten Lesson Plan Idea: Holidays around the World

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Though most American kindergartners know about Christmas and Hanukkah, people around the world celebrate many other holidays during the winter months.

While these holiday traditions vary across different cultures, most have one thing in common: candles! Candles and lamps are major symbols in several religious and cultural practices, especially for winter celebrations. You can introduce your students to these diverse traditions with this activity adapted from The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities that incorporates several winter holidays.

 

I’m a Holiday Candle

Beforehand:

  • Talk to the children about the holidays they celebrate in the winter
  • Once all the children have shared, introduce them to some holidays they aren’t familiar with, like Kwanzaa, Diwali, Las Posadas, or Hanukkah. Christmas, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, and Hanukkah all incorporate candles in their tradition, and Diwali features old-fashioned oil lamps
  • If you have a book on winter holidays around the world, read it aloud to the class

What to Do:

1Sing the following song while performing the appropriate gestures:

I’m a Christmas candle (stand, hands above head as it they were a flame)

Growing shorter you can see (bend down)

Melting all my wax (bend some more)

Till there’s nothing left of me (go down to the floor)

2. Repeat with verses for the other holidays listed:

I’m a Hanukkah candle…

I’m a Kwanzaa candle…

I’m a Las Posadas candle…

I’m a Diwali lamp…

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