Bringing holiday cheer to the classroom can mean different things for our diverse student populations. There are many all-inclusive ways to celebrate this December, and the visual aspects of the classroom should be all-inclusive too. Rather than focusing the festive decor on a singular holiday, decorate the learning space as students study and celebrate holidays from around the world.
Around the World Word Art – Print or have students create oversized bubble letters that spell out a variety of holidays (e.g., Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, St. Lucia Day, Diwali, Las Posadas). Have students fill the bubble words with pictures, symbols, and/or phrases associated with the holiday. Post these in the hallways or around the room to offer a visual collection of different observances and traditions from around the world.
Fact Chains – Have students create a paper chain filled with facts about origins, traditions, and celebrations centered around different December observances. Students can work alone or in groups on a single assigned holiday, or they could be assigned a singular topic, such as food, music, or symbols, to discover about multiple occasions. Once facts are accumulated, they should be recorded on different colored papers strips and linked to create a festive fact chain to string about the classroom. Color strips could be assigned to each holiday or each component of the holidays being researched (i.e., red for foods, yellow for music, orange for origin).
Holiday Crafts – Work on fine motor skills and build multicultural awareness as students complete craft projects for different holidays. Follow the links to a variety of craft ideas and set up stations or work as a whole group to create visual displays for the classroom or hallways that are composed of a diverse collection of holiday images.
- Christmas- Paper plate trees, cotton ball Santas, and toilet paper roll reindeer are just a few of the highlights in this collection from Hands on as We Grow. Adding some Christmas décor to the display will be a cinch.
- Hanukkah- These 25+ craft ideas from The Classroom Creative are sure to spark some conversations about this December holiday. Milk carton dreidels, tin stars, and macaroni menorahs are just a few of the great finds in this collection.
- Kwanzaa- This collection from Activity Village offers a variety of ideas. From a traditional Adinkra painting project to decorative unity cups, there’s lot to create and learn about this African celebration.
- Winter Solstice- Icicles, igloos, and snowmen are just a sampling of the fun creations to be found at All Kids Network. Put a focus on the change of seasons and craft some examples of winter’s wonders.
Let a multicultural focus be the theme for decorating this December. By allowing students to adorn the classroom with a variety of projects and crafts, both learning and aesthetics come together through visually stimulating and all-inclusive designs. All students can be involved in creative a diverse and festive learning space.
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